The rich continue to get richer. While everyone was busy eating wings and watching college basketball on Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams swooped in to sign Allen Robinson on the second day of the new league year, bolstering their already-dynamic wide receiver room. My first reaction to the Robinson signing was the fact that he finally has a quarterback in Matthew Stafford that can maximize his talent. With Robinson joining the reigning Super Bowl champions, it drastically alters his outlook in fantasy football. But aside from Robinson, how does his signing affect the other wideouts in Los Angeles?
It was a forgettable year for Robinson in 2021 as he finished with career lows in receptions (38), receiving yards (410), and receiving touchdowns (1) despite suiting up in 12 games for the Chicago Bears. The veteran wideout looked out of sorts as the Bears tried to slowly incorporate rookie Justin Fields into their offense at the quarterback position. Robinson finished this past season as WR86 in fantasy football, scoring fewer points than guys like DeAndre Carter, Freddie Swain, and Jauan Jennings.
Even with Robinson’s woeful campaign in 2021, he’s still only 28 years old and he gets to play in a wide-receiver-friendly offense under Sean McVay. Robinson has three 1,000-yard seasons under his belt with Blake Bortles, Mitch Trubisky, and Nick Foles as his quarterbacks. With Stafford throwing him the ball, Robinson becomes an intriguing wide receiver in fantasy football as his scoring opportunities should be aplenty. While the window to trade for Robinson at a discount in dynasty leagues has closed, his rise in redraft leagues is more than warranted given the three-year, $45 million deal he signed with the Rams.
Don’t get it twisted. The Rams obviously loved the idea of bringing in Robinson, but Kupp is going to remain atop the pecking order when it comes to who Stafford will target the most. Kupp is coming off a historic campaign in 2021 in which he finishes as WR1, tallying 145 receptions, 1,947 receiving yards, and 16 touchdowns on 191 targets. While some may be concerned that Robinson takes targets away from Kupp, I think the presence of Robinson solidifies Kupp’s case to be the first wide receiver taken in redraft leagues.
Due to a season-ending injury to Robert Woods, Kupp saw the majority of attention from defenses for the majority of the past season. With another Pro Bowl wide receiver in the mix, defenses are going to have to pick their poison on who they want to try to contain on the Rams. Kupp is a maestro in the red zone and he’s extremely effective after the catch, making him a threat to score on any given play. Even with Robinson joining the Rams, don’t overthink it and take Kupp with confidence in 2022.
Upon the news of Robinson signing with the Rams, many were flabbergasted at the idea of Los Angeles fielding a wide receiver trio of Kupp, Robinson, and Woods. Also, there are reports that the Rams aren’t ruling out bringing back Odell Beckham Jr. despite the money they already have committed to the wide receiver position. At the same time, there is increased trade interest from other teams that realize Woods could become expendable for the Rams.
Woods is coming off a torn ACL and will be turning 30 years old next month, but he’s still enticing in fantasy football in the right offense. If he remains with the Rams, Woods figures to be the No. 3 option behind Kupp and Robinson. As much as I like Woods, he would unquestionably see fewer looks if he remains in Los Angeles. A move to a team like the Green Bay Packers could make Woods a massive value in redraft leagues. Woods’ future with the Rams is in flux right now, so it’s going to be key to keep close tabs on where could be playing in 2022.
The wide receiver that is affected the most on the Rams with the addition of Robinson is Van Jefferson. Jefferson had a solid sophomore campaign in 2021 with career highs in receptions (50), receiving yards (802), and receiving touchdowns (6). Besides his route-running ability, Jefferson showcased his ability to be an effective downfield threat for Stafford by recording 16 yards per reception. But with Robinson now in the mix, Jefferson could see fewer snaps for the Rams in 2022, unless both Woods and Beckham are gone this offseason.
Even before Robinson signed with the Rams, Jefferson’s chances of seeing an increased role in 2022 were looking bleak. At the very least, Los Angeles was going to get Woods back from injury and they were going to try to bring back Beckham. So with Kupp, Woods, and Beckham ahead of him on the depth chart (once Beckham can return to the field), Jefferson wouldn’t see the field as much as he did in 2021. Jefferson’s dynasty value has taken a massive hit with the arrival of Robinson and in redraft, he could be nearly irrelevant if either Woods or Beckham returns for the upcoming season.