When the dust settled on the 2020 fantasy draft season, one thing was clear - the fantasy community valued Allen Robinson. ESPN’s cumulative rankings placed him tied for 10th with Adam Thielen, ahead of Amari Cooper, Odell Beckham Jr., and JuJu Smith-Schuster. PFF ranked Robinson 11th, sandwiched between Keenan Allen and Stefon Diggs. The fact he was ranked with Keenan Allen should come as no surprise, as Robinson mentioned Allen during my interview with him last week.
The switch from Mitchell Trubisky to Nick Foles worried some. As the story goes, Trubisky leaned on Robinson, locking in and peppering him with targets. A more experience QB like Foles would distribute the targets and Robinson’s numbers would suffer.
Not so fast, my friends.
Robinson’s targets have actually increased since the switch from Mitch, from 9 in both the Lions and Giants games to 13, 10, and a whopping 16 on Thursday night with Foles under center. What’s even more encouraging is the catch percentage and yards after catch numbers.
With Trubisky (and Chase Daniel), Robinson caught 58.5% and 63.6% of targets in 2018 and 2019 respectively. That’s better than his time in Jacksonville with Blake Bortles but overall, not a great number. In the first two weeks of the season, that catch percentage was sub-50% (8/18), a bad place to operate. In the last three contests, Robinson has caught 27 passes on 39 targets (69.2%). A ~70% catch rate going forward would be a nice boost to the stat line.
We only have two plus games of Foles to Robinson in action, but it’s clear that the accuracy of Foles can help Robinson in one area that he under-performed in 2019 - yards after catch or YAC. When I dove into Robinson’s stats this off season, it was clear that he was lagging behind in YAC compared to his contemporaries. My hypothesis was that it had more to do with possession-style routes and throws that, while catchable, didn’t allow for him to catch and run as they were not well-placed. Foles giving Robinson a chance to make plays after the catch will also boost the stat line.
Finally, Nick Foles should help aid Robinson in one area that Trubisky struggled in - deep throws. We’ve already seen a big-time throw to Anthony Miller in the Falcons game and he’s looked Robinson’s way down the sidelines multiple times already. I would expect Robinson to get 1-2 looks per week to make splash plays down the field.
What does all this mean for your fantasy football squad? I see Robinson finishing comfortably as a WR1 (about the top 10-12 WRs) and is someone that you should never sit on your fantasy bench. In fact, it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he finishes as a top 5 WR. Unless you took him in the first round of your fantasy drafts, you’re likely going to make a profit.
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