Robert Griffin III Is Must-Start Fantasy QB for Week 4

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 25, 2013

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 22:  Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins scrambles with the ball as he avoids the tackle of Ezekiel Ansah #94 of the Detroit Lions in the first half during a game at FedExField on September 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

For Robert Griffin III, the road back from his ugly season-ending knee injury last season hasn't been a smooth one. 

Obviously, it wasn't exactly fair to expect the former Heisman Trophy winner to immediately resume being the explosive dual-threat weapon he was as a rookie, but RG3's first three outings of the 2013 NFL season have been largely unimpressive. 

Yes, Griffin piled up numbers during garbage time against the Packers and Eagles and nearly led Washington to a comeback victory over the Lions in Week 3. But the former No. 2 overall pick hasn't looked like himself thus far. 

That said, the reigning NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has to be viewed as a must-start in Week 4 as the winless Redskins get set to take on the 1-2 Oakland Raiders on the road. 

For starters, during the heartbreaking loss to the Lions, Griffin actually started to show glimpses of the elite-level speed that made him incredibly dangerous on the ground. He sprinted through Detroit's defense for a 21-yard gain at one point.

Of course, that play ended with Griffin fumbling the ball after jumping forward rather than sliding. Nonetheless, that single play had to be an encouraging sign for RG3's fantasy owners.

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 09:  Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins throws a pass against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half at FedExField on September 9, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

With each game, Griffin's undoubtedly going to get more comfortable, especially when running the football.

Sure, the Redskins are 0-3. But from a fantasy perspective, why wouldn't you start Griffin? 

Despite his struggles, RG3 currently sits fifth in the league in passing yards. Though a lot of that production has come after games have been out of reach, his numbers should speak louder than the opinions of the talking heads, at least to fantasy owners.

In addition, people seem to forget that while RG3 has become known for his breakneck speed on the ground, he made a name for himself as a pocket passer. ESPN's Skip Bayless pointed out long before Griffin got injured against the Seahawks

And, as we saw last night with Peyton Manning, the Raiders' defense isn't exactly stellar against pocket passers. 

I'm not saying RG3 is anywhere near Manning's level in terms of his ability to pick apart a defense, but Griffin does have the arm and on-field intellect to have a big day against Oakland. 

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 09: Quarterback Robert Griffin III #10 of the Washington Redskins walks off the field after losing to the Philadelphia Eagles at FedExField on September 9, 2013 in Landover, Maryland. The Philadelphia Eagles won, 33-27. (Photo by
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Raiders are a very mediocre team against the pass. Even though they sit 16th in the league in pass yards allowed, outside of the game against the Jaguars, opposing quarterbacks have gone a combined 50 of 60 against Oakland, which bodes well for RG3. 

At this point, Griffin should still be considered an elite fantasy quarterback, especially against a team like the Raiders.