It’s always hard coming to terms with avoiding someone in your fantasy drafts that carried your team to a championship the previous year. In 2016, Allen Robinson is that player whose skyrocketing value makes him nearly undraftable.
We all know what Robinson did in 2015, 80 catches for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns. He only had six games without a touchdown, but still posted 80 yards or more in four of those games without a touchdown. Simply put, he was amazing and Blake Bortles consistently forced the ball his way for big plays and red zone scores.
So, if Robinson was so good in 2015 then why am I so low on him this year?
1. The Jaguars spent a lot of money to upgrade their defense and even brought in Chris Ivory which could greatly slower the pace in which they play. Last year, when the Jaguars were trailing, Robinson put up 57 catches for 1,045 and 11 touchdowns.
2. Piggybacking my previous point, Blake Bortles basically did all his damage in garbage time or when the Jaguars were down. Twenty-nine of Bortles’ 35 touchdowns came when the Jaguars were down and 14 of his touchdowns were made in the fourth quarter. The Jaguars will not be as bad in 2016 and they will likely try to wear defenses down with T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory in the event that the game is close or they are ahead.
3. Even if the Jaguars are down in a lot of games in 2016, you just have to plan on natural regression and the possibility of the ball being spread out more. We all know Allen Hurns by now, but Marqise Lee is a weird entity that just hasn’t put it together but, if healthy, could get plenty more looks as a third receiver. Lastly, Julius Thomas is too much of a mismatch to only get 10 targets in the red zone, like he did in 2015, and could severely cut into Robinson’s touchdown production.
Which Receivers Should you Take Instead of Robinson in the First or Second Round?
On top of all those reasons, there are too many other good receivers with better outlooks that would be better picks late in the first or sometime in the second.
For instance, Robinson and A.J. Green, according to Fantasypros, seem to be in a battle for the consensus sixth-ranked receiver. With all that Cincinnati has lost this offseason at receiver, I don’t see any way A.J. Green doesn’t sniff 170 targets and there is no one to even challenge him for targets other than Tyler Eifert.
Keenan Allen is another receiver I’d take over Robinson. In five of the eight games that Allen played in, he was targeted 10, 13, 15, 17 and 18 times. It’s obviously hard to imagine Allen replicating those numbers in 2016, but when given the opportunity of two similarly ranked receivers I’m usually going to go with the guy I expect to get more targets.
Lastly, I’d probably take Alshon Jeffery over Robinson but I wouldn’t necessarily love either. Like many, I’m a big fan of Alshon Jeffery, when he’s on his game and healthy he is as good as any receiver in the NFL. Unfortunately, when you draft Jeffery, you’re going to spend your Sundays waking up at 5 in the morning freaking out about him being a game-time decision. The one thing in Jeffery’s favor for 2016 is the fact he will likely play out the season under the franchise tag, so him staying healthy and putting up big numbers should be extremely important to him during his trek for a huge payday.