Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were the top two quarterback prospects leading into the 2012 NFL Draft , and wound up going first and second overall to the Indianapolis Colts and Washington Redskins. Now entering their third season, I’m bringing the debate to fantasy football to determine which guy is the better option.
The Case For Robert Griffin III
Griffin struggles last year are well-documented, but he still averaged 15.4 fantasy points per game (ESPN standard scoring) and had more passing yards (3,203) than he did as a rookie while playing in two fewer games. New head coach Jay Gruden brings a fairly pass-happy offense to Washington, and the additions of DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts at wide receiver will help.
Being further removed from his ACL tear, and shedding the knee brace that hindered him last season, should bring better rushing production for Griffin. I don’t quite see him doing what he did in 2012 (815 rushing yards and seven touchdowns), but something better than last year (489 rushing yards and zero touchdowns) is virtually certain.
The Case For Andrew Luck
Luck threw 23 touchdowns for the second straight year in 2013, while completing over 60 percent of his passes and significantly reducing his interception total (nine; 18 in 2012). Wide receiver Hakeem Nicks was added in free agency, and the expected return to health of wide receiver Reggie Wayne (ACL) and tight end Dwayne Allen (hip) adds more depth to Luck’s supporting cast.
Luck has nine rushing touchdowns in his career (four in 2013), and he finished seventh among quarterbacks in rushing yards last season (377). The only quarterback with more rushing touchdowns than Luck last season was Cam Newton (six).
After the top few quarterbacks are off the board, Luck and Griffin will quickly become two of the best signal callers available in fantasy drafts. Both are likely to finish as top-10 scorers at the position, under the assumption of full health, which is where this decision turns for me. Griffin offers slightly better upside due to his dynamic running ability when fully healthy, but Luck adds enough to his fantasy value as a runner to make any difference in that area fairly negligible. Griffin has not played all 16 games in either of the last two seasons, while Luck has started what looks likely to become a long consecutive start streak. With better likelihood he makes it through the season unscathed, Luck gets the nod from me here.