Allen Robinson really has nothing in the way preventing the kind of season that could finally earn him a Pro Bowl berth or even All-Pro status.
For the fantasy football owner, it looks like a good year to put him on your must-have list.
He is in a contract year again, and has just gone through one of those so he knows what it's like. It was actually his second. The first one he had was when he was on crutches in Jacksonville, so it really didn't mean or indicate much.
This year's Bears schedule comes equipped with matchups which have been favorable to Robinson over the course of his career. In some cases it has even come against opponents no one would expect.
The first game is not one of those. If there's a week to expect Robinson to be shut down, it's the game in Los Angeles against the Rams.
Here are Robinson's kind matchups this year, and the few where it might be better to have him on the bench.
It's best to check each week during the season because so much can change, and with the Bears and the quarterback situation it could make all the difference. Robinson has never worked with a passer as good as Dalton, or one with the kind of arm Justin Fields has. But if Fields plays as a rookie it's likely to mean less opportunities because first-year quarterbacks rarely have the consistency of experienced passers.
Play Allen Robinson
Bears vs. Bengals
The second game of the season is not only at home but it's against a Cincinnati team which last year gave up the seventh-most touchdown passes and was last in the league at sacking the quarterback. Dalton diced up the Bengals defense last year with Dallas and Lou Ararumo is still in charge of a porous defense. This should be a big day for Robinson, who hasn't faced Cincinnati since his rookie year.
Bears vs. Lions
They face Detroit in Week 4 at home and again on Thanksgiving at Ford Field and for Robinson this has been as close to pitch and catch as it gets. He's had 30 catches for a 14.1-yard average and four TDs against the Lions. It's a new coach, new GM, many new players and it's still the Detroit Lions.
Bears vs. Packers
This wouldn't be an opponent Robinson would normally be expected to burn because they've had an effective defense in terms of pass coverage and rush. Robinson gets up for the big rivalry game, apparently. The Packers have done an excellent job of keeping Robinson out of the end zone with only two TDs, and they've picked off a few that were forced to Robinson when he's been blanketed. However, 37 receptions fo 525 yards, a 14.2-yard average, make the Packers a defense Robinson loves to face and the Bears have them at home Oct. 17 and in Green Bay Dec. 12.
Bears vs. Vikings
If you're looking for TDs against the Vikings secondary to Robinson, forget it. But in a PPR league the home game Dec. 20 and game at Minnesota Jan. 9 are invitations to play him. Robinson has 30 receptions for 330 yards against the Vikings and has been particularly effective on big downs against a defense annually ranked as one of the league's best on third down. Simply put, Robinson gets up for and knows how to play against the divisional opponents, and this one is an inviting matchup as are the the other two.
Bears vs. Giants
The final Bears home game is against the Giants Jan. 2 and New York's secondary has been one of the few the Bears have been able to achieve strong catch-and-run numbers against. Robinson has an average of 17.2 yards per catch against the Giants on 14 receptions with a touchdown for the last three seasons. This will be the fourth straight season he's faced the Giants.
Bears vs. Raiders
Robinson has little experience against the Raiders but what he had was a strong game in London in 2019. He made caught seven passes for 97 yards and two TDs, and the Raiders have continued experiencing defensive problems ever since they made one of the all-time dumb trades and sent Khalil Mack to the Bears. Their defense hasn't been the same. They were 25th last year in third-down percentage allowed, 26th against the pass and had 21 sacks. There have been reports they actually had the audacity to ask if the Bears would want to trade them back Mack. If true, after 21 sacks, Ryan Pace should have laughed and said "enjoy," then hung up the phone.
Bears vs. Buccaneers
Robinson has had decent production against Tampa Bay, including last year when the Bears upset the eventual world champions at Soldier Field on the night Tom Brady lost track of fourth down. In three games he has 19 receptions for 185 yards and two TDs.
Sit Allen Robinson
Bears vs. Rams
No one wants their top receiver watching on opening day but fantasy owners might need to consider it because facing Jalen Ramsey and the Rams simply haven't been Robinson's finest moments. He has 13 catches for just 127 yards in three games and hasn't scored a TD. His best game with the Bears against the Rams was the 15-6 win in 2018 with five receptions but this was before Ramsey came over from Jacksonville.
Bears vs. Steelers
There is no real history with Pittsburgh to base this on and if the Steelers have decided they're playing mostly man-to-man coverage then Robinson would be a good play anyway because he'll get his share of catches against any man team. He's open when he's not open. But the Steelers were third against the pass last year and had the second-best third-down percentage so it can make for a difficult matchup when the Bears play Pittsburgh Nov. 8 on the road just before the bye week.
Bears vs. Ravens
The Nov. 21 game is at home but Baltimore's traditionally tough defense is one reason not to anticipate big numbers for Robinson. They were sixth against the pass last year and their ball-control offense rarely gives many opponents opportunities to take aim at their defense. Robinson has had 12 catches for 108 yards and three TDs against the Ravens, but it was all while with the Jaguars.
Flip a Coin
The Bears have games against the 49ers, Seahawks and Browns which all look like difficult matchups, but there are also reasons to expect he'll come through.
- Robinson had a big game against Seattle in 2018 with 10 receptions well before he ever healed fully from a torn ACL. And the Seahawks were next to last in the NFL last year against the pass. They're not going to turn this around in one year. Still, this is at CenturyLink Field, where the 12th man rules.
- The Bears are at the Browns in Week 3 and there isn't enough of a history for Robinson at Cleveland, none since he's been with the Bears and prior to that the Browns were still a horrible team. Much is expected from the Browns on defense this year but they were only 22nd against the pass last year and allowed 31 TD passes, worse than all but seven teams. So they also have a long way to go.
- The 49ers should have one of the better defenses in the league and were fourth against the pass last year even when they struggled due to injuries. However, they have lost their defensive coordinator and Robinson enjoyed one of his better games against them in 2018 with six catches and 85 yards.