RB - JAC
Per Jaguars' beat writer John Shipley, second-year RB James Robinson "will be the hammer" of the offense and could stay on the field for extended drives.
For what it's worth, despite not being a player selected by new head coach Urban Meyer, he had this to say about the second-year back, "James Robinson is one of my favorite guys. I can’t name a harder worker right now on our team, and that started in January all the way through June now. So, I love that guy." From a fantasy perspective, the issue isn't whether or not Robinson is going to play on early downs or even see 15 carries per game. If it were up to the coaching staff, history suggests Urban Meyer and Darrell Bevell both want to run the football. The issue is how many targets Robinson sees with Travis Etienne now in town and if veteran running back Carlos Hyde will steal any valuable goal-line touches. While it's possible Robinson operates as the primary back a majority of the time, his fantasy value could be severely limited with Etienne taking on the passing-down work and Hyde siphoning some valuable touches throughout the game and down at the goal-line. Robinson should be considered a low-end RB2 or high-end RB3 this season, just realize he could lose work as the season progresses depending on how quickly Etienne picks up the offense.
According to Jaguars beat reporter Tony Smith, second-year RB James Robinson will be “heavily involved” and see “most, if not all” the goal line work in 2021.
Smith joined Michael F. Florio on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio Saturday morning to discuss how he viewed the landscape at the running back position heading into 2021. He mentioned that first round pick RB Travis Etienne is an explosive playmaker that will be the primary 3rd down and pass-catching back this season. Smith also noted that Robinson would see “most, if not all” the goal line work. Robinson had 10 total touchdowns on 240 rush attempts and 60 targets last season, a large workload for any running back, let alone a UDFA. When Etienne was drafted, it became clear Robinson wouldn’t shoulder as large of a load in 2021, however, it does sound like he will remain the team’s primary early down back. With the offense getting a major upgrade at the quarterback position in Trevor Lawrence, we could see more opportunities for Robinson to punch it into the end zone this season, adding to his seven rushing touchdown total his rookie season. Just don’t expect him to see another 60 targets this season with Etienne in town. He could however still be a viable back end RB2 if he gets as much work as beat reporters believe he will based on early indications in camp. Etienne on the other hand is a much more viable option as a high end RB3 in PPR leagues, but may possess a higher ceiling than Robinson, especially if the Jaguars are playing from behind in games.
New Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer told reporters after the first-round selection of Clemson RB Travis Etienne on Thursday that he expects James Robinson and Carlos Hyde to be the “1-2 punch” with Etienne operating as the third-down back.
It’s hard to imagine the Jaguars drafted Etienne only to be utilized on third downs, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility he’s utilized in such a way his rookie season with two capable running backs in Robinson and Hyde operating on first and second downs. As for Robinson, it looks like his role is going to decrease from a season ago. He averaged 17.1 carries and 4.3 targets per game his rookie season. With Hyde and Etienne both now in town, expect those numbers to take a significant hit. What the exact split looks like is yet to be seen, but Robinson is now looking more like a low-end RB2 at best after the Jaguars spent a first round pick on Etienne.
Jaguars GM Trent Baalke is looking to add to his RB corps this offseason.
"We have to add some explosive to that room as well and we have to be able to take some of the carries off of James," Baalke said. "You can only ride a horse so long." The magic of Robinson's rookie season for fantasy purposes was that he never came off the field last year. Therefore, Baalke's comments throw some cold water on Robinson's value entering his sophomore campaign. Best viewed as an RB2 for now, we'll simply have to see what Jacksonville does to address the position this offseason.
Jaguars coach Doug Morrone says RB James Robinson (ankle) won’t play in Week 17 against the Colts.
This was to be expected as Jacksonville has nothing to play for and won’t want to risk further injury to Robinson. The undrafted free agent turned out to be one of the best rookies in football this year, especially for fantasy purposes. His 2021 value hinges on how much competition the team brings in over the offseason, but expect Robinson to be an early-round selection in early drafts.
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