Bijan Robinson Needs to be the First Overall Pick in Fantasy Football

AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Bijan Robinson Needs to be the First Overall Pick in Fantasy Football

Fantasy Football

Bijan Robinson Needs to be the First Overall Pick in Fantasy Football


AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

Bijan Robinson needs to be considered as the number one overall pick in fantasy football in 2023. It’s not just about him being a generational talent or the fact that he’s going to run first team. He is the perfect prototype of a running back for fantasy football value.

The biggest comparison I can make with Robinson is Saquon Barkley. He was drafted second overall in 2018 by the New York Giants, but very few had faith in him making a name for himself in his rookie year. They saw his domination at Penn State, but for some reason, they couldn’t see it happening at the NFL level. Not because of Barkley himself, because the talent was evident, but they didn’t think a team like the Giants would give Barkley all the tools to excel at the NFL level. 

When it came to the fantasy football season that year, Barkley had an ADP near the end of the first round, but few took the chance earlier. By the end of the season, he ended as the number one overall running back and the number one overall non-quarterback asset in fantasy football that year. 

Robinson was drafted eighth overall to the Atlanta Falcons, in an even better situation than Barkley was in New York. The Falcons are a bad team, which makes everyone scratch their head as to why they went with Robinson so early when they had other needs to address. This shows how committed they are not only to their offense by adding yet another talented first round offensive weapon, but draft capital tells you a lot, so it is evident they have committed to Robinson as well. 

When you look at the Falcons run game last year, they had three running backs that averaged at least 4.8 yards per rushing attempt, which is a testament to how good their offensive line is. This is something the Giants never really had when Barkley first came in. Tyler Allgeier and Cordarrelle Patterson were the main guys in the backfield and both had fantastic seasons. Allgeier rushed for 1,000 yards and three touchdowns off 210 attempts, and Patterson rushed for nearly 700 yards on 144 carries with eight touchdowns. With Robinson coming in, Allgeier is the back that gets really hurt, as he’s going to move to a behind-the-scenes role in the backfield. As for Patterson, I see him more as a change of pace back moving forward that will give the Falcons some extra explosiveness when Robinson is resting. 

The Falcons also didn’t really use their running backs in the passing game, but with Robinson coming in, it seems like things are expected to change. He’s a fantastic specimen in all aspects of the game, and he’ll be a key factor in the passing game. All three downs will run through Robinson in a very high-powered run heavy Arthur Smith offense. He’s shown his commitment to the run game, and he’s shown his commitment to Robinson. 

Being one of the best prospects coming in tells me that the Falcons are ready to run their offense through him. He is going to get an extremely high workload on top of his talent, and with the workload that is expected from him, it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t have the type of year we’ve seen so many rookie running backs before him have. Even if the worry is that the Falcons are a bad team, so Robinson will see less scoring opportunities, the way I think about it, which is the same way I thought about Saquon coming in, is that Robinson is so good that he’ll be able to create his own scoring opportunities. Since their game will run through him and even though he is the type of back that would still excel on limited touches, with the amount of work he is expected to receive, he’ll have so many chances to create those scoring opportunities for him by himself. 

He is everything you want in a top draft pick, but comes with the stigma of inexperience at the running back position. We see the pattern of rookie running backs excelling and if you believe in the generational talent that is Bijan Robinson, you’ll have no worry to take him first overall. 


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