Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson enters his rookie season as a clear backup to Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. Can he prove to be a factor in fantasy football this year? What are Robinson’s fantasy outlook and current ADP in fantasy football drafts for the 2022 season?
Editor’s Update (8/28): Per several medial outlets, Commanders’ RB Brian Robinson is in stable condition after being shot as the victim of an attempted robbery, sources say. We will have more updates as information becomes available.
Brian Robinson’s fantasy outlook for 2022
When the Commanders made their third-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, few expected them to take a running back. The roster lacked playmaking and depth, so the Commanders did what they felt necessary. Robinson will bring a new element of toughness to Ron Rivera’s offense.
The former Alabama Crimson Tide back enjoyed a breakout season in his fifth year with the program. The 6’1″, 225-pounder bulldozed through his competition en route to 1,343 yards and 14 touchdowns. He also added 296 yards and two scores as a receiver.
The big-bodied back is a brute between the tackles but has solid getaway speed. He’s not on the same athletic level as Derrick Henry, but his 4.53 40-yard dash proved he’s also not Trent Richardson. Robinson can quickly hit a gap and get chunks of yards.
The Commanders ranked 10th in rushing attempts last year. Even with Carson Wentz now leading the offense, expect that to continue. Rivera prefers a run-first approach that relies on power to wear out opponents.
Robinson is the only back of his ilk on the roster, potentially carving a role as a James Conner-type touchdown vulture in the red zone. He also saw extensive work with the 1s in preseason, showing the team clearly values him more than we previously thought.
How the Commanders’ depth chart impacts Brian Robinson’s fantasy projection for the season
Though a standout duo was already seemingly in place with Gibson and McKissic, and also Jaret Patterson earning the second most carries in 2021, the Commanders’ depth chart is not lacking. The decision to draft Robinson was peculiar in the short term but potentially revealing for future years. Gibson is a free agent after next season.
Washington frustrated fantasy managers in 2021 as they situationally divided touches. Gibson was the primary ball carrier with 54% of total rushes. McKissic caught one more pass (43) than Gibson (42) despite playing 261 fewer snaps. Washington almost lost McKissic to Buffalo in free agency but paid him $7 million over two years to retain his services.
Robinson is the logical workhorse back should Gibson continue to fall out of favor in the backfield. The first few preseason games have show a clear trend towards the direction of Gibson being overtaken by Robinson sooner than later. Another case of fumble-itis could be it for Gibson’s career in Washington.
It had seemed he had a tough path to enough volume to roster in fantasy. The Commanders are intentional with their personnel groupings, which hurts Robinson’s pass-catching opportunities, but he has the look of a starter sooner than later for this franchise.
Robinson’s ADP for 2022
The fantasy community has wasted no time vaulting Robinson up their draft boards after seeing the first two games of the preseason. This is a fair reaction. Now with an ADP of RB46 and No. 125, Robinson should be a major priority worth reaching for.
The Commanders will continue to utilize him on specific drives. He’s looked good despite being an upright runner, showing more power and devotion to taking the designed rush lane. Gibson gets knocked for his vision at times, which isn’t entirely fair, but Robinson will always take what’s there in front of him.
At worst, you’re getting an involved backup who has red zone value. But this appears to be a true committee. That gives Robinson a clear floor and ceiling that is worth investing in around this ADP.