Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:

NFL    NBA    MLB

Already have an account? Log in here.

[X]

Forgot Password


[X]

The Tape Tells All - Demarcus Robinson's Week 2 Performance


Welcome to another edition of "The Tape Tells All," where I break down some film of an NFL's player performance and try to draw some fantasy football conclusions from that film.

This week, I'm looking at Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, who had a huge game in Week 2 against the Raiders. Robinson finished with six catches for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns as he took over the starting role of the injured Tyreek Hill. Was his performance a fluke? Was it a sign of future success? Should you be rostering him?

Let's see what the tape -- and, of course, the numbers -- can tell us.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of Premium DFS Research. Sign Up Now!

 

Background Information

To start, Demarcus Robinson is only playing the role he was playing on Sunday because of Tyreek Hill's collarbone injury, which is expected to keep him out four-to-six weeks. That should be in the back of your mind throughout this entire article, because we have to keep our expectations for Robinson in check. When I talk about if he can keep playing at the level we saw on Sunday, I'm very much talking exclusively about in the short term while Hill is sidelined.

Anyway, now that we covered that:

Robinson is in his fourth NFL season. His best year came last year, when he caught 22 passes for 288 yards and four scores. Of players with between 10 and 50 catches last year, Robinson ranked ninth in defense adjusted yards above replacement, ahead of players like Geronimo Allison and Marquise Goodwin. He didn't qualify for the main leaderboard in that stat since he didn't have enough receptions, but if he had qualified he would have been ahead of guys like Christian Kirk, Allen Robinson, and Stefon Diggs. Robinson was efficient on the plays he did make last year, which can sometimes be used as evidence that a guy can be productive when asked to step into a larger role.

Here's how that larger role looked on Sunday: Robinson had the numbers I mentioned above (six catches, 172 yards, two touchdowns) while being on the field for 91 percent of Kansas City's offensive snaps. There were questions about who out of Robinson and Mecole Hardman would step into this role, and while Hardman's snap rate was high too (74 percent), it was Robinson who took on the most responsibility.

Robinson led all of the NFL in average intended air yards in Week 2 with 24.4. Does this mean his value is solely tied up in being a deep threat? Or what about that number representing just 27.65 percent of Patrick Mahomes total air yards -- will Robinson's value go down in weeks where Mahomes faces stiffer defensive pressure? Can any defense even slow down Mahomes???

It's a lot to take in. Let's turn to the film and see what kind of evidence it can provide to answer our questions.

 

The Game Tape

Let's look at all six of Robinson's Week 2 targets.

Here's the first one:

Pretty, uhh, simple route here. Robinson is in the slot to the left and runs the curl route for the first down. Mahomes uses his pinpoint accuracy to zip the ball right to Robinson for the first.

Maybe the biggest takeaway from this play is that Robinson can make plays that aren't just "run really far down the field." If you only watched the scoring plays from Sunday's game, you might think that Robinson is only a deep threat, but on this play he's covered well by the defense and makes this short grab.

Next up was his long touchdown to open the second quarter:

The pre-snap motion was incredibly important here. Robinson's initial defender at the line of scrimmage sees the back sweeping around behind Mahomes and looks like he calls out looking for some kind of coverage swap. He ends up staying down near the LOS, shifting his coverage to the back. From there, this becomes so easy for Robinson. No one picks him up. He blows past a linebacker who was staying in his zone in the middle of the field. He keeps going, and by the time the ball is released Oakland has one defender trying to cover two Chiefs receivers down the field. Not happening. Touchdown. Andy Reid's use of that pre-snap motion unlocks everything on this one, with Robinson's speed adding the icing on the cake.

Here is Robinson's seven-yard catch in the the second quarter. Robinson lines up on the outside for this play, runs a seven-yard out route, and gets tackled right after he makes the catch. Defense gives him a pretty good cushion here, because they were likely keeping that earlier touchdown in mind and trying to protect against him doing that again.

So, these next few plays are going to look a lot alike. On this one, Robinson uses his feet to shake past a defender near the line, and then it's just a speed race as he separates from the defenders and gets open for the catch from Mahomes. Sometimes it's really just that simple.

(Of course, no Andy Reid play is really simple. Entire offense is scrunched up to start this play until Sammy Watkins goes in motion, and I think that disguises things pretty well here and helps Robinson get the space he needs.)

Here's the second Robinson touchdown. Of note on this play is that this one isn't an easy catch that's enabled by him just outrunning the coverage. Instead, the Raiders keep on him all the way down the field, and Robinson makes the contested catch in the end for the score. Mahomes could have put this ball in a better spot to take advantage of Robinson's speed, but it's just a tad underthrown, which causes him to have to turn around and get it.

Also of note: Robinson lines up on the outside here. Rotowire's tracking data has him lining up outside and in the slot at a pretty similar rate this year. Versatility! Yeah!

Okay, last one. Clearly, there's something working against Oakland with Robinson and the left side of the field. Mahomes finds him in virtually the same spot multiple times this game. Yeah, we can blame the Raiders Defense in part for that, but also...sometimes a quarterback and receiver just find a groove and like a spot on the field and they click.

 

Fantasy Impact

So, what does all this mean for Robinson?

He seems to be a talented receiver and a capable deep threat who is also capable of making plays in the short passing game at times, though his main value is in his ability to get behind the defense.

With Hill out, I view Robinson as a high-upside WR3. Sammy Watkins and Mecole Hardman and Travis Kelce all threaten to take away deep ball opportunities for him, which lowers his value. You can't trust that Robinson is going to go out and catch five passes for 100 yards or something, because there are so many other weapons on this team.

You should pick up and play Robinson in a 12-team league where you need the upside, because the upside is obviously here. You should feel better about Robinson than about Mecole Hardman, but that doesn't necessarily mean you should rush out and prioritize him over someone like Nelson Agholor, whose role is also currently increased by injuries and who has a much safer floor. Robinson's floor is still basically zero.

More Fantasy Football Analysis




More Recent Articles

 

We Must Overreact Immediately! Week 7 Outliers

Week 7 seemed extremely fluky for fantasy football purposes. Devonta Freeman was ejected, and players like Will Fuller, Adam Thielen and Kerryon Johnson were both forced from their games very early on which hurt a lot of fantasy owners. The Rams wide receivers were supposed to light the world on fire against a Falcons secondary that... Read More


The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 8)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More


Week 8 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

This was a REALLY difficult week to rank, because there are so many usable DSTs this week. There are usable options all the way down to Tier 4 this week, and you're going to have something available to you on the waiver wire in even the deepest of leagues. Below are RotoBaller's Week 8 defense... Read More


Week 7 Start/Sit: Monday Night Football Matchups Analysis

Even if this doesn’t turn out to be great MNF game, at least it's a divisional game with some importance. This is what Jets fans need to tell themselves heading into their second Monday Night Football game of the season. With the New England Patriots coming to town off their annual semi-bye in which they... Read More


Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

It's Chase Edmonds' world, we're just living in it. Wait, what? Hopefully you added him, as suggested in this column the past two weeks, because even if David Johnson is deemed healthy enough to actually play, it's likely Edmonds continues to see action. In QB news, by the halfway point of Thursday night, we already had... Read More


Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

The regular season continues to advance at a relentless pace as we have now entered planning for Week 8. Some of you are ecstatic with the level of production that has been delivered by your running backs. But many of you have been contending with unwanted developments at this position including injuries, inconsistent usage, and... Read More


Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 8

We're heading into Week 8 of the NFL season. By now, some of y'all are getting a good sense of where you're at fantasy-wise, if you're heading to the postseason or playing for fun or, in a dynasty league, building for the future. This look at wide receivers is for all of you. As we... Read More


Week 8 Tight End Waiver Wire Picks and Streamers

A two-team bye week is a lot easier for fantasy football players to navigate than a four-team bye week. Fantasy owners are going to have to live without Dallas’ Jason Witten and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews in Week 8. If you have one of the those players as your starting tight end, the problem is that... Read More


Quarterback Waiver Wire Pickups and Streamers - Week 8

Tragedy struck a few top quarterbacks this week, as both Patrick Mahomes and Matt Ryan left games with injuries. We already know Mahomes will miss 3-6 weeks, while more will be revealed about Ryan's status later today. Either way, owners of these quarterbacks will need a backup plan in place, and this week the waiver... Read More


Waiver Wire Express - Week 8 Lightning Round

The better part of seven weeks is in the fantasy football books, making those early trends very real -- for better or worse. One must still consider the matchups played thus far and those to come, but usage and volume are becoming reliable. Week 8 sees the Ravens and Cowboys hit their bye week. To... Read More


Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 7 Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss several weeks. Matt Ryan is out for the game with an... Read More


Week 7 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More


NFL Matchup Ratings Tool - Weekly Player Projections

  If you see the red "Upgrade" button below, then you are not a Premium subscriber, or have not yet logged in. Learn more about our NFL Matchup Ratings and projections system. Editor's Note: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off. Our exclusive In-Season Lineup Tools, Lineup Optimizer and over 150 days of... Read More


Week 7 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 7... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More


Updated Week 7 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 7 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 7 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison are both active. Todd Gurley is officially active, Malcolm Brown is out. Christian Kirk is not expected to play this week. David... Read More