James Robinson to Have Large Role: Jaguars’ Backfield Outlook (2022 Fantasy Football)
It’s never too early to check in on player news ahead of the 2022 season, and our news desk has you covered. Let’s take a look at the latest news and notes around the NFL. James Robinson burst onto the scene several years ago, but an injury ended his 2021 campaign and shrouded his future with questions. With Travis Etienne in the fold and a new coaching staff in town, it wasn’t clear what the future held for Robinson. However, it sounds like he could have a significant role in 2022. Let’s take a look at what it means for Robinson and Etienne.
According to Sports Illustrated’s John Shipley, Jacksonville Jaguars RB James Robinson is expected to have a large role in the offense upon his return from a torn Achilles and HC Doug Pederson views him as a three-down back. (John Shipley, Sports Illustrated)
Robinson tore his Achilles in December and is still in the rehabilitation process, but recent reports have indicated that the team expects him to be able to practice at some point during training camp. Robinson was a fantasy darling in 2020, going from an undrafted free agent to a fantasy RB1 in his rookie season. Robinson functioned as an RB2 while healthy last season while playing within an Urban Meyer offense that struggled to sustain drives, but the hiring of HC Doug Pederson along with multiple additions via free agency provides hope that the Jaguars’ offense can return to some level of respectability. Robinson will be competing for snaps with highly touted 2nd year RB Travis Etienne who will be making his NFL debut in 2022 after missing last season with a torn ACL. Fantasy managers should closely monitor how the team is utilizing both Robinson and Etienne once both are healthy and on the practice field.
By Sam Ryner
James Robinson 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
James Robinson operated as the pseudo bellcow for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2021 after Travis Etienne went down with a preseason injury. He posted inconsistent fantasy production as the RB24 overall and in points per game in 14 games amid horrible usage deployed by the 2021 Jags coaching staff.
His touches varied from 21-to-2 depending on the week, so he was nearly impossible to project in fantasy. It’s possible that 2022 presents a similar issue with Robinson as Etienne makes his professional debut.
But JRob does deserve credit for maintaining efficient play whenever he got opportunities last season, finishing 11th in yards after contact per attempt (3.3) and 8th in red-zone touchdowns (8).
His real hurdle for fantasy relevance besides fending off a 2022 first-round running back is attempting a speedy recovery from a torn Achilles suffered in late December. He will be unable to participate in OTAs, while his backfield counterpart is full-go as the team installs the new-look Doug Pederson offense. The former undrafted free agent is not guaranteed to be ready for Week 1.
It’s hard to envision Robinson being anything more than a speculative zero-RB target, with hopes that he can recapture 2020 form if given the volume. However, Pederson’s track record of deploying a multitude of backs does make it seem like Robinson will be a 1B to Etienne’s 1A, with his clearest path to fantasy relevance coming through goal-line opportunities.
– Andrew Erickson
Travis Etienne Jr. 2022 Fantasy Football Outlook
Travis Etienne Jr. was a standout college football running back for the Clemson Tigers from 2017 to 2020 and was selected by the Jaguars in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft -25th overall. However, his rookie season was cut short by a preseason Lisfranc injury. Some NFL personnel reported that Etienne could have come back towards the end of the year had the Jaguars been in playoff contention instead of being the league’s laughing stock.
Etienne is expected to be fully cleared by training camp, giving him a leg up on the RB1 role as the Jacksonville Jaguars install a new offense under new head coach Doug Pederson. With James Robinson attempting to come back from a torn Achilles injury suffered on December 26th, Etienne figures to be the featured back during this spring/summer.
Do not forget what this guy did at Clemson with Trevor Lawrence (QB – JAC) as his quarterback. During his final season as a Clemson Tiger, he led the country in receiving yards and ranked second in receptions among running backs. Etienne also racked up the most rushing attempts of 20-plus yards (40) from 2018 to 2019 while only carrying the ball 20-plus times once since 2018.
– Andrew Erickson
2022 Consensus Best Ball Rankings
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