Robinson is expected to be the No. 1 running back in Washington, and he's worth drafting as a No. 3 Fantasy running back/flex with a mid-round pick. Robinson had a quality rookie campaign in 2022, especially after overcoming being the victim of a shooting prior to the start of the season. He missed the first four games, but he scored at least 10 PPR points in six of his final 11 outings. He'll compete with Antonio Gibson for playing time, but Robinson should lead the Commanders in carries, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns if he stays healthy. Where Robinson could struggle is the passing game, as he only had nine catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets in his rookie campaign. Still, Robinson has the potential for 250 carries, and he could end up as a weekly Fantasy starter in all leagues based on his rushing prowess alone. Don't be surprised if Robinson ends up as a top-20 Fantasy running back in 2023.
Robinson was a true feel-good story last year, returning from multiple gunshot wounds to lead Washington in rushing.
There’s optimism that Sam Howell can improve this team’s QB play, but we’re not betting on this being a top offense. RB Antonio Gibson also remains on the roster to take a good chunk of the receiving work.
Those factors limit Robinson to the RB3 range in drafts.
What We Learned Last YearWashington selected Robinson in Round 3 as the RB6.He appeared in 12 games as a rookie.Robinson underwent surgery in August following multiple gunshot wounds to his lower body. He made a stunning recovery, missing only four games.Robinson sat out Week 18 with a knee/thigh injury.In his NFL debut, Robinson led Washington in carries with nine.Going forward, Robinson was able to earn some heavy workloads. The ‘Bama product saw 17+ carries seven times, with all but one coming alongside a healthy Antonio Gibson.You can point to the early-season injury, lost practice time, and a poor QB situation, but Robinson didn’t turn his volume into fantasy-friendly production.He finished as a top-12 PPR RB only once. He had three top-24 finishes.Among 33 RBs with 150+ carries, he ranked T-29th in yards per carry, 29th in yards after contact per attempt, and 24th in elusive rating.Perhaps most crushing: Robinson earned only 12 targets. He sat 77th among RBs in routes run.Washington’s O-line needed work, too. They finished 19th in run block win rate; 23rd in PFF run-blocking grade.What to Expect in 2023Washington added one RB in the NFL draft but not until Round 6 (Chris Rodriguez). Like Robinson, he brings a power-back skill set. He’s a longshot for a Year 1 role, though.Eric Bieniemy joined on as the OC, replacing Scott Turner.He’s spent the past 10 years in Kansas City: five as the RBs coach, five as the OC.Working in a collaborative play-calling role with HC Andy Reid, the Chiefs offense ranked top 6 in points and yards in each of Bieniemy’s seasons as OC.Chiefs RBs ranked sixth, 20th, 12th, seventh, and eighth in yards per carry.His lead backs over that stretch: Kareem Hunt, Damien Williams, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams, and Isiah Pacheco.Ben Standig of The Athletic suggests that the team might implement more RB screens. Most opportunities figure to go to Antonio Gibson, though.Gibson was the subject of trade rumors in 2022 but returns for the final year of his rookie deal.Washington’s offense remains one with more questions than answers.Sam Howell is the heavy favorite to start Week 1. But he saw the field for only one Week 18 start as a rookie.The O-line looks average. They at least injected the unit with fresh talent in LG Nick Gates and RT Andrew Wylie.
Robinson is entering his second NFL season following a solid rookie campaign in which he piled up 214 touches in 12 games. It was an impressive comeback story after the third-round pick was shot in the leg just weeks prior to the season opener. Robinson is likely to split backfield duties with Antonio Gibson and we saw that dynamic in play for six full games last season. Robinson handled 50% of the carries (17.5 per game) and 5% of the targets (1.3), which allowed 11.9 fantasy PPG (24th among RBs). Robinson (6-2, 225 pounds) is one of the league's biggest backs and will be busy on early downs and at the goal line, but he's unlikely to be much of a factor as a receiver. As long as Gibson is in the mix, Robinson figures to max out as a flex option.