Before the 2020 season, Ryquell Armstead was a sneaky pickup in many fantasy football leagues. Thanks to an extreme bout with COVID-19 however, he was out of the picture. With backup Devine Ozigbo suffering a hamstring injury in early September, the perfect storm was created for undrafted free agent James Robinson in fantasy football. To say he made the most of his opportunity is an understatement.
Robinson was fifth in the NFL, with 1,070 rushing yards, and had 10 total touchdowns. He ended the season as the fantasy football RB7 and, at the age of 22, looked like the running back of the future. That’s why it was so confusing when the Jaguars selected running back Travis Etienne with their second pick in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. They have said they wanted to create a one-two punch with the two running backs, but with so many other holes on the team, the move still makes little sense. With so much unknown about the running back situation in Jacksonville this season, let’s discuss the James Robinson fantasy football outlook for 2021, including his stats from 2020 and giving our buy or sell decision based on his current average draft position (ADP).
James Robinson Fantasy Football Outlook 2021
2020 Fantasy Stats
James Robinson 2021 Outlook
The main story for the Jaguars this offseason has been the arrival of quarterback Trevor Lawrence. The rookie is likely to provide more stability to a Jacksonville team that struggled mightily at quarterback last season. With a solid quarterback, the offense will be on the field longer, which could lead to more opportunities for Robinson. But again, it’s unlikely he will be a bell cow RB, as he was his rookie year, due to the presence of Etienne.
Robinson was pretty durable his first season in the NFL, missing only two games due to an ankle injury. The Jaguars did say they were exercising caution with his injury, so it may not be a stretch to say he could’ve played if needed. Seeing the team still only had one win, there was certainly no use in forcing the issue.
Consistency-wise, Robinson was as good as they come. He was never once a “bust” candidate, and always posted respectable numbers. While a significant number of injuries to running backs were to thank, it does speak to his ability to consistently produce when he’s on the field. His majority “starter” status is just what fantasy owners need from their second or third running back. Outside of the elite tier of backs, nobody was as consistent as him.
Jacksonville plays the 13th-easiest schedule when it comes to fantasy football running backs, so there shouldn’t be any worry about too many bad matchups. What does remain to be seen is how exactly the Jaguars split up touches. Not only did they bring in Etienne, but they also signed free agent running back Carlos Hyde.
James Robinson Fantasy Football ADP | Buy or Sell?
The ADP of James Robinson was taken from Fantasy Football Calculator on July 17th. Robinson is currently ranked 49th overall and 25th among running backs. At this spot, Robinson is a buy candidate. While Etienne and Hyde are joining the mix, it seems like Etienne’s main role will be on third downs. Seeing how Robinson wasn’t utilized as a receiver much anyways, that doesn’t take away from much of his production.
For Hyde, he is a proven runner who has been in the league for a long time. It seems doubtful that the Jaguars would be dumb enough to have Robinson split many carries with Hyde. The veteran seems more like an insurance policy than an actual threat.
At his ADP, Robinson is likely to be an RB2 or RB3 for a team, which is exactly where he would excel. His consistency, even in a small sample size, is impressive, and the goal at those spots is to have a guy who can put up solid numbers every week. While he isn’t the sexy pick for a running back, he certainly gets the job done. From everything he’s shown in his young career, he’s a good buy at his position and will be one of the best under-the-radar talents in fantasy football this season.
Underdog Fantasy is a new type of DFS that combines the fun of season-long drafts with daily fantasy sports. Aside from their fun, addictive draft mode, Underdog Fantasy also has pick’em player props for many different sports and athletes!