Is Falcons rookie Bijan Robinson a top-five fantasy RB?
Now that the 2023 NFL draft has come and gone, teams are gearing up for the start of training camp and organized team activities. Additionally, fans are gearing up for their offseason fantasy football drafts.
The Falcons selected running Bijan Robinson in the first round, and by doing so, they put themselves back on the fantasy radar. In a traditional 10-player league, Robinson is projected as ESPN’s No. 6 rated player and fourth-rated fantasy running back going into the 2023 NFL season.
While this projection may seem high for a rookie joining a backfield which already features a 1,000-yard rusher, running backs can often make or break your fantasy season. This is because the league is shifting away from that traditional bell-cow running back.
Many teams don’t even have a clear starter, so it helps to target players who can both run and catch the ball out of the backfield. Robinson is definitely someone who can do more than just carry the football.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has reiterated that the rookie will be used in a multitude of ways this season, but is the former Texas star worthy of a first-round selection?
Let’s check out ESPN’s 2023 RB rankings to better understand the kind of expectations Robinson is up against this season.
ESPN Running Back Rankings
Robinson production outlook for 2023
Robinson will already have to share the backfield with two other running backs — Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson — which could hinder his early-season rushing totals, but the Falcons run the ball enough to where Robinson should get his fair share of touches.
However, when looking at the number of receptions that Atlanta’s running backs totaled in 2022, ESPN could be overvaluing Robinson’s production as a receiver. Cordarrelle Patterson only got 21 receptions last season, and he was targeted the most among running backs on the team. This was a big drop from the 52 he managed in 2021.
Atlanta only managed 24 pass attempts per game last season, and with other players, like Kyle Pitts and Drake London, in the mix, it’s tough to count on any Falcons player in the first round. Nonetheless, Robinson will surely go early based on his potential alone.
If you draft him, just make sure to have patience early in the season.
Falcons updated 53-man roster
Looking at the #Falcons updated roster following the team's recent signings https://t.co/bXUGI1jAhA
— The Falcons Wire (@TheFalconsWire) May 14, 2023