Bijan Robinson Fantasy Outlook: The Dawn of a Legendary NFL Career?

    Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson is one of the best running back prospects in years. What is his fantasy outlook in 2023?

    At PFN, we’ve researched more than 350 fantasy football players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here is Atlanta Falcons RB Bijan Robinson’s fantasy outlook for 2023.

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    Bijan Robinson’s 2023 Fantasy Outlook

    Why did one of the league’s top rushing teams draft the top RB prospect in this year’s draft? Because Bijan Robinson isn’t a run-of-the-mill top prospect. He might someday be the best running back in the league. And for a rapidly rebuilding squad like the Falcons, there’s no good reason to pass that up.

    No doubt, Robinson joins a fascinatingly effective backfield led by 2022 rookie Tyler Allgeier. Somehow (in hindsight), Atlanta snagged Allgeier in the fifth round last year — the 12th running back off the board. He went on to crush expectations, racking up 1,035 rushing yards while reeling in 16 of 17 targets.

    Meanwhile, veteran Cordarrelle Patterson proved that his 2021 breakout campaign was no fluke, while UDFA Caleb Huntley was one of the league’s best No. 3 RBs. Each of these three running backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry or better, which was all the more shocking given the rough state of their passing attack.

    These RBs led the Falcons to the league’s third-most rushing yards, third-most rushing first downs, and fourth-highest yards per carry. It seemed that backfield help was the last thing Atlanta needed.

    That brings us back to Robinson. The NFC South is wide open. As some teams learn each season, you can never carry too many good running backs.

    Robinson takes that concept to another level. He’s an NFL-ready RB with no glaring weaknesses. Allgeier might get 5-7 touches per game as a glorified handcuff. Patterson could reel in a pass or two. The burly Huntley might be called in on third-and-one or fourth-and-inches.

    But this is now Robinson’s backfield. The Falcons drafted him to be “the guy,” not a complementary piece. He’s an immediate Rookie of the Year candidate, not a work in progress.

    He’s capable of handling 20+ touches a game, although that might be modified to 16-18 if this franchise wants to be a little more conservative with their prized asset. And 18 touches would put him at 300+ for the season, which is a lot for any rookie — though Robinson certainly can handle it.

    The biggest wildcards are A) how much he’s utilized in the passing game, and B) whether he dominates goal-line work. Until the season begins, we can only conjecture. But in the end, these two factors probably will impact whether he’s a top 14-18 RB or a top 3-5 RB.

    On the latter issue, it should be noted that Allgeier collected three of his four scores last year from the 5-yard line or closer, while six of Patterson’s nine TDs came from the same range near the goal line.

    And Robinson? Well, six of his last 11 collegiate TDs came from the 1- or 2-yard line.

    Twenty college receptions per year and plenty of goal-line work … yes, Robinson is the complete package. It’ll take a lot of fantasy draft capital to snag him. But few rookie RBs have been this ready to dominate.

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