NFL - Fantasy

James Robinson Fantasy Outlook Makes Him Risky Pick in 2021

Isaiah De Los Santos
James Robinson fantasy outlook includes murky value in 2021.
James Robinson fantasy outlook includes murky value in 2021. / James Gilbert/Getty Images

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson was a revelation as an undrafted rookie in 2020, helping propel some fantasy managers to the championship. But his potential in 2021-22 took a serious hit after the Jaguars selected Clemson RB Travis Etienne in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Robinson's fantasy outlook is murky given the newly-arrived competition in the backfield.

James Robinson Fantasy Outlook

Robinson dazzled in his first year, using his dual-threat abilities to rank as RB7 in PPR scoring last season. He would have RB1 upside again this year if Etienne hadn't arrived. Instead, Robinson ranks as RB23 (No. 54 overall), according to FantasyPros' Average Draft Position (ADP) data. He still absolutely has value as a depth piece, but he has the potential to burn managers if Etienne quickly absorbs most of his work.

The then-Jaguars rookie enjoyed little competition for touches in 2020 and took full advantage of it. He averaged a whopping 21.4 opportunities (17.1 rushes plus 4.3 targets) per game and racked up the ninth-most yards from scrimmage (1,414) in the league.

Robinson would, in theory, be in position to even improve on those numbers -- especially in the passing game -- with new quarterback Trevor Lawrence in town. However, the Jaguars sought out Lawrence's college running back to form a young duo, and Etienne's skills directly overlap with Robinson's.

Etienne averaged over 170 carries in four seasons at Clemson while recording 4,952 yards and 70 scores on the ground. His receiving abilities developed over time as well, improving his receptions every year and finishing his 2020 campaign with 48 catches for 588 yards and 2 TDs.

The RBs will hold each other back in 2021, likely preventing either from contending to be an RB1. And it's unclear how the workload will be distributed as the season goes on. Fantasy managers may be taking a shot in the dark on who will emerge as the lead back, though both have value as FLEX plays, especially if Jacksonville utilizes two-RB sets heavily.

James Robinson ADP

The arrival of Etienne is frustrating for fantasy managers who wanted another big year from Robinson. It's hard to see him coming close to his performance in 2020 with Etienne in town, and there's potential for the rookie to unseat him after the Jaguars invested a first-round pick in their shiny new RB.

Robinson comes in at RB39 in our 2021 fantasy football rankings.

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Isaiah De Los Santos is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Isaiah De Los Santos also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username zayyy05328. 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.