Monday night's contest against the Cleveland Browns provided an accurate glimpse of what you can expect from Robert Griffin III as your fantasy football quarterback.
A roller-coaster ride. There are going to be moments when he's carrying you to wins and making you want to book a flight to D.C. just to give him a loving hug, but there will also be moments when you promptly offer him in a trade to every team in your league.
First the good from Monday night.
RGIII completed six of his nine throws for 112 yards, a tasty 12.4 yards per throw. His best toss of the night was a gorgeous 49-yard completion to Andre Roberts, which invoked responses like this one from NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah:
RG3 can throw an effortless deep ball. That was pretty.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) August 19, 2014
Griffin isn't the most consistent pocket passer (more on that in a bit), but he's littered with weapons in the passing game this year: Pierre Garcon, a healthy Jordan Reed (two catches for 20 yards), marquee free-agent signing DeSean Jackson (two catches for 34 yards) and Roberts.
Perhaps more importantly, Griffin ran the ball four times for 24 yards on Monday. An ability to run can turn a bad real-life quarterback into a good fantasy quarterback and a good real-life one into a great one. Yahoo! Sports' Brad Evans noted what RGIII's legs do for his value:
Designed runs for RGIII under Gruden may not be in the playbook, but the passer will improvise often. Showing it so far. Why he's top-5.— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) August 19, 2014
At the same time, though, his running represents his risk. On one run, he failed to slide and got pinballed around for three huge hits by Browns defenders.
ESPN's Stuart Scott put it best:
Dear RGIII, Please...Pretty Please.......................... .....................SLIDE!!!!!! Sincerely, Fans P.S. Stop taking hits— Stuart Scott (@StuartScott) August 19, 2014
If Griffin doesn't start sliding, the odds of his playing a full season decrease greatly.
Where will RGIII finish the season ranked among fantasy QBs?
Lastly, you're going to have to stomach the turnovers. He threw a bad interception, which will happen now and then, as he doesn't always look comfortable or get his feet set in the pocket.
RGIII is currently being drafted on average as the ninth quarterback, and that feels about right.
His explosive skill set, weapons and new head coach provide a chance for great value at that spot in the draft, but if you take the plunge, make sure to follow through with a top-tier QB2.
Because as we saw Monday, there are going to be times when you want one.