Written by Mikey Ostrowski
There is absolutely no secret when it comes to how I feel about Allen Robinson. I have had him in my top five (and even top three at some points) over the course of this entire offseason for wide receivers and think that he demands significantly more attention from fantasy football players everywhere.
The only two players that Robinson has been behind in my rankings since the end of 2019 are Michael Thomas and Davante Adams, who have both been locked in as my top-two receivers for 2020. At one point, Robinson sat only behind those guys… and yes, I do genuinely feel like there was a legitimate argument for this.
Over the last month or so, I have moved Robinson down (slightly), as he now sits at WR5 just behind Chris Godwin and Julio Jones. I have been dragged by many who think that Robinson isn’t even a WR1 for 2020 and I have grown very used to defending my thoughts here. So why do I have him so much higher than the consensus? Let me tell you…
First and foremost, I have to point something out… Robinson is entering his seventh season in the NFL and is only 26 years old (he’ll turn 27 just prior to the start of the 2020 season). There is a narrative out there that Robinson is old and his best football days are behind him, however, a typical wide receiver will be in their prime from age 27 through 30 or 31… this means that A-Rob is just getting started.
Robinson came to Chicago in 2018, after his final year (or should I say final game) in Jacksonville came to an abrupt end due to injury. Prior to being injured, Robinson managed to see over 300 targets over the span of two seasons, while racking up 2,283 yards and 20 touchdowns. There was never any secret; this man can ball.
A-Rob’s first season with Chicago was less than stellar (then again, he was playing with both a rookie quarterback and a completely new offense) as he racked up 55 receptions on just 94 targets for 754 yards and a mere four touchdowns. This season had planted a bit of doubt in the mind of Robinson fans, however, it is worth noting that he had only played a full 12 games in that season, and was actually on pace to break the 1,000 yard mark.
Last season was a bit of a different story. Robinson erupted for 98 receptions, 1,147 yards and seven trips to the end zone. These numbers were good enough for Robinson to finish as the overall WR8 on the year. Looks good huh? What if I told you that these numbers could have been ever better?
That’s right, had Robinson kept up with his career averages with yards per reception (2019 was his lowest Y/R since his rookie year), he could have finished with over 1,300 yards. Hell, even more yards than that are definitely within the realm of possibilities (he went 17.5 yards per reception back in 2015 on 80 catches).
In other words, there is historical data that proves Robinson is a very special player. But what about the situation? Understandably so, his situation is the biggest red flag to fantasy players everywhere; but it really shouldn’t be.
Robinson proved that he can be an exceptional asset to your fantasy squad even with Mitch Trubisky slinging the rock in 2019. Trubisky was underwhelming over the course of last season, yet it never seemed to matter for Robinson. He was hyper targeted, and given the fact that Chicago has done virtually nothing for their receiving corps, Robinson should be in line for another 140-150 looks in 2020. His reception percentage has been the highest it has been in his entire career since entering Chicago, which leads me to believe that we should see another 90 receptions this year, at the very least.
Even if Nick Foles takes over the starting role (he won’t), Robinson should be fine… in fact, he might do even better. Seriously, the narrative where Foles can’t support a legit WR1 is just… not true. Sure, we have a small sample size to work with, but there is nothing in recent years that would suggest that he would struggle.
Back in 2018, Foles took over for the Eagles and started week 16 through the Super Bowl. Alshon Jeffery finished the last two games of 2018 with eight receptions, 141 yards and a score (11.20 and 16.90 fantasy points). He kept up with this pace in the playoffs, averaging 5.5 receptions and 72 yards a game (so a 16-game pace would be 76 receptions, 1,144 yards and four scores). In 2019, Foles started three games for the Jacksonville Jaguars, and in those three games, their WR1 (D.J. Chark) had some quite impressive numbers. In the three games that Chark had Foles throwing him the rock, he had snagged 17 balls for 288 yards and three touchdowns. That pace is literally 90 receptions, over 1,500 yards and 16 scores… so that narrative about Foles’ #1 receiver? Yeah, throw it away.
So, we’ve covered the talent, we’ve covered the situation… anything else? Ahh, yes, the lack of competition! I’m trying to think of some other receivers that have seen tremendous volume and success with an absolute lack of competition on their teams for targets and I just can’t… well, I guess there’s Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, Mike Evans (pre Chris Godwin), 2019 Julian Edelman… but hey, who cares about those guys anyway?
Fun fact for you… Robinson’s career high in receptions is higher than Mike Evans’ and Robinson’s career high in receiving yards is higher than Davante Adams’. Meanwhile, Robinson has just as much talent and just as little competition as these guys do. The only difference? Robinson has been doing this with awful quarterbacks his entire career.
The fact that Robinson is slipping into the 4th and even the 5th rounds in drafts everywhere is an absolute sin. He’s got all of the potential in the world to finish top five at the receiver position and is my favorite dark-horse candidate to lead the entire position in fantasy points. Whether it’s Trubisky or Foles slinging him the rock in 2020, Robinson should put up a show every single week… I mean hey, what kind of guy won’t give it all he’s got in a contract year? (that’s right, even more incentive for Robinson to have an absolutely massive year)
I cannot stress this enough… Allen Robinson WILL be a top-five fantasy receiver in 2020. He balled out in 2019, and he’s going to put it into overdrive this year. I have never been this excited about an underrated fantasy receiver, but I can assure you that he won’t go unnoticed for much longer. 2020 is the year of Allen Robinson!
Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as we discuss our top double-digit ADP targets for the 2020 fantasy season!