Is Jahmyr Gibbs now a risky fantasy start for Week 1 ?

Lions rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs looks to have a nice matchup against the Chiefs in Week 1, but is he now a risky start for his fantasy owners?

There's been heavy hype around Detroit Lions running back Jahmyr Gibbs all offseason, almost to the point of oversaturation and overvaluing him as a fantasy prospect for his rookie season. But there are definitely plans to use him as an all-around offensive weapon, and thus his fantasy ceiling is massive in what should be a very good Lions' offense again this year.

Thursday night's season opener for the Lions against the Kansas City Chiefs is lined up to be high-scoring, with plenty of production and fantasy points to go around. Practically anyone who was drafted in a fantasy league for either team, with accounting for league size, etc., could find a place in a Week 1 fantasy lineup.

In an interview with ESPN this week, Gibbs laid out his goal of getting 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards this season. If that doesn't seem like much, know that just one player (Christian McCaffrey) did it last year.

At the end of the piece, there's this nugget from Lions' head coach Dan Campbell.

"Lions coach Dan Campbell said he might ease Gibbs into action in the Thursday night opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. He told reporters the team will want to be “smart” with his usage in his debut with an eye toward the full season."

Fantasy Foootball Week 1: Is Jahmyr Gibbs now a risky start vs. the Chiefs?

In any 12-team league with a PPR tilt (even 0.5-point), Gibbs was either a third or fourth-round pick and the RB2 (or maybe even the nominal RB1) for the owner who took him. So he's a lineup lock for Week 1, and Campbell's hint about limiting his workload qualifies as a buzzkill.

Or does it?

Campbell said the team needed to be "smart" with Gibbs' usage in his debut. He'll surely play as much as it's deemed he can handle, in situations where it makes sense to have him on the field. That could still mean 15 touches against the Chiefs.

If there's a best way to beat the Chiefs' defense, Gibbs is set to exploit it. Last year (yes, for whatever it's worth), Kansas City allowed the most receptions (112; 6.6 per game) and the fourth-most receiving yards (806; 47.4 per game) to running backs. Linebacker Nick Bolton is good in coverage (73.8 coverage grade from Pro Football Focus last year), but Gibbs is a mismatch for any linebacker in coverage.

It's easy to get concerned about and overreact to what coaches say about a player. But Campbell's bit of coach-speak should not take Gibbs out of any Week 1 fantasy lineups he was already locked into.

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