Bijan Robinson Landing Spots Include Chargers, Cowboys, and Eagles

How do Bijan Robinson's different landing spots from PFN's Mock Draft Simulator impact his fantasy football value should these prove true in the 2023 NFL Draft?

There is little debate that Bijan Robinson will go early in the 2023 NFL Draft. Yet, which landing spots are the most frequent for Robinson based on PFN mock draft simulations? After diving into the user data, we can look at where Robinson is ending up and how he will fit, plus the expectations for fantasy football in 2023.

Bijan Robinson Landing Spots Based on MDS Data

Note: Each percentage is based on user picks for that team alone, making them independent from each other, giving us a percentage of times Robinson was picked by users for a specific team and separate from simulations.

  • Chargers: 18.2% (ADP 21.5)
  • Cowboys: 15.5% (ADP 25.9)
  • Eagles: 12.4% (ADP: 12.4)
  • Buccaneers: 11.5% (ADP: 19.3)
  • Lions: 8.9% (ADP: 17.9)

Just in terms of the collection of teams listed, there are certainly some intriguing names, but a few we certainly expect. However, I’m not sure at the end of the 2022 season, we would’ve had the Los Angeles Chargers leading the way.

MORE: 100% FREE NFL Mock Draft Simulator

There’s no debate that the RB position has taken a significant hit in value in recent years. So the fact that most people are happy with a running back going in the first round speaks of Robinson’s talent and the expectations of what he can bring to the next level. I say that because everyone loves to tell us that running backs don’t matter.

Yet, Robinson is different. Far and away, the best rusher in this class. It almost doesn’t matter where the mock drafters are placing Robinson, as he will be the 1.01 pick in rookie dynasty drafts.

Are some landing spots better than others? Sure, especially for the 2023 season. But if you play in dynasty, it doesn’t matter because there’s no way you can pass up Robinson if given the opportunity.

Los Angeles Chargers

I must say, I was not expecting the team with the No. 2 ranked running back for fantasy to lead the landing spots for Robinson.

The Chargers entered the offseason looking to make additions to keep up with the Kansas City Chiefs while also giving superstar QB Justin Herbert more weapons. However, that was derailed by the reports of Austin Ekeler requesting a trade following contract negotiations not moving in the right direction.

No player has scored more touchdowns in the last two seasons than Ekeler, who’s been a red-zone machine for Los Angeles, scoring 18 touchdowns last year after scoring 20 in 2021. Also, after 70 receptions in 2021, Ekeler had 107 for 722 yards to finish as the RB1 last season.

Ideally, Ekeler would stay in Los Angeles, as that is his best role for fantasy. But I have to assume, based on the data, that Chargers fans and fantasy managers alike are preparing for an eventuality where Ekeler is no longer with the team, and therefore, putting Robinson into what would be the ideal landing spot, assuming a trade has either already happened or will be coming down the pipeline.

If this occurs, and the MDS data is correct, what stops Robinson from a top-three finish in 2022? Robinson could go ballistic if we’re talking anywhere in the 275+ touch range, which would actually be roughly 36 less than what Ekeler saw last season. I would be all-in on this landing spot for fantasy, as Robinson would be a top-tier running back at minimum during the duration of his rookie contract.

Dallas Cowboys

If Jerry Jones got his way, this would be Robinson’s landing spot. While the Chargers are somewhat of a newer destination, Dallas and Robinson have been linked all offseason and even a little before that.

After seven seasons with the Cowboys, the decision was made to release Ezekiel Elliott, which came as no real surprise to most as it became rather apparent that Tony Pollard was clearly the better running back, finishing as the RB7 last year, whereas Elliott finished as the RB21.

It seems like fate that Robinson, who played his college ball in Texas, would stay in the state and trade in one of the most iconic logos in the NCAA for one of the most iconic logos in all of professional sports.

However, Robinson’s ceiling would not be any higher in Dallas than in LA. With the Chargers, Robinson would be able to run roughshod over the backfield. Yet, with the Cowboys, Pollard will command his own share of the volume.

If Week 1 were to happen right now, Pollard would be a first-round draft pick in many leagues but would fall back into the RB2 range if Robinson were added. I would expect him to take over the Elliott role, just with more efficiency. Considering Elliott saw 78% of the red-zone snaps and averaged over 45 touches inside the 20, Robinson would be a fringe RB1 if the draft goes the way of the MDS data.

Philadelphia Eagles

This is another one of those landing spots that doesn’t surprise me that was popular on the MDS. Philadelphia turned into a dominant offense, and their rushing game has been a big part of that.

Despite telling managers not to draft him, Miles Sanders finished last season as the RB13 with 1,269 yards and 11 touchdowns while also coming in the top five in carries inside the 10-yard line. While Sanders hit free agency, Philadelphia signed Rashaad Penny during the offseason and has been viewed as one of the biggest winners for fantasy.

MORE: Bijan Robinson Visits With the Philadelphia Eagles

The only issue for Penny has been health. When he’s received 12 or more carries in his career (10), Penny has seven 100+ yard games and averaged 122 rushing yards on 16.5 carries with 1.1 touchdowns and 21.15 PPR points per game.

He would massively benefit from the cheat code that is the Eagles’ offensive line. But if the Eagles draft Robinson, there’s no question who is getting the lion’s share of the carries. Although it would be a committee, which is expected in Philadelphia as they do still have Kenneth Gainwell.

Robinson lined up alongside Jalen Hurts in the backfield would be as lethal as it gets, and a low-end RB1/high-end RB2 season for Robinson is undoubtedly in the cards, especially when considering the injury concerns and likelihood of missed games for Penny.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay is unquestionably in the running for Robinson and was actually the landing spot I had for him in my recent mock draft. With Tom Brady retiring again and the Buccaneers releasing Leonard Fournette, Robinson can come in Day 1 and eat up over 300 opportunities in an offense that I expect to be more run-heavy than in the past. After all, I don’t expect to see Baker Mayfield having anywhere near the volume of Brady, who, last season, set a new record for attempts.

While Rachaad White is a capable back, he’s more of a complementary rusher than a primary ball carrier. Robinson has the body of work and the physicality to take on a large rushing volume share and eat up the opportunities, similar to what Fournette did in his prime.

It’s unquestionably a downgrade in terms of the overall offense’s efficiency, given the switch from Brady to Mayfield. But even if the red-zone opportunities don’t come as frequently as they could in other landing spots, I would still have Robinson in the upper RB2 range for fantasy.

Detroit Lions

Look, I love what the Detroit Lions have been building. They were my pick last year after being undervalued for their win totals, and they took a massive step forward. But I don’t love the thought of Robinson playing in Detroit for fantasy.

The Lions made it clear they’re going to use a committee approach. That was the case in 2021, where Jamaal Williams and D’Andre Swift were separated by only two rushing attempts. Last year, there was a clear delineation in responsibilities, with Swift receiving the receiving utilization, while Williams was a touchdown magnet, leading the league and setting a franchise record in the process.

Although Williams is no longer on the team, Detroit added former Chicago Bears RB David Montgomery in free agency, which already gives them one of the better backfields in the league. Adding Robinson onto the roster would further decrease the opportunity ceiling for all three players.

MORE: 2023 Dynasty Rookie RB Rankings

Unless Detroit traded Swift mid-season, it’s hard for me to work out a reasonable projection that would keep Robinson anywhere near the same value range we would see with some of the previously listed MDS landing spots.

If you told me he’d be the clear-cut workhorse, I’d be all in. But based on the current roster structure and what Detroit has shown us in their personnel usage, this would likely be a frustrating backfield for fantasy, with Montgomery and Robinson trading red-zone chances and carries, plus all three backs being utilized in the passing game.

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