If you took a chance on Robert Griffin III’s right knee and drafted him to your fantasy football team, the chances are that you’re not too impressed with his production so far.
Despite this, things are looking up for RGIII for the second half of the season, and his underwhelming start to the season and imminent breakout make him a fantastic trade target.
In standard leagues, Griffin is the 15th-best fantasy quarterback out there. Some mental math shows that in one-quarterback leagues, he should be a backup for most weeks.
That lack of production is infuriating fantasy owners everywhere, but there are a number of reasons why you should either hold onto him or pursue a trade for him.
The most important factor to consider is time.
In case you missed it (which would be impossible considering all of the attention it received during the offseason), RGIII tore his ACL in January. It has still only been 10 months since the injury, and every game is a step toward normalcy for the young quarterback.
The fact that he’s playing at all is a testament to his work ethic and his freakish body, but there was always going to be a rust period.
Adrian Peterson is the exception, not the rule.
It’s incredibly difficult to come back from a torn ACL. Even when you’re physically healed, you need game reps to complete your mental comeback.
Obviously, there are reasons for his poor play that go beyond “rust.” His accuracy has wavered, especially on deep balls, and he looked hesitant to use his feet at the beginning of the year. But he’s slowly showing signs of improvement.
Robert Griffin completed a season-high 71.9% of his passes in yesterday's win. He wasn't sacked in the game for the first time all season.— Grant Paulsen (@granthpaulsen) November 4, 2013
More importantly, his team in Washington looks better than it did to start the year. Pierre Garcon has been excellent all year, but the recent emergence of Jordan Reed gives Griffin another reliable target who poses matchup problems for opposing defenses.
In addition, the running game is clicking on all cylinders. Alfred Morris and Co. have been running well all year, but Washington was falling behind in games to start the year, which resulted in fewer carries for the backs.
Over the past few weeks, Washington has reestablished its roots on the ground, which should help Griffin take advantage of read-option running lanes and play-action passes down the field.
These factors will help Griffin bounce back, but most of all, it is his matchups to end the year that make him such a juicy fantasy option.
|Week||Opponent||QB Fantasy Points Allowed Per Game||Rank|
|12||San Francisco 49ers||15.2||27|
|13||New York Giants||19.2||14|
|14||Kansas City Chiefs||15.9||25|
|17||New York Giants||19.2||14|
Six of his next eight games are against defenses that rank in the top-15 most-favorable fantasy matchups for quarterbacks. Four of those games are against top-10 matchups, and he faces two very weak secondaries in Weeks 15 and 16—the fantasy playoffs in most leagues.
Notice that in Week 16 (usually the fantasy Super Bowl), he faces the most favorable matchup in the league: the Dallas Cowboys.
This is the stage of the season when you need to look ahead to the playoffs and start thinking about the matchups. Griffin has some excellent matchups and will be a high-upside play when the fantasy postseason rolls around.
In his next two games, he faces the Minnesota Vikings and the Philadelphia Eagles—two porous passing defenses that should boost his stock significantly. The time for you to get Griffin on your roster is now.
He’s set up to deliver the goods in the most important part of the fantasy season.