Bijan Robinson’s Best Ball Fantasy Outlook: Is the Falcons’ Playmaker an Overall RB1 Candidate?

After a disappointing rookie season, will a new Atlanta Falcons coaching staff propel Bijan Robinson to elite RB1 status, making him a great Best Ball pick?

Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson’s rookie year was a bit of a mixed bag. He flashed his elite upside but couldn’t quite meet lofty expectations, largely due to irrational coaching.

With a new head coach and offensive coordinator, should fantasy football managers make Robinson one of the top running backs off the board in Best Ball drafts?

Bijan Robinson’s 2024 Fantasy Outlook

Last season, I couldn’t have been more in on Robinson. At one point, I was even considering ranking him No. 1 overall ahead of San Francisco 49ers RB Christian McCaffrey (cooler heads did eventually prevail).

Robinson’s rookie season did not go as expected. Historically, rookie first-round running backs, specifically those drafted in the top 10, have been very good investments for fantasy football. Unfortunately, Robinson was saddled with Arthur Smith as his head coach.

You will struggle to find a greater dereliction of duty than taking a mega-talented RB No. 8 overall in the NFL Draft and only giving him a 47% carry share in favor of fifth-round sophomore RB Tyler Allgeier and 31-year-old WR/RB convert Cordarrelle Patterson.

The entire fantasy community united in celebration when the Falcons ultimately fired Smith, paving the way for a new offense in 2024, one which we hope will feature Robinson.

I love the combination of head coach Raheem Morris and offensive coordinator Zac Robinson. Morris is a defensive coach who will likely just get out of Robinson’s way. Zac Robinson comes from the Sean McVay coaching tree, which should excite fantasy managers.

If there’s one thing we know about McVay, it’s that he prefers one running back. Whether it was Todd Gurley, Cam Akers, Darrell Henderson, Sony Michel, or Kyren Williams, McVay wants to feed his guy.

The only special talent of that group is Gurley. Now, Robinson, who learned from McVay, gets to work with Bijan, who is, in fact, a special talent.

MORE: 2024 Best Ball Rankings

Even on just 272 touches, Robinson wasn’t exactly a team destroyer. Yes, he was technically a bust, being drafted as a top-five running back and finishing as the overall RB17. However, he did average a respectable 14.5 fantasy points per game, which includes his 0.3 points from the “headache-gate” game.

Robinson showed proficiency as a receiver, leading all running backs with a 17.2% target share. In total, he led the position in routes run. Robinson was also effective at making defenders miss, as evidenced by his 23.2% evaded tackles per touch rate (11th in the league) and 3.83 yards created per touch (12th).

Should You Draft Robinson in 2024 Best Ball Leagues?

Allgeier is a nice player. On a different team, or in a different situation, he’s good enough to be an NFL team’s RB1. But when the guy in front of him is Robinson, Allgeier should be relegated to pure backup — which I think we’re going to see in 2024.

The Falcons have three key offensive weapons: Robinson, WR Drake London, and TE Kyle Pitts. Robinson learned from a coach who made his bacon by funneling touches to his three key offensive weapons: WR Cooper Kupp, WR Puka Nacua, and Williams (and even before these three, it was a different set of three).

Fantasy managers should expect the overwhelming majority of offensive touches to go to the Falcons’ three best players. The biggest question mark right now is who will play quarterback. I submit to fantasy managers that it shouldn’t be a concern.

We already know Robinson can produce without a competent quarterback. He would’ve been an RB1 last season had he not ceded so many touches, including goal-line carries, to Allgeier.

Whoever the Falcons end up starting at quarterback, we should be supremely confident he will be better than Desmond Ridder/Taylor Heinicke. I would be very surprised if it wasn’t either Kirk Cousins, Justin Fields, or a rookie first-rounder. Any of those options will be a boon to Robinson’s fantasy value.

Last year, I drafted Robinson everywhere. It didn’t work out. There is an inherent feeling fantasy managers often get where they want to completely reject players who previously disappointed them.

KEEP READING: Fantasy Football Best Ball Strategy

Robinson is 22 years old and primed to take a massive step forward as a sophomore. If you were burned by him last year, you will be even more frustrated if you pass on him this year and watch him smash for someone else’s fantasy team.

Once the middle of the first round hits, Robinson is very much in play. I think he averages over 20 fantasy points per game this year.

With the fantasy football season behind us, why not start preparing for your rookie drafts with our dynasty rookie rankings? Additionally, as you look to improve your team heading into 2024, our dynasty trade calculator can help you find the perfect deal to boost your championship chances.

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