After hinting at the move during his Monday press conference, Washington Redskins’ head coach Mike Shanahan officially benched Robert Griffin III and named Kirk Cousins the team’s starting quarterback for Week 15 against the Atlanta Falcons. The move has a chance to stick for the rest of the season, and a report Griffin will be inactive for Sunday’s game increases that likelihood, but should fantasy football owners consider adding Cousins?
Cousins has only attempted 73 passes in two seasons as Griffin’s backup, including 25 attempts in two games played this season, but he did make a start in Week 15 of 2012 against the Cleveland Browns and had a nice game (26-for-37 for 329 yards with two touchdowns and one interception along with 22 rushing yards) to help fantasy owners that were without Griffin and may have added him.
A very favorable matchup is coming in Week 15, as the Falcons have allowed 17.9 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks (tied for fourth-most in the league, ESPN scoring) and they are also near the bottom of the league in interceptions (seven). After that an even more favorable matchup will come in Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys, who are last in the league against the pass (298.5 yards per game) and enter the week allowing the most fantasy points to quarterbacks (21.1 per game).
Cousins could also be a factor in fantasy leagues that end in Week 17, as the New York Giants enter Week 15 in the bottom half of the league against quarterbacks (15.9 fantasy points per game) with multiple passing touchdowns allowed in two of their last three games.
Griffin should not be dropped in any fantasy league right now, with the chance Shanahan is fired or Cousins is injured and he takes the field again before the end of the season. Cousins’ appeal as a waiver wire addition is limited to deep leagues and Griffin owners that seek a viable fill-in, but a good performance on Sunday could change that dramatically heading toward Week 16.
Brad Berreman is a contributing writer at Rant Sports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bradberreman24.