As we close in toward a new season, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy football values constantly on the move, and nothing shakes up the league like the recently finished NFL Draft, where young rookies begin their NFL careers.
Bijan Robinson’s Dynasty Outlook and Value
I’ve been waiting three years for this moment. It’s been three long, long years knowing Bijan Robinson was going to one day hit the NFL, and when he did, he was going to be electric. Here we are in early 2023, and I still feel this way today despite still not knowing what day it is after a busy and hectic few days of the NFL Draft.
There’s no such thing as prospect fatigue here. Robinson is the real deal.
He’s the total package at 5’11” and 215 pounds with 4.46 speed, and he lit up the NFL Combine with a 37″ vertical and a 10’4″ broad jump. At Texas, Robinson was efficient on every touch, averaging 6.3 yards per carry (4.39 coming after contact). And in 2022, he forced 104 missed tackles.
Robinson finished first amongst 2023 eligible running backs at 2.34 YPTP (yards per team play) and rushed for 1,575 yards last season for the Longhorns. He eclipsed 100+ yards in nine of 12 games while also averaging north of 2.1 YPRR when split out. I haven’t even mentioned the receiving upside yet.
Robinson is a natural hands catcher and can be used as a weapon out of the backfield. At Texas, Robinson caught 60 of his 77 targets for 803 yards and eight touchdowns with a 3.0 aDOT which is the same as Rondale Moore’s NFL average.
Robinson checks every single box and is as close to a “can’t miss” prospect as you’ll find. Plus, he received the highly coveted and rare distinction of being not just a first-round pick but as high as No. 8 overall.
Robinson landed in a great spot and is going to absolutely crush it in the NFL. Atlanta running backs last year were first in rushing yards, yards per carry, and rushing first downs. They were second in EPA/rush and third in success rate, first downs/rush, and TDs/rush. The Falcons were 31st in passing rate over expectation, and while Desmond Ridder should be an upgrade over Marcus Mariota, they’re a run-first offense.
The biggest loser in all of this is Tyler Allgeier, but that’s the issue with Day 3 running backs. Even if they do well, they’re replaceable. If not Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs, I was hoping Atlanta would give Allgeier the RB1 role this year because he played well, ranking second in EPA (min. 100 attempts), fifth in yards after contact/attempt (3.6), and broke the franchise’s rookie rushing record. Yet, that wasn’t enough to hold his job, and there’s no way Arthur Smith is taking the ball out of Robinson’s hands unless he’s simply gassed.
Bijan Robinson Fantasy Ranking
If you’ve read anything over the last year where I have sung the praises of Robinson as the best RB since Saquon Barkley entered the league, you likely already know where this is going.
Robinson has been, in my eyes and rankings, the RB1 for dynasty for the last year. It’s just official now. Dynasty RB rankings go Robinson, Breece Hall, and Jonathan Taylor. They’re right ahead of Christian McCaffrey but don’t be shocked if my Week 3 rankings go Robinson, Hall, then Gibbs.
Atlanta, while not a team I expect to be overly competitive, knows their identity. They want to run the ball and use play-action off of it to help ease Ridder into a reliable QB. They have a young corps with him, Robinson, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts, which was starting to gel towards the end of the year.
Atlanta also spent their second-round pick on Syracuse OT Matthew Bergeron to bolster their offensive line alongside a recently extended Jake Matthews and Kaleb McGary. Bergeron could potentially be slid inside to guard if needed.
Placing an emphasis on the trenches is only a good thing for this offense and for Robinson, who is going to see 300+ opportunities right out of the gates. If he’s anything less than the RB12 as a rookie, I would be shocked.
No player entering the league in 2023 is safer for dynasty drafts than Robinson. As of today, he’s the third-highest valued non-QB behind only Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase. I’m not sure much else needs to be said beyond that.
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