Allen Robinson a Fantasy Football regression candidate?
After an injury cut his rookie season short, Allen Robinson emerged as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL in 2015 – can he keep it up in 2016?
The Jacksonville Jaguars chose two wide receivers in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft to pair with their first round pick Blake Bortles with the hope they would develop into long-term fixtures on the offensive side of the ball. While the first of the picks, Marqise Lee, has struggled to stay on the field and make an impact, the latter of the picks has become one of the most effective playmakers in the league.
Coming off a 1,400 yard, 14 touchdown season, expectations are reasonably high for Allen Robinson. The second year receiver showed the ability to make big plays down the field and consistently get open against top-level cornerbacks. He and Bortles were the centerpiece of the staggering growth made by the offense.
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While the production was impressive, the argument could be made the Jaguars padded a lot of those offensive statistics trying to play catch-up. The defense was an abject disaster and constantly put the Jaguars down by multiple scores.
Pro Football Focus is a big fan of Robinson, but they think the star receiver will see his numbers go down in 2016:
"Robinson is coming off a massive breakout season where he posted 1,400 yards and 14 scores, and finished as fantasy’s No. 4 wide receiver. ESPN Jaguars reported Mike DiRocco thinks it will be “tough for him to duplicate those numbers,” and we’re inclined to agree here at PFF.Robinson led the league last year with 47 deep-ball targets of 20-plus yards downfield, accounting for a whopping 33.1 percent of his total. He caught a position-high 19 of these targets for 672 yards and three scores. While that was fantastic production, there’s an argument to be made that Robinson’s numbers were padded a bit by a Jags team that lacked a run game and tended to play from behind due to deficiencies on the defensive side of the ball.Jacksonville addressed the run game with the offseason addition of Chris Ivory, and their defense should be improved with free agent signee Malik Jackson, redshirt second-year man Dante Fowler, and rookies Myles Jack and Jalen Ramsey. While they’re by no means a Super Bowl contender, this Jags team looks to be improved from last year’s iteration. That likely means less of Blake Bortles having to push the ball downfield to Robinson and Allen Hurns. Don’t get me wrong. Robinson is still a WR1, but it’s going to be very difficult for him to get close to last year’s lofty production."
I don’t disagree with PFF and I actually think it would overall be a good indicator for the team if Robinson’s production goes down. With the defense playing much better and keeping games closer, the Jaguars will be more inclined to run the ball and take less chances down the field.
Robinson’s numbers might not be as impressive in 2016, but he’s still going to play a big role, particularly in the redzone. Expect the young receiver to still look like one of the best in the NFL regardless of the stats.