James Robinson Fantasy Outlook: Should you draft Jaguars’ RB amid injury concerns in 2022?

Since joining the NFL as an undrafted free agent, Robinson has been one of the more consistent running backs for fantasy football owners. In his first two seasons, the 24-year-old RB has 15 touchdowns on the ground and nearly had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing campaigns. Robinson had to sit out last season due to a left Achilles injury in December and when you combine that with the return of Travis Etienne you have big questions about where Robinson should be drafted and ranked in 2022.

In the past, an Achilles tendon tear often ran out the back for a whole year. However, it looks like Robinson could be on the field when the Jaguars open the regular season on Sept. 11. Below we take a look at Fantasy’s prospects and where he stands in ADP.

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2022 Fantasy Cheat Sheet

James Robinson injury update: How long will Jaguar’s RB be out?

Robinson suffered a torn left Achilles injury in December that looked like his 2022 season was in jeopardy. However, after Rams running back Cam Akers tore his right ACL last July and returned for Week 18, the recovery process was clearly accelerated.

According to Sports Illustrated’s John Shipley, 24-year-old Robinson took charge of first-team representatives at training camp last week. Additionally, Robinson wasn’t placed on the Active/PUP list in July, which seems to indicate we’ll see the boys run back when the regular season starts on September 11th. When healthy, Robinson has shown he can be a three-down running back. However, it will be interesting to see how much workload he gets at the start of the season, especially with a healthy Travis Etienne Jr. Etienne missed his entire 2021 rookie season with a left Lisfranc sprain.

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James Robinson Fantasy Ranking and ADP 2022

Heading into the 2022 season, SN Fantasy Robinson ranks 51st among RBs in standard formats and 55th among PPR formats. Last season, Robinson only had six games with 15 or more carries, as former head coach Urban Meyer handed the ball to veteran running back Carlos Hyde far more than expected.

Luckily, Robinson and the Jags offense don’t have to worry about Meyer and will have new head coach Doug Pederson running the show. As a rookie in the ’20s, Robinson was a playmaker on the ground and in the passing game (1,070 rushing yards and 344 receiving yards). He also produced 10 total touchdowns, making him one of the surprise stories in fantasy football this season. Robinson had 10 games with double-digit fantasy points.

FantasyPros has Robinson’s ADP 110th overall and RB39 based on his return from a torn left Achilles and the expected emergence of Etienne, who can be a weapon in the passing game. Last season, we saw Akers look nothing like himself in the postseason, having returned from injury within six months, averaging just 2.6 yards per carry. However, he has handled a heavy load, touching the ball 75 times in four games. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Robinson started slowly, but again, Akers’ relative staying power after the return bodes well.

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James Robinson’s 2022 fantasy outlook

Despite picking up 76 fewer carries under Urban Meyer last season, Robinson still found a way to field six games of 10 or more fantasy points in standard leagues. Robinson had an excellent 4.7 yards-per-carry average in 2021, which put him in the same category as Dalvin Cook and Aaron Jones. He should be able to pick up where he left off this season with a more offense-focused head coach at Pederson. Pederson always finds a way to get his running backs on offense.

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Last season, Robinson scored a good portion of his fantasy points inside the 20 yards with eight rushing touchdowns, which was good for ninth place in the NFL (tied with Derrick Henry). Robinson also took 42.1 percent of Jacksonville’s red zone rushing attempts. It’s unclear how touches will be split this year but Robinson has some size over Etienne so he could continue his goal-line role.

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If Robinson can shrug off the rust from dealing with a torn left Achilles, there’s no reason he can’t top his ADP. Pederson said in June he sees Robinson as a three-down running back, but with Etienne reportedly “starring” at training camp, that situation is in the air. Of course, we like Etienne a lot better early in the season, but Robinson is an essential handcuff even for non-Etienne owners. If Robinson is healthier and more explosive than we’re expecting, he’ll be a steal in the mid-rounds.

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