With the league rules beginning to favor the passing game in recent years, it seems more quarterbacks are threatening to achieve statistical milestones each season, like throwing for over 4,000 yards and 26 or more touchdowns.
As defensive players continue to be penalized for big hits, and league rules become more restrictive on the amount of tackling in practice, we are seeing young quarterbacks, who may not have the pocket presence of the elites, like Aaron Rodgers and Peyton Manning, emerging as start-worthy fantasy options because of their rushing numbers.
One second year quarterback that likely has the greatest challenge to maintain QB1 status is Redskins signal caller Robert Griffin III.
An elite running quarterback, Griffin suffered a major knee injury at the end of last season, and we shouldn’t count on him running as much this season.
That said, it is a credit to his work ethic and youth that Griffin was cleared to partake in Washington’s training camp practices in July.
Expect Coach Mike Shanahan to take it slow with Griffin, but from a fantasy perspective I have no problem targeting him at his current ADP of 8.03.
Griffin has a terrific arm, and unlike other running quarterbacks, e.g. Michael Vick, he’s already displayed a willingness to play from the pocket.
He still has the mobility to buy himself time, despite his knee rehab, and his running numbers could improve as the season progresses.
Keep in mind that while Griffin may not run for more than 350 yards, he did show us he’s capable of putting up productive passing numbers last season, even when Pierre Garcon and Fred Davis were out due to injury.
Both are back this year, and I have a feeling Griffin will find a way to produce as a match-up proof starter in ten team leagues despite the depth at the position this year.
Look to quarterbacks in the later rounds like Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo, Sam Bradford and Carson Palmer as top options (in my opinion) for depth behind Griffin if it’s a part of your strategy to hold two quarterbacks.
That’s probably not a bad idea, if you select Griffin, just to make sure he’s playing at a starter level early in the year.
As long as Griffin doesn’t suffer a set back in August, I have no problem starting him week one, but should he struggle early, we might want to sit him down for a little while at that point. In such a case it would be important to have a respectable option as a backup plan.
Aaron Rodgers, GB
Drew Brees, NO
Peyton Manning, DEN
Cam Newton, CAR
Tom Brady, NE
Matt Ryan, ATL
Matthew Stafford, DET
Colin Kaepernick, SF
Robert Griffin III, WAS (I)
Russell Wilson, SEA
Andrew Luck, IND
Tony Romo, DAL
Eli Manning, NYG
Michael Vick, PHI
Andy Dalton, CIN
Ben Roethlisberger, PIT
Jay Cutler, CHI
Joe Flacco, BAL
Josh Freeman, TB
Matt Schaub, HOU
Carson Palmer, ARI
Sam Bradford, STL
Philip Rivers, SD
Ryan Tannehill, MIA