James Robinson Fantasy Outlook on the Rise as Jaguars RB1

Jason Schandl
James Robinson's fantasy outlook gets a huge boost from being named the Jaguars' RB1.
James Robinson's fantasy outlook gets a huge boost from being named the Jaguars' RB1. / Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Following the release of Leonard Fournette, the Jacksonville Jaguars backfield became a difficult puzzle to solve for fantasy football managers. Fournette vacated enough volume that someone's workload is going to take a huge increase, but between Ryquell Armstead and Devine Ozigbo (especially with Chris Thompson taking receiving work), it was unclear who that would be.

Now it seems like a dark horse has emerged: rookie James Robinson. If Robinson holds onto this RB1 role, he could be an interesting fantasy asset.

For some context on just how much volume is up for grabs in the post-Fournette era, his 24.3 opportunities (carries plus targets) per game ranked No. 2 in the NFL last season, behind only Christian McCaffrey. When Fournette sat in Week 17, Jags RBs still combined for 19 carries and 14 targets.

A significant share of those targets is likely to go to Thompson, who figures to be the top passing-down back.

Robinson has some interesting potential on early downs, however. The undrafted free agent underwhelmed in the 40-yard dash, but his 40-inch vertical and 125-inch broad jumps show a ton of explosiveness. He turned that athleticism into some strong production at Illinois State, averaging 117.3 rushing yards per game (and 6.3 per attempt) as a junior in 2018 and 126.6 yards per game with 5.2 per carry as a senior in 2019.

He profiles as a between-the-tackles runner without much breakaway speed, but if Robinson can even come close to Fournette's 17.6 carries per game from last season, that should be enough to make him an intriguing fantasy football sleeper.

Of course, to start with he still needs to prove that he can hold onto the top RB spot. If he can't separate himself from the pack, this could end up being a committee backfield that would offer very little fantasy appeal.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. 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 his articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.