Updated: Aug 24, 2020
The Chicago Bears were an all-around disappointment last year. Across the board nearly every member of the Bears’ offense saw their production fall off a cliff. I say nearly, because there’s only one player who was able to continue to build off the success of the 2018-19 season; and that was Allen Robinson.
AR12 did it all last year; accounting for 1/3 of the team’s total receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. He finished in the Top 10 in the NFL in targets (3rd), receptions (7th), 1st down receptions (6th), while also finishing Top 15 in receiving yards (14th) and receptions per game (10th). Did I mention he finished as a Top 10 WR in fantasy leagues last year? With stats like these, you would assume that Robinson would be a household name; especially in fantasy circles. Absurdly, he is not.
Whether he is putting up numbers with QB’s such as Matt McGloin (77 rec, 1018 yards, 11 TDs), Christian Hackenberg (97 rec, 1432 yards, 6 TDs), Blake Bortles (80 rec, 1400 yards, 14 TDs in his sophomore year), or Mitch Trubisky (see above stats from last year), Robinson has shown that he does not need an elite QB to be an elite WR. When looking at his 6th season (2019-20) in comparison to players he was likened to, Robinson outplayed all of them except Brandon Marshall (Anquan Boldin’s season was cut short that year). In fact, it seems as if Robinson’s career trajectory may be similar to Marshall’s despite having worse Quarterback play around him.
This year the Chicago Bears traded for Jaguars QB Nick Foles. But despite what may end up as a QB carousel in Chicago, there’s a real chance that AR12 will have a better season than he did last year. With the Bears releasing WR Taylor Gabriel and TE Trey Burton someone will need to pick up those 72 targets that will be lost. While Chicago signed Jimmy Graham, don’t expect the 33 year old to suddenly find the fountain of youth. This leaves the door open for Robinson to continue to dominate in the same fashion that he did last year. Already comparable to players like Michael Thomas and DeAndre Hopkins in the Red Zone, these extra targets set AR12 up nicely; because let’s face it, who else are the Bears going to be giving the ball to? When you have a player of Robinson’s caliber, you get the ball in his hands as much as possible. That’s why whether it is Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky throwing the ball, Robinson will be a WR1 this season.
Putting up efficient and elite production, Allen Robinson has somehow flown under the radar in many circles. When talking about the elite WR’s in the NFL Robinson’s name isn’t usually used to start it, nor finish it; and I think that’s criminal (though the narrative may be finally changing). If last year was any indication, expect 2020-21 to be an absurd year for the WR out of Penn State. Because if you haven’t noticed by now, Allen Robinson is the league’s most underrated WR1.
Prediction – WR6: 142 targets, 112 rec, 1300 yards, 11 TD
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