The Jacksonville Jaguars found a diamond in the rough with running back James Robinson. The undrafted free agent finished as an RB1+ in 50% of his 14 active games in 2020. While it looked like Robinson might have competition for touches, a key injury has given him another potential opportunity to shine. How will the new coaching staff affect Robinson’s fantasy football outlook and ADP in 2021?
James Robinson’s fantasy outlook for 2021
Robinson averaged 21.4 opportunities, 101 total yards, and 18 PPR fantasy points per game last season. He played 70% of the Jaguars’ offensive snaps and averaged 0.83 fantasy points per opportunity. Yet, every team passed on Robinson in the 2020 NFL Draft.
He entered the NFL with the frame and skill set of a three-down back. The second-year pro is exceptional at evading tackles and generating yards after contact. Still, Robinson only had 7 rushing attempts last season of 15+ yards.
It looked as though Robinson was set to lose opportunities with the arrival of Travis Etienne. However, a major Lisfranc injury for Etienne could see him miss the majority, if not all of his rookie season.
Jacksonville’s offensive line
The Jaguars’ offensive line will return all five starters this season. The strength of the unit is the interior with left guard Andrew Norwell and right guard A.J. Cann.
Nevertheless, there are opportunities for improvement at the tackle positions.
How will Urban Meyer’s offense translate to the NFL?
Meyer’s comments from earlier this year imply that the Jaguars will prioritize the running game. Robinson and Etienne were set to be a lethal combination alongside quarterback Trevor Lawrence’s mobility. There will be a high number of rushing attempts from the shotgun and RPOs tied to inside or outside-zone runs. Furthermore, play-action passing will be critical for Lawrence and Meyer in 2021.
The Jaguars’ offense will be much improved in 2021 with Lawrence under center. In addition to Robinson, Jacksonville has a plethora of pass catchers in D.J. Chark, Laviska Shenault, and Marvin Jones.
Etienne was projected to be leveraged more as a receiver out of the backfield this season. Could we now see Robinson get more opportunities in the passing game, or will the Jaguars turn to another receiver, or a free agent running back?
Following Etienne’s injury Robinson projects for around 280 rushing attempts, 1,250 rushing yards, and 10 rushing touchdowns in 2021. Moreover, he could see 60 targets, around 50 receptions, 340 receiving yards, and 3-4 receiving scores.
It will be interesting to see if Hyde or Devine Ozibo play a larger role now.
James Robinson’s ADP
Following this news, Robinson’s ADP is almost certain to rise. Currently, he is available with an ADP of 59.3, late in the fifth round of fantasy drafts when you review redraft ADP data from Fleaflicker. He has an ADP between 65 and 70 in pay-to-play fantasy formats such as the National Fantasy Championship in drafts taking place immediately prior to the Etienne injury. Meanwhile, his ADP in PPR formats on Sleeper is 69.5.
Should you draft Robinson in 2021?
Drafting Robinson becomes a delicate balance now. His ADP is sure to increase drastically in the days following this news. That rise could see him reach a point where he is no longer a value. However, after a week or so, his ADP will likely even out somewhat and his value may return as the market sets itself.
With Lawrence and Meyer at the helm, the entire Jacksonville offense is trending up. Many of the players are excellent values at their respective ADPs. Robinson can be viewed as a borderline RB1 to RB2 in half PPR formats.