It’s something no one wants to see – an injury to a highly-drafted rookie. In this case, it’s Jacksonville Jaguars first-round running back Travis Etienne, who suffered a Lisfranc injury in Monday night’s preseason game against the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunate as it is, bettors have to shift gears and react accordingly. Most immediately impacted by the injury is second-year RB James Robinson fantasy stock.
How do his prop numbers change? We’ll take a look below.
How does Etienne’s injury affect James Robinson fantasy outlook?
As an undrafted free agent, James Robinson lit the league up for 1,070 rushing yards, t-5th in the NFL. It was an explosion that few saw coming. Robinson wasn’t the guaranteed Week 1 starter until days before the season began, but the rookie never looked back.
In a surprise move, new Jacksonville head coach Urban Meyer pulled the trigger on Etienne out of Clemson with their second first-round pick of this year’s draft. Believers in Robinson were baffled and dejected by the move.
DraftKings Sportsbook slotted Robinson for just 650.5 rushing yards this coming season– a 50% per-game decrease in yardage from last season. The Jaguars backfield was Robinson’s a season ago, where he landed sixth in total rushing attempts (240).
Immediately following the Travis Etienne injury news, sportsbooks pulled Robinson’s totals. For those who were able to buy in at over 650.5 yards, it was a valuable turn.
How Does James Robinson’s New Props Compare To Other RBs?
The 300-yard bump in rushing yards to an over/under of 950.5 puts Robinson among some elite names at the position. It’s significantly more than Chargers RB Austin Ekeler, priced at over . Here’s are some other RBs at or near that 950.5 yards projection for Robinson:
- Lions RB D’Andre Swift: over
- Saints RB Alvin Kamara: over
- Bears RB David Montgomery: over
- Steelers RB Najee Harris: over
Robinson’s new scrimmage yards over/under of 1300.5 is also lofty. Here are others at that level at sportsbooks:
- Washington RB Antonio Gibson: over 1300.5 (-115)
- Seahawks RB Chris Carson: over 1275.5 (-115)
- Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire: over 1275.5 (-115)
- Bengals RB Joe Mixon: over 1325.5 (-115)
Translation from sports betting oddsmakers to fantasy football? The James Robinson fantasy outlook for 2021 has him squarely back in the RB2 conversation with volume upside from there.
Week 1 outlook
The Jaguars open up the 2021 regular season against the Houston Texans. The Texans were the worst run defense in the NFL a season ago and failed to acquire pieces to fix that.
Robinson saw some success against Houston in two matchups last season. The first saw him receive just 13 carries but seven targets for 70 total yards. The second time around, he carried the ball 25 times for 99 yards and a touchdown, but was only targeted twice for no receptions.
With rookie Trevor Lawrence at quarterback, Jacksonville may lean on Robinson more often. Keep an eye out at TheLines for Week 1 NFL player props.
What happened to Etienne?
To keep it simple, a Lisfranc injury is a foot injury – in the case of Etienne, a sprain to his mid-foot. The Jaguars placed Etienne on Injured Reserve shortly after the diagnosis hit the media. The IR designation ends Etienne’s season.
Luckily for bettors, the report takes guesswork out and everyone can act accordingly.
Sportsbooks had slated Etienne for 650.5 rushing yards this season (DraftKings Sportsbook), equal to his counterpart Robinson. Reports from camp were that the rookie was slated for a change-of-pace, 3rd down-type role, taking snaps in the slot and working closely with the receivers.
What does the backfield look like now?
Is the show back to being Robinson’s like it was last year? Potentially. Only one other running back, Dare Ogunbowale, received more than 10 carries on the season in 2020; Swiss army knife Laviska Shenault Jr. had 18 carries himself, and Gardner Minshew cleaned up the rest of the significant carries with 32.
Clearly, Meyer and the Jaguars front office see running back as a depth-lacking position. In the offseason, Jacksonville signed veteran Carlos Hyde for what is shaping up to be a complementary and possible short-yardage role. Hyde received second-team and early-down carries this preseason, ahead of Etienne.
Judging on last year’s production and preseason outlook, it looks like Robinson may be in store for close to another workhorse role.
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