Brian Robinson Fantasy Projections: Should You Draft Robinson in Fantasy This Year?

    A second-year RB who might take over his backfield. What are Brian Robinson's fantasy projections in 2023, and should you draft him at his ADP?

    As the NFL season approaches, millions of people are turning their attention to fantasy football. At PFN, we’re researching more than 350 players, trying to identify which ones are overrated, underrated, and priced right. With that in mind, here are Washington Commanders RB Brian Robinson’s fantasy projections for 2023, as well as insights into whether he should be drafted at or before his ADP.

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    Brian Robinson’s 2023 Fantasy Projection

    If there were an in-season Comeback Player of the Year award, Robinson would have deserved it in 2022. He was shot twice in an armed robbery attempt over the summer. For a few hours, it was unclear whether he would play again or even survive. Less than two months later, Robinson made his NFL regular-season debut.

    Simply incredible. And because this is a fantasy profile, let’s shift into the nuts and bolts of what Robinson actually did on the field and how it might impact his value in 2023.

    The Commanders drafted Robinson in the third round last year for a reason. While Antonio Gibson was coming off a 300-touch campaign, it was clear that he wasn’t suited to be the bell cow. Robinson came in to share the load and to perhaps overtake Gibson as the 1A back.

    Before he was shot, Robinson was enjoying a terrific preseason. Prognosticators were somewhat evenly divided between whether he or Gibson would be the better fantasy investment.

    While Robinson didn’t exactly light it up, he played well enough to enter the offseason as the presumed backfield leader ahead of 2023. He exceeded 3.8 yards per carry in only three contests. Two of those performances were against the Giants, who yielded the second-most yards per carry last year.

    So yeah, Robinson needs to show some growth this season if he’s going to remain the lead back in 2024. For now, however, he’s in a solid spot with respect to assured volume.

    We might wonder what else he’ll do besides rack up somewhere between 3.5 and 4.5 yards per carry. Robinson scored only three times last year, and with the untested Sam Howell under center, Washington’s offense could take a step back, at least in the short term.

    Then there’s Robinson’s usage in the passing game. As a rookie, he caught only nine passes. Gibson has a pathway to continue expanding his target share, and it could come at Robinson’s expense. In other words, Robinson might operate as a throwback lead RB, collecting 12-14 carries per game, and that’s about it.

    The fantasy results could be painful for managers who draft him too soon. If Robinson doesn’t score, will he be worth starting? Managers don’t like to weigh those scenarios. The prospect of earning no more than six or seven points most weeks is rough.

    Then there’s rookie Chris Rodriguez Jr. Despite being only a sixth-round rookie, Rodriguez has the frame to handle goal-line duties if the Commanders determine that he can handle it. If Robinson continues to lose such touches to teammates, he might struggle to manufacture many scores on his own in this offense.

    Should You Draft Brian Robinson This Year?

    Underdog Fantasy currently has Robinson at RB36 in their latest ADP. Additionally, our PFN Consensus Rankings have him at RB34. For context, he was the RB39 in points per game last season. Barring something unforeseen, his most likely usage should keep him inside the top 50, but he’s a long shot to crack the top 28.

    Essentially, Robinson would need a dramatic uptick in two of the following four areas: rushing yards, touchdowns, receptions, and/or receiving yards. The first two are doable but unlikely. The latter two are quite unlikely.

    So if you draft Robinson at his current market price, you’re picking someone near his realistic ceiling. He should be drafted at least a round later, reflecting the fact that he’s a volume- and TD-dependent running back who isn’t guaranteed improvements in either area.

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