While not a complete surprise, Robinson was given the start over Leonard Hankerson for Washington's Week 9 contest with the Carolina Panthers.
Grant Paulsen of 106.7 The Fan in Washington, D.C. reported the news Sunday morning:
Aldrick Robinson will start over Leonard Hankerson today for the #Redskins.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) November 4, 2012
Here's an updated look at Robinson's fantasy profile for the rest of the 2012 season:
While Robinson caught six passes for 92 yards and a score over the first two weeks of the season, he has just two catches for 22 yards since, including zero in each of the last three. A poor game in St. Louis, combined with a freak accident before a game in Tampa Bay, cost Robinson most of his snaps.
As a result, any kind of fantasy value that appeared early mostly evaporated.
However, Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan has maintained throughout this week that Robinson's usage was going to go back up.
“He’s going to get some more playing time,” Shanahan told Zac Boyer of the Fredricksburg Freelance Star. “And as you have guys who get hurt, these guys have to step up.”
Shanahan has kept that promise. Robinson, a 5'10" speedster out of SMU, will have a chance this week (and presumably more games moving forward) to be the explosive, downfield option that the Redskins' offense currently lacks.
Pierre Garcon remains out with a foot injury, Fred Davis was lost for the season, and Leonard Hankerson has been a disappointment as Garcon's replacement. It's Robinson's chance now to give the Redskins a vertical receiving option.
Robinson's new starting status is just one half of the fantasy equation. Now he has to produce in the role. If he does—and that downfield speed (4.4 40-yard dash) certainly gives him a chance with Robert Griffin III throwing the passes—then Robinson becomes a viable fantasy option down the stretch.
Play the wait-and-see game, but don't hesitate if Robinson strikes with a couple of big plays Sunday. There's value here, maybe even as a flex sleeper in some matchups.
But make sure Robinson is producing before you hit the waiver wire. You'll have time, as he's owned in less than one percent of ESPN leagues.