Viewing the NFL through the lens of fantasy football can lead to some blurry looks. But there are times where fantasy and reality cross paths and things are clear.
Take Allen Robinson’s arrival in Chicago as an example.
Robinson’s addition to the Bears’ lineup should make for a more formidable offense on Sundays, but also has some pretty serious fantasy football implications. In fact, bringing Robinson to Chicago was one of the best offseason moves from a fantasy football perspective, according to Mike Castiglione of Pro Football Focus. And while fantasy projections should be taken with a grain of salt, there is something to be taken away from here regarding what could be on the horizon for the Bears’ passing offense.
PFF’s fantasy projection tool has Robinson lined up for a big year with 73 catches, 1,102 receiving yards, and eight touchdowns. Additionally, the site has Robinson pegged for 124 targets, which would put him in the category of some productive, high-volume receivers. That would be a fantastic season for Robinson in his first year with the team and would probably be a sign that he has fully recovered from an ACL surgery that caused him to miss most of last season. Further, a 1,000-yard season with eight scores would be the best by a Bears wideout since Alshon Jeffery was healthy and putting up numbers in Marc Trestman’s offense in 2013 and 2014.
Robinson showed WR1 fantasy upside in 2015, a season in which he led the league in touchdown catches (14) and deep receiving yards (672). That is the type of production that pushed the Bears to prioritize Robinson in free agency and get him in Chicago where he could be the No. 1 wide receiver Mitch Trubisky desperately needs in order to take the next step in his development.
So much transpired last season that worked against Trubisky during his rookie season, there is no wonder Chase Daniel made note of how important it was for the second-year quarterback to unlearn what he learned from the old offense. Chicago’s game plans limited what Trubisky could do through the air, and most notably kept him from throwing deep passes. That figures to change this season.
Last season, Trubisky’s targets struggled across the board with health, earning steady playing time, route-running, pass-catching, and gaining separation from defensive backs. That’s why Robinson’s importance to joining the Bears is felt by both the team that plays its games at Soldier Field and the ones that will draft him this summer.
An overhauled unit, led by Robinson’s entry onto the depth chart, figures to give Trubisky a fighting chance that he didn’t have as a rookie. And because both are so young that they are the tied for the fourth youngest QB/WR1 combo in the NFL, there is a bunch of upside that could be unlocked in the years to come.