The days where rookie quarterbacks couldn't be trusted in fantasy football have gone the way of the triple-wing offense and Twinkies, and in fact, in 2012 a rookie signal-caller may well be the most valuable player in all of fantasy football.
Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III has not only electrified fans in the nation's capital but also his fantasy owners. Although the second overall pick in April's draft had slowed down from a statistical standpoint over the past couple of games, Griffin came out of the bye week ready to light up the box score again.
Griffin was phenomenal in Washington's blowout win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, throwing for 200 yards and a career-high four touchdowns while adding another 84 yards on the ground and even drawing a joke from head coach Mike Shanahan, according to Dan Steinberg of the DC Sports Blog.
Shanahan on RGIII: "Except for that one incompletion, I thought he was ok."— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) November 18, 2012
Griffin's performance trailed only Matt Schaub's 527-yard explosion in fantasy points in Week 11. At this point in the season, Griffin ranks fifth among fantasy quarterbacks, trailing only Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Aaron Rodgers.
That's some lofty company, but it's not where Griffin ranks among fantasy quarterbacks that makes him fantasy football's MVP after 11 weeks.
In the vast majority of fantasy leagues, Griffin was drafted as a backup at his own position, a depth addition in the middle rounds that fantasy owners hoped might be able to fill in on bye weeks or if their starting signal-caller got injured.
Instead, those same teams, who likely loaded up at running back and/or wide receiver early, now have a no-brainer, every-week starter at quarterback who has thrown for nearly 2,200 yards, run for over 600 more and scored 18 touchdowns, a top-five option that only serves to make those teams deeper and more formidable.
It's those sorts of players, and the incredible value they represent, that win fantasy football leagues.
And that makes Robert Griffin fantasy football's most valuable player this season.