Robert Griffin III: Projecting Redskins QB's Fantasy Value vs. Giants

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIOctober 20, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 14: Robert Griffen III #10 of the Washington Redskins passes against the Minnesota Vikings at FedExField on October 14, 2012 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Vikings 38-26. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
Larry French/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III has been a revelation for the Washington Redskins, the NFL, fantasy owners—just about anyone remotely associated with the league in any way.

The dynamic, dual-threat QB has yet to be truly shut down, and he is bound for another big day in Sunday's NFC East showdown with the New York Giants.

There may be six games of tape on the No. 2 overall pick, but that doesn't mean defenses are going to slow him down anytime soon. Griffin has an absolute cannon for an arm with uncanny accuracy and unprecedented straight-line speed at the quarterback position.

Breakout undrafted rookie Alfred Morris has keyed a 1-2 punch alongside Griffin to give the Redskins the toughest rushing attack to defend in football.

This is going to sound nutty. But Griffin may be the best quarterback the Giants will have faced all season.

Every other quarterback the G-Men have matched up with has either been turnover-prone—Tony Romo, Josh Freeman, Michael Vick, Cam Newton—or simply not a serious threat to beat an opponent on their own (see: Brandon Weeden and Alex Smith).

Having only thrown two interceptions in 161 attempts, it's pretty clear that Griffin isn't turnover-prone.

In fact, if any QB is turnover-prone in this edition of the rivalry, it's definitely Eli Manning. While circumstances are certainly different from a year ago, the Giants' two-time Super Bowl MVP threw no touchdowns and four interceptions in two games against the Skins.

Griffin throws fewer passes than most starters but is nevertheless tied with Ben Roethlisberger for fewest picks—and Big Ben has played in one less game.

Both the Skins' and Giants' defenses aren't the greatest at defending the pass, but are opportunistic. Each unit has forced 14 turnovers through six games.

It seems strange, however if I had to bet on which team would win the turnover battle this week, it would be Washington.

RGIII also completes just over 70 percent of his passes for an average of 8.3 yards per attempt, second in the league to Newton.

Even against previous opponents with shortcomings under center, New York's defense has been mediocre in terms of yards allowed. With the threat of Griffin's legs in the red zone area, the Giants won't as easily be able to bend but not break. 

Another aspect to consider, of course, is the other side of the coin. No team gives up more yards through the air than the Skins do, and Manning is the best quarterback the troubled secondary has faced all season.

Manning will have to be kept off the field as much as possible, which will likely mean an emphasis on the running game and a short, efficient passing game.

Don't be surprised, though, if the Washington offensive coordinator dials up more deep shots than usual with the continued absence of Giants' free safety Kenny Phillips. One overlooked stat from the Skins' offense is its putrid third down conversion rate of just 27.8 percent. That ranks 31st in the NFL.

Part of that is averaging eight penalties per game; part of it is the need to throw the ball past the sticks in those situations. blogger Rich Tandler broke down the team's woes on third down nicely.

With the way Griffin takes care of the football and his yards per attempt, expect him to be turned loose more with his arm. According to, only three teams pass the ball fewer times on first down, which is another of the reasons that they are so frequently in a hole on third down.

A short passing game will work fine in that situation, and Griffin should be counted on more to do that moving forward since Washington has converted just three of 20 combined third downs against Tampa Bay and Atlanta.

Another likely shootout should dictate that the Redskins score a lot of points to stay in it, so also expect another big fantasy day for the current Rookie of the Year front-runner.