When the New York Jets acquired running back James Robinson from the Jacksonville Jaguars, they not only saved their own 2022 NFL season but also the seasons of all the fantasy football owners who have gradually felt themselves on the losing end of the Jacksonville backfield split. From a reality standpoint, the 5-2 Jets needed to immediately replace rookie Breece Hall, lost for the year with a torn ACL, if they hoped to continue their surprisingly strong season. On the fantasy side of things, Robinson owners were just about to drop him after he played just 17-percent of the snaps and failed to score a single fantasy point on Sunday. He, basically, lost his starting job to Travis Etienne and his fantasy value was in the toilet. It is a win for the Jets and it is a win for those who currently roster Robinson. For those who lost Breece Hall or were banking on Michael Carter seeing the lion’s share of touches in New York, it’s another loss for you to take.
What is James Robinson’s Value in Fantasy Football Now That He’s with the New York Jets?
It is pretty easy to see that Robinson’s fantasy value gets a much-needed boost. An undrafted free agent back in 2020, Robinson worked his way in as the lead back in Jacksonville, but when the team made the decision to draft both Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne in 2021, everyone knew his days in Jacksonville were numbered. Even when Robinson started the season strong, posting 263 all-purpose yards with four touchdowns over the first three games, everyone knew Etienne’s time would eventually come. Robinson’s snap share and carries have gradually been reduced since Week 4, resulting in a slow death of his fantasy value.
But now in New York, Robinson will serve as the lead running back for the Jets and his fantasy value is back on the rise. He’s a patient but explosive runner who has great vision and can thrive within the zone-blocking system used in this offense. Hall’s injury vacates about 20 touches from the backfield and Robinson should pick up the majority of them. Michael Carter will likely resume his pass-catching, third-down role in the immediate future, but if Robinson can excel in similar fashion to Hall, he too could push Carter aside.
The one caveat is the Jets offensive line. They just lost right tackle Alijah Vera-Tucker to a triceps injury for the rest of the season and also got word that left tackle George Fant, who was dealing with a knee injury, needed to be placed on IR and will miss at least the next four weeks. The Jets offensive line was already reshuffled following the Mekhi Becton injury, so there are going to be some potential issues moving forward as everyone gets familiar with their new roles.
Offensive line concerns aside, Robinson should be treated as a reliable RB2, with the potential of earning RB1 status once again. If he is not on your team, check your league’s waiver wire. This feels like one of those “empty the FAAB wallet” situations if he is available. As for Carter, he might have some short-term value in PPR formats as they won’t just hand over full-time carries to Robinson. The value should eventually lessen and you’ll be able to drop him, but for now, he just might be usable enough to fill in the holes caused by the bye weeks and other injuries.
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