by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
With Mark Ingram out with a broken hand (reports have him sidelined about a month, though time will tell), it appears that Khiry Robinson will be given an opportunity to carry early down duties on his own with Pierre Thomas handling passing downs (and maybe seeing a slight increase in his role).
Prior to the season we broke down the Saints backfield and here’s what we said about Robinson:
We might as well start with the back garnering the most preseason hype. Robinson was an undrafted rookie last season and did make a little bit of noise, with 224 yards and 1 TD on 54 carries. He had a strong showing late in the season, including the playoffs:
- December 29 vs. Tampa Bay – 12 carries for 50 yards
- January 4 at Philadelphia – 8 carries for 45 yards
- January 11 at Seattle – 13 carries for 57 yards and 1 TD
That totals 33 carries for 152 yards, an average of 4.6 yards per carry. Also, despite going undrafted, there was a little hype behind him. Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post (click here for the article) labeled Robinson a potential sleeper, saying:
“Khiry Robinson, West Texas A&M. The 5-9½, 206-pounder has shown explosiveness in workouts with a 10-1 standing long jump and a 35-inch vertical leap. Rushed for 1,621 yards this past season and did have a slot in the Texas vs. The Nation game, so not all the way under the radar.”
There’s definitely a bit of intrigue given that scouting report and the late season surge. The question is if any running back can truly thrive in New Orleans, but that’s a question we will try to answer in a bit.
Over the first two weeks of the season we saw Ingram dominate the early down work, not that Robinson was unproductive:
- Ingram – 24 carries for 143 yards and 3 TD
- Robinson – 14 carries for 59 yards and 1 TD
We can’t simply assume that all of Ingram’s numbers are going to translate to Robinson, but the two early down backs were averaging over 100 yards and 2 TD per game. That’s definitely a promising number, given the assumed increased carries.
The schedule may not be the best, with the Vikings this week (16th most fantasy points to RB), followed by the Cowboys (25th), Buccaneers (27th) and Lions (18th).
That said, with the passing game garnering attention and the TD potential there, Robinson is well worth the consideration of a FLEX spot for this week despite the matchup. Depending on your alternatives, don’t hesitate throwing him into your lineup.
Sources – ESPN, NFL.com
Make sure to check out all of our Week 3 rankings: