Robert Griffin III: Sage Advice for Redskins QB's Owners in Fantasy Playoffs

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IDecember 11, 2012

LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 09:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins waits between plays during a game against the Baltimore Ravens at FedExField on December 9, 2012 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Robert Griffin III has been one of the most dynamic players since stepping onto the NFL gridiron, and as a direct result, he's become a fantasy superstar.

Unfortunately, the rookie QB suffered a Grade 1 LCL sprain this past Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens, and his status is currently up in the air for the Washington Redskins’ Week 15 matchup at the Cleveland Browns.

For fantasy owners—many of whom are ramping up to play in the semifinals of their league playoffs—this injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.

RGIII has been the No. 1 point producer in standard-scoring leagues through the first 14 weeks (according to ESPN), and appears on a whopping 23.6 percent of the Top 500 public Yahoo! fantasy squads.

It’s hard to imagine a team that the former Baylor star carried into the playoffs finding success without him in the lineup, which is why owners should be keeping their fingers crossed that he’ll be back in action come Sunday.

However, while hope is never harmful, it’s not the best course of action for a competitive fantasy guru on the cusp of glory. You need to be prepared and ready to accept the challenge of weathering a week without Griffin.

Fortunately, we’re here to help you install a contingency plan. Here is our most important suggestion for nervous RGIII owners:

Use a WAIVER CLAIM on Kirk Cousins.

It’s Week 15 and playoff time, and this upcoming matchup isn’t some unimportant midseason contest. If you own the 2011 Heisman Trophy winner, you need to grab his backup on the waiver wire for multiple reasons.

First and foremost, he’s likely the best available option to you in the case that Griffin doesn’t go. The Browns have a weak defense and have been conceding a ton of fantasy points to opposing signal-callers.

It’s clear that coach Mike Shanahan trusts the rookie out of Michigan State to throw, as evidenced by his last-minute strike to set up the game-tying two-point conversion QB draw. Cousins will get plenty of opportunities to throw and score fantasy points if he starts.

If you don’t use a claim, there’s a good chance your opponent will, just to spite you and get a huge leg up in the matchup. There’s not many, if any, players available on the waiver that are worthwhile at this point in the season.

However, even if your foe has Tom Brady or Drew Brees going this week, stashing Cousins on their bench will severely hurt your chances of winning. Don’t sleep on this possibility, and make sure you do everything in your power to acquire Cousins before he hits the free agency pool on Wednesday morning.

Aside from that, all you can do is sit back and hope RGIII is full speed on Sunday. If not, all you can do is pray that Cousins or another backup of choice puts together a good game and helps you advance to the league championship.