Projecting Robert Griffin III's Complete Fantasy Outlook vs. Eagles
The entire country will be watching Robert Griffin III to see how his knee looks on Monday night, but fantasy owners are even more curious to see what kind of numbers the gifted athlete will put up against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Griffin's knee has recovered enough to allow him to start for the Washington Redskins in Week 1, which seemed like a stretch back in January. A player like Griffin needs his legs at 100 percent in order to be effective, and he appears to be ready to go.
Fans must move past the injury and enjoy watching Griffin make plays.
The quarterback won NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. His style of play makes him extremely tough to stop, but it's unclear how he will perform this season.
After a second serious leg injury, Griffin may have to change the way he plays.
The 23-year-old carried the ball 120 times for 815 yards last season. Only Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers carried the ball more times at quarterback in 2012. However, Griffin averaged more carries per game given that he played in only 15 games.
Griffin is going to want to prove that he can still run the football, but Washington coach Mike Shanahan is going to want his quarterback to throw the ball more this season.
As a rookie, Griffin threw for 3,200 yards and 20 touchdowns to only five interceptions. No other full-time starter had fewer than eight. His ability to take care of the football allows his team to move the chains and put up points.
His opponent Monday had an average defense last season. The Eagles allowed 343.2 total yards per game, but their pass defense ranked in the top 10 in the NFL by giving up only 216.9 yards per game. They allowed 126.3 rushing yards per game, so Washington will benefit on the ground.
The Eagles' defense ranked 30th in the league in interceptions as it managed to pick off only eight passes.
Philadelphia allowed 27.8 points per game last year, which was tied for 29th in the NFL. Washington ranked fourth in the league with an average of 27.2 points per game, and it averaged 29 points in two games against the Eagles last season.
Griffin played great against the Eagles last season. In the first meeting, he went 14-of-15 for 200 yards with four touchdowns and added 84 rushing yards on 12 carries. He threw for 198 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in the second meeting. However, he had only four rushing yards on two attempts.
Washington blew the Eagles out at home in the first meeting, but the game in Philadelphia was decided by only seven points. His lack of running certainly played a role in the close game, so look for the quarterback to at least show that he can use his legs on Monday night.
How many fantasy points will RG3 put up in Week 1?
Philadelphia will have to try to slow down Alfred Morris and make Griffin throw the ball. The Eagles' pass defense is tough, but Washington has a healthy receiving corps right now. Fred Davis missed both meetings last season, and his presence will help his quarterback. Santana Moss and Pierre Garcon are quality options on the outside.
Washington will move the football against Philadelphia, so expect Griffin to have another good game.
Fantasy owners should be looking for realistic numbers out of the dynamic quarterback. He should throw for at least 240 yards, add 40 more yards on the ground and have three touchdowns with no interceptions.
The second-year player will run just enough to show that his legs are fine. He will get his team in the end zone just like last year. Morris should have a strong game on the ground, and Griffin will take care of the football.
His knee is fine, so look for Griffin to put up big fantasy points.
Fantasy projection (for ESPN leagues): 21 points
*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com
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