It may not have been as impressive an output as his rookie campaign was, but James Robinson still found a way to post RB2 numbers in PPR-scoring fantasy football leagues in 2021. He logged 989 yards from scrimmage to go along with 8 touchdowns on his way to a No. 24 RB finish.
With that being the case, the backfield situation in Jacksonville is causing Robinson to fall lower and lower in fantasy football rankings this year. His average draft position (ADP) has him going as the 37th running back off the board and as a ninth-round selection.
James Robinson Fantasy Football Outlook
The Jacksonville Jaguars' backfield is one of the toughest to project from a fantasy football perspective in 2022. One one side, Travis Etienne is set to make his NFL debut after missing the 2021 season with a serious foot injury. His receiving abilities and connection with quarterback Trevor Lawrence give him some unique upside. On the other side, James Robinson is targeting Week 1 to return from a torn Achilles. The 24-year-old has acted as the Jaguar's top RB for two years now.
It's important for fantasy managers to remember that Robinson is someone that has posted over 13 PPR fantasy points in 15 of his 28 career games. He also finished 11th in yards after contact per attempt (3.3) in 2021. When he gets the ball, he is not afraid to push through defenders and into the open field. Robinson's clearest path to fantasy relevance is at the goal line. His ground-and-pound style of running makes him the clear short-yardage back in Jacksonville. All eight of Robinson's touchdowns last season came in the red zone.
Etienne isn't the only one responsible for Robinson's capped ceiling, though. New head coach Doug Pederson became known during his stint with Philadelphia for switching from one running back to another in any given week. The best strategy to take here is to draft Etienne early on and then reach for Robinson in the seventh or eighth round. It would ensure you have the Jaguars starting RB no matter what goes down.
James Robinson Injury Update
It's worth noting that Robinson only played in 14 of a possible 17 games last season. A pedal heel bruise kept him out of the Jaguars' Week 9 game against the Seahawks. Robinson then missed the final two games of the year after tearing his Achilles tendon in what was a non-contact leg injury.
Jacksonville's coaching staff has been careful not to rush Robinson back, but he simply keeps improving. He exceeded expectations by not having to start training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform list and then stepped up to take first-team reps during offensive team drills.
James Robinson Projections
Projections from the NFL odds on FanDuel Sportsbook expect Robinson to finish in the middle of the pack. He's 33rd to lead the NFL in rushing yards (+7500), which is well below where he finished both the 2020 and 2021 seasons at. Keep in mind Etienne has +5000 odds to lead the NFL in rushing yards. Robinson is not listed among the top 48 running backs in odds to lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns, though. When taking Robinson's career averages into account (17.3 touches per game, 5.0-yard average), another 1,000-yard scrimmage is certainly well within reach. Whether or not he reaches that mark will come down to his touch count and his health.
Is James Robinson a Good Fantasy Football Pick?
When it comes down to it, is Robinson someone to target in the later rounds? Sure, especially for managers taking on a zero-RB strategy. Robinson's the No. 37 running back in The Duel's PPR fantasy football rankings and could provide RB3 numbers from the get-go.
Robinson took on 42.1% of Jacksonville's red zone carries last season under a head coach that didn't treat him as a workhorse. Seeing that number cross the 50% mark with Urban Meyer no longer around wouldn't be surprising. That gives Robinson a relatively safe floor as a ninth-round pick.
If you've drafted Robinson this year, or you're a Jaguars fans, make sure to check out the best Jacksonville Jaguars fantasy football team names for your squad.
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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.