September 24, 2020

How does Washington RB Peyton Barber’s Week 1 impact his fantasy value?

How does Peyton Barber’s Week 1 impact his fantasy value? originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

Week 1 for the Washington Football Team was filled with surprises. Obviously, scoring 27 unanswered points to pull off a win against the Philadelphia Eagles is at the top of the list.

However, in terms of fantasy football, it was Peyton Barber’s two-touchdown day that became an unexpected twist to many.

Entering the season, it was unclear who would be “the guy” in Washington’s backfield as Ron Rivera stated the team would go with the dreaded running back-by-committee tag to begin the year. That label made all Washington running backs risky, but Barber seemed to be the one that carried the most uncertainty due to his standing.

That proved to be the opposite in Week 1 as Barber played 38 snaps to Antonio Gibson’s 18. He nearly doubled Gibson’s carries (17 to 9) and J.D. McKissic only got four touches. Bryce Love did not suit up. With fantasy football being a “what have you done lately” business, Barber will certainly be a hot commodity on the waiver wire in the coming days.

But when looking at his performance overall, is Barber worth the flag?

In short, yes. Any player that could potentially add value to your team should be considered when it comes to in-season additions. Based on the volume of work and his usage in the red zone, Barber appears to have a chance at putting up solid numbers for the coming weeks as Washington’s offense continues to settle in.

Still, it is important to temper expectations for the running back. He tallied 14.9 fantasy points on Sunday, and while that is a decent number, it’s not out of this world. That also came with two touchdowns, something that can’t be guaranteed each week.

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Barber had 17 carries but only ran for 29 yards. That average of 1.7 yards per carry is less than inspiring and similar performances in the future won’t cut it. It’s also still too early to know if Barber’s role as the main back was due to him being favored or Washington just going with the flow of the game. If it is the latter, Gibson or McKissic could easily take his top spot in Week 2.

With that being said, it isn’t time to panic with Gibson just yet. The rookie is still learning the offense, and his potential in the passing game should begin to show itself as the season progresses. He had plenty of hype entering Sunday, don’t let one game change it all. 

At this point, Barber’s Week 1 performance can’t be looked at as a strong indicator for the future. Though he may no longer be the least desirable fantasy option in Washington, there is still plenty about his future role that is not answered.

It wouldn’t hurt to put a claim in for Barber in case Week 1 becomes a pattern rather than an outlier, but his value is still up in the air.

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