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Demarcus Robinson

Rams bring back Mr. December

The Rams signed Demarcus Robinson to a one-year, $5 million contract last week, a quiet move that probably doesn't move the needle much in fantasy leagues. But maybe it should, with Robinson one of the NFL's more surprising stories down the stretch.

In the final five meaningful games -- Week 13 through Week 17, with the Rams and some other teams resting everyone in Week 18 -- Robinson played at least 60 percent of the snaps, operating as the No. 3 wideout. In those contests (all in the month of December, so today I'm calling him Mr. December), Robinson caught 21 passes for 319 yards and 4 TDs. That worked out to 77 points in PPR leagues, 9th among wide receivers over stretch. No. 3 on his own team (the Rams were really piling up some numbers late in the year), but one of the league's better producers at the position.

It was particularly surprising because this isn't some breakout youngster, but an eight-year veteran who hadn't really done much to that point. He spent most of his career in Kansas City, working with Patrick Mahomes and starting about half the time, but never caught more than 45 balls in a season. Similar in Baltimore a year ago: 48 catches and 2 TDs in 17 games.

Last year he caught as many touchdowns in a five-game stretch (4) as he had in any of those previous seasons. Less a breakout, I think, than the Rams actually using him as a regular part of the passing game, and Robinson delivering.

Table shows the top 30 fantasy wideouts in the month of December last year, sorted by PPR points.

WIDE RECEIVERS, DECEMBER 2023
PlayerNoRecTDPPR
Deebo Samuel, S.F.243976119.3
Puka Nacua, LAR28521299.9
Amon-Ra St. Brown, Det.30378492.9
Cooper Kupp, LAR32344490.1
Rashee Rice, K.C.35411286.1
Mike Evans, T.B.22383484.3
George Pickens, Pitt.23478282.8
Brandon Aiyuk, S.F.27436280.6
Demarcus Robinson, LAR21319477.2
Chris Godwin, T.B.24367174.7
A.J. Brown, Phi.32397069.7
DeVonta Smith, Phi.26328268.8
DeAndre Hopkins, Ten.23312266.6
Tee Higgins, Cin.15328365.8
Garrett Wilson, NYJ29313059.7
Diontae Johnson, Pitt.17243359.3
Calvin Ridley, Jac.23247259.2
Drake London, Atl.20299051.9
Adam Thielen, Car.24274051.4
Romeo Doubs, G.B.18241148.1
DJ Chark, Car.13216246.6
Alec Pierce, Ind.10223244.3
Elijah Moore, Cle.16222144.2
Quentin Johnston, LAC15224143.5
Jameson Williams, Det.12170037.9
Jerry Jeudy, Den.14239037.9
Parker Washington, Jac.15121237.1
Xavier Gipson, NYJ13143036.7
Alex Erickson, LAC12174135.4
Tyler Boyd, Cin.16201034.6

As a No. 3, I don't really expect Robinson to maintain that level of production. The Rams will presumably look to improve their defense, resulting in fewer shootouts, and maybe/hopefully they'll do something with fifth-r0und tight end Davis Allen, who had a couple of 4-catch games down the stretch.

But realistically, Robinson won't be drafted at all, especially not in early leagues. I'll be doing a few best-ball leagues this spring and early summer, and I'm pretty sure he'll be there with a late pick. Could be one of the better No. 3 wideouts, and better than that should Cooper Kupp break down.

--Andy Richardson

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