The life of a Washington Redskins’ fan is pretty difficult, especially when trying to figure out which player’s jersey to purchase. Skeptical is a word that describes many, because potential doesn’t always pan out and for years Washington spent big bucks on veteran players that didn’t produce on the football field.
So now, you have Nike beautifying the National Football League with fresh, sleek, and innovative apparel that everyone can’t wait to buy. However, that doesn’t change the name on the back of an NFL jersey. When the Redskins traded up with the St. Louis Rams for the rights to select Baylor’s Robert Griffin III 2nd overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, fans wasted no time creating RG3 apparel. Though that’s now illegal, RG3′s jersey was the third most sold in April and May – but now leads the NFL in the month of May with jersey sales. Griffin’s jersey wasn’t even made available until April 26th, but the tremendous hype around the unique player and the unprecedented fact that no professional sports player has had roman numerals on their nameplate created a must buy situation.
Robert Griffin III hasn’t taken his first professional snap, but is already creating history in numerous ways. Let’s hope this is a good sign for what’s still to be done!
Speaking of RG3′s future work, a lot of people have started creating their fantasy football “big boards” and you’ll be hard pressed to find a Redskins player high on any list. The first player that comes to mind is Roy Helu Jr., however, Mike Shanahan is too unpredictable with how he uses his running backs. It’s hard to depend on consistent fantasy points from them. The RG3 effect should be significant for Washington’s receivers but it’s difficult to predict which one. The Quarterback, however, is a position coveted in fantasy football. Now that Washington has a play-maker at the position, it’ll be interesting to see his fantasy production.
Last year, avid fantasy football players had problems figuring out what round would be safe to draft Cam Newton. In many leagues, Cam went late rounds, which proved to be a steal for whoever drafted him. Cam Newton ended up being a strong candidate for 2011 fantasy player of the year, with 352 fantasy point that tied Tom Brady. Only Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees scored more, putting Cam’s name in elite fantasy football company.
With Cam Newton’s success, RG3 will definitely get looks as early as the 2nd round in most leagues. I will caution, because he’s a rookie, you may want to select one of the more established Qb’s first.
Cam Newton garnered huge fantasy numbers, partly due to his record setting 14 rushing touchdowns. The Carolina Panthers used him as their goal line back often, and I guarantee that will not be the same situation for Robert Griffin III and the Washington Redskins. While RG3 will use his legs to create plays, I don’t expect him to tuck and run 126 times. If he does, then Washington – we have a problem.
For comparison sake, Aaron Rodgers has attempted to run 124 times combined in 2 seasons. He’s no track star, but he’s highly athletic and knows how to use his athleticism to his advantage – protecting his body from wear and tear. That’s what I expect and am confident Robert Griffin III will do.
With Pierre Garçon as a deep threat, Leonard Hankerson being that big redzone body, and RG3 having a security blanket in Fred Davis, he should produce great fantasy points. Especially early in the season when teams won’t know exactly what to expect. My advice – if you have a chance to select a Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Tom Brady or Cam Newton early, do it. Once you select an established QB then I’d start looking at Robert Griffin III as early as the 3rd round. There’s nothing better than having two QB’s that can produce major fantasy points!
If you enjoy talking Washington Redskins and all things NFL follow Rantsports.com Redskins columnist, Emmanual Benton on Twitter: Follow @Roccoskins