Robert Griffin III had a relatively poor day for the Washington Redskins in a loss to Dallas Cowboys, but his play was encouraging from a fantasy perspective.
As a passer, the quarterback had his worst game of what has already been a pretty bad season. He completed fewer than half of his passes for only the second time in his NFL career, he threw one interception and fumbled deep in his own territory on a sack.
Washington fans should certainly be concerned with his play as the second-year player gave his team little chance to win a game against a divisional rival. He received plenty of criticism from his overall play from many sources, including the always outspoken Skip Bayless:
On the other hand, fantasy owners should be incredibly pleased with the quarterback's ability to leave the pocket and run the ball for the first time all season.
After undergoing major knee surgery in the offseason, Griffin had looked like Peyton Manning running the ball through the first four games. He entered Week 6 with only 72 total rushing yards and a high of only 37 yards.
However, he sprung loose a few times against the Cowboys, shattering his previous marks for a total of 77 rushing yards on nine attempts, including a season-high 26-yard run. He was not afraid to tuck the ball away and run on scrambles, and he was even involved in a few designed runs on read-options.
Teammate Adam Carriker watching at home with an injury represented many with this thought:
This is something we did not see in the first month of the year, and it hurt him from a fantasy perspective. Last season, it was Griffin's 826 rushing yards and seven touchdowns that allowed him to tie for fifth place among quarterbacks in standard fantasy scoring.
Another positive takeaway from the Sunday night game was the continued dedication to the passing attack.
Griffin threw the ball 39 times in the loss and has topped the 30-attempt mark in all five games this year. This is a plateau he only surpassed four times in his entire rookie season. Overall, he is averaging 41.8 passing attempts per game in 2013.
Whether or not this is a good strategy to help his team win, it means that the quarterback will get plenty of chances to throw the ball down the field. For the most part, this has led to a lot more yards.
The only negative has been his inability to get the ball into the end zone consistently. However, Griffin's pure skill and dynamic receivers will help this happen sooner or later. If that does not work, the schedule will do the rest.
Although the Redskins could not take advantage of the porous Cowboys defense, the team's next five games are all against teams that rank among the bottom 10 in the league in passing yards allowed per game.
As a result, fantasy owners should have faith that Griffin will break out of his current slump and become the skillful player that carried teams to championships last season.
While he has only been an average fantasy player this year, he should find his way into the top 10 at his position by the end of the year. If you can find someone in your league who has given up on him, try to pry him away with a trade.
Otherwise, feel free to keep the player in your lineup going forward as he reminds people why he is one of the best young stars in the NFL.
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