Fantasy Reaction: Brandon Gibson Signs With Miami
Miami Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland continued his free-agent shopping spree this week when he signed receiver Brandon Gibson to a three-year deal. The move netted mixed reviews in the NFL community — Gibson had not exactly been good with the Rams, though he did score five times as many touchdowns as any other Dolphins receiver last season — but what sort of fantasy value will it produce?
For starters, any value Davone Bess had is gone, at least if Miami decides to keep him. There has been plenty of speculation that Bess could be cut as a result of the Gibson deal. Bess is due $3.4 million this year, and the draft is rife with receiver talent. Ireland could choose to roll with Gibson as his third receiver and fill the fourth spot with a rookie or one of Rishard Matthews, Armon Binns or Jeff Fuller.
Here is a breakdown between Bess and the newly minted Dolphin:
|Name||Snaps||Overall||Pass||WR Rating||Tgts||Rec.||Rec. %||Yards||Yds / Rec.||YAC||YAC / Rec.||TD||DP||MT||YPRR|
The biggest difference between the two came in their respective roles. Gibson played mostly outside, running only 39 out of 474 routes from the slot — just 8.2 percent. Bess ran 303 out of the slot, which is more than 70 percent of his total routes. Mike Wallace even had a higher slot percentage than Gibson at 12.2. Gibson is purely a possession receiver; Bess could keep his job by virtue of being the only slot receiver on the team. The biggest difference is evident in Gibson’s ability — or lack thereof — after the catch. He did not have much wiggle, as evidenced by the paltry two missed tackles he forced, and his 2.2 YAC/rec. was second-worst in the league. Bess isn’t known for his playmaking abilities, and the fact he lapped Gibson in this area is a bit startling. Of course, playing different roles had something to do with that.
Where does that leave Gibson in three-receiver sets? Would they utilize him in the slot, or perhaps move Mike Wallace around? Brian Hartline seems ill-suited for any role in the slot — perhaps one reason why his slot percentage was just 5.4 percent last year — but Wallace has potential to do some real damage in three-wide sets if he isn’t skittish about going down the middle. At the very least, this will be an interesting puzzle for Mike Sherman to piece together.
All of this is to say Brandon Gibson has little fantasy football value for the foreseeable future, barring injury to Brian Hartline or Mike Wallace, of course. Hartline has had his share of injury issues, however, so keep tabs on the receiver situation in Miami. The move does further bolster a receiving corps that now looks rather nice for Ryan Tannehill. With so many good quarterbacks around the league, Tannehill will be hard-pressed to crack fantasy starter level this year, but he will have sneaky value as a QB2 with potential for more if he breaks out.