Last year’s struggles with rookie Justin Fields and Matt Nagy calling the shots left much to be desired. It seemed like Allen Robinson’s career was doomed to forever drudge through difficult and subpar supporting casts.
But, the man will only be 29 this season, and his career path is now paralleling that of one of his new teammates: Matthew Stafford.
For some of us, we’ve gone through multiple major life changes during the time Stafford spent 12 years drudging through his tenure with the Lions. As soon as he saw a change of scenery in LA, he saw a QB5 finish and a Super Bowl ring.
Don’t underestimate the difficulty A-Rob’s had to sift through. We all could see it, he could see it, and we all saw others benefit from Stafford’s relocation. Cooper Kupp‘s 25.9 PPR points-per-game was the highest of any WR, outpacing Davante Adams by 4.4 points.
2022 WILL BE ROBINSON’S BEST OFFENSIVE SITUATION AND IT’S NOT CLOSE
Rams coach Sean McVay‘s instant transformation of LA’s offense isn’t a secret, but it’s worth repeating again. In 2017, he took over a team that was dead last in points-per-game the season prior. Under his watch, the Rams’ offense finished third, second, 10th, 22nd, and sixth.
In 2018, even as Todd Gurley finished as the RB1 thanks to a 15-percent target share, McVay schemed an offense that could support three WR1s. For the seven games that Kupp, Brandin Cooks, and Robert Woods all played at least 42% percent of the snaps, they produced at a rate that would’ve made them finish the year as the PPR WR9, WR10, and WR12, respectively.
But in 2020, the year the Rams’ were 22nd in PPG and their offense had been figured out. Defenses adjusted, Gurley’s glory days were gone, and it looked like Jared Goff wasn’t the guy to rise above the circumstance.
They switched Goff for Stafford and the Rams were right back into the conversation of offensive juggernauts. And that’s even after losing Cam Akers and Woods to injury most of last season.
A-Rob arrives in a situation where Van Jefferson never cemented his case as the Rams’ next WR2 after Woods was lost for the season. Odell Beckham Jr. caught on quickly when he arrived mid-season, but his ACL tear during the Super Bowl will likely keep him out until November — if he even re-signs with LA.
A MATCH MADE IN FANTASY HEAVEN
Right now, the job is A-Rob’s to lose. Last offseason the Rams traded away Jared Goff, who in 2020 was 37th of 44 quarterbacks who threw at least 100 passes in air yards-per-attempt at 3.7.
They traded for Stafford, who in 2021 ranked first out of 42 quarterbacks in that same metric at 5.0.
For as remarkable as Kupp’s season was, in 2021 he was only 93rd out of 148 receivers who caught at least 10 balls in depth-per-reception.
Those deep targets have to go somewhere, and Stephania Bell with ESPN spelled it out nicely:
“It’s fair to say that despite the ultimate success of Matthew Stafford’s 2021 season, he wasn’t exceptionally precise when throwing the ball downfield (27th in deep pass accuracy). Enter Robinson, who dropped just one (one!) deep pass on his 128 deep targets in Chicago. He’s a player who will win 50-50 balls and is still in his prime”
BUY THE HYPE ON A-ROB
He’s trending up into being a fantastic WR2 in redraft leagues, a perfect buy candidate for dynasty contenders, and similarly, a perfect sell candidate for dynasty teams who find themselves in a rebuild.
Robinson currently comes in as The Wolf’s WR19 (+11 vs ECR) in our 2022 Rankings & Big Board, and the WR35 (-2 vs ECR) in our recent Dynasty Rankings.