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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: James Robinson No. 71

The Jaguars starting RB comes in at 71 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson (30) carries the ball past Tennessee Titans free safety Kevin Byard (31) during the second half at TIAA Bank Field. Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

James Robinson burst onto the scene last season as an undrafted free agent. He rushed 240 times for 1,070 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 49 passes for 344 yards and three more touchdowns. That helped him to a RB7 finish in PPR leagues despite missing the last two games of the season. Off season additions to the Jaguars backfield could hurt his production this season, but how much?

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 71, James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars, RB

The Jaguars should be better this season with Trevor Lawrence at the helm, but Robinson’s workload is hard to project in his second season. Jacksonville added Travis Etienne in the first round of the draft and Carlos Hyde in free agency. Robinson did nothing his rookie year to push him out of the lead spot and Etienne is supposedly considered more of a receiving back to start his career, but the range of outcomes for Robinson are wide.

Competition for touches

Etienne and Hyde are the main competition for touches. Etienne has the most upside of the group and also has first round draft capital. does that push Etienne to the starting job from Day 1? It’s possible. Etienne is the guy Urban Meyer drafted and Robinson is the from the old guard. The good news for Etienne is that Meyer has said that he sees Etienne as the third-down back this season. That would keep Robinson in the lead role and the goal-line back. He proved he could excel in that case last season.

Team offensive expectations

The Jaguars are likely going to improve offensively, but are still projected to be in the lower half of the win totals. Lawrence’s development will be the most important factor into how this offense will do in 2021. Urban Meyer is also a wild card in his first season as head coach. It does make for some shaky projecting.

What’s his upside?

Robinson’s upside isn’t as high as it was last season, but he is a very good running back between the numbers and should be the lead back on an improving team. He’s risky, but depending on his ADP, the upside is 1,000 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns.

What’s his downside?

Robinson will drop in my rankings if we start seeing Etienne getting first team reps over him in training camp. His downside is as just a small piece of a committee led by Etienne. Taking Meyer’s word for the moment that he’s the lead though.

Projection

200 attempts, 1,000 yards, 8 touchdowns — 25 receptions, 175 yards, 1 touchdown