Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III set the NFL on fire last season with his electric, reckless and exciting play-style. He exceeded everyone’s expectations by leading the Redskins to the NFC East Division title and surely led many fantasy teams to their league playoffs as well. Unfortunately, RG3’s season ended in catastrophe when he suffered a severe knee injury in a first-round playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks. So, what can be expected of Griffin after such a devastating blow? Is he worth the risk? In my opinion, he absolutely is. Here’s why.
Griffin’s talent, ability and work ethic are not what are in question here. He is tremendously talented and works very hard. His motivation and work ethic is on the level of an Adrian Peterson or Kobe Bryant; that is to say, he will work tirelessly until he is able to get back onto the field. Reports are currently saying Griffin is on track to be back by Week 1, and I wouldn’t bet against him.
So our only legitimate concern with RG3 is his knee. Since his legs are his most dynamic weapon, his knee injury will certainly limit his rushing yards, right? Well, yes and no. Last season, Griffin rushed for 833 yards, fifth most ever by a quarterback. He won’t repeat this number, but he won’t suddenly become entirely immobile either. He will likely provide between 400-500 rushing yards, still a very good number, this season. The Redskins and Griffin both realize he cannot run as recklessly as he has in the past, but he won’t stop running entirely. He will still continue to be one of the league’s best rushing QBs, and provide fantasy owners with tremendous rushing output from the QB position.
The good thing about RGIII is, unlike many other running quarterbacks, he has the ability to throw the ball as well as run it. Last year, he threw for over 3,000 yards and threw 20 touchdowns to only five interceptions. Since he will not run quite as much this year and his two main weapons Pierre Garcon and Fred Davis are both healthy, chances are all these numbers improve. Combined with the rushing output he will give you, RGIII is indisputably a top-five fantasy quarterback when healthy, which is why he is worth the risk in your drafts this year. He will work as hard as he can to get back by the start of the season, and will be a major factor this year down the stretch and into the fantasy playoffs; which is all that matters, really. A safe projection of Robert Griffin III’s numbers for this season puts him at 3,500 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, eight interceptions, and 450 rushing yards and four rushing TDs. So, don’t let his knee scare you, RGIII is sure to be a stud again this year.