Recently I was asked to defend Robert Griffin III with Joshua Lake (@LakeTwoQBs) and Josh Berger (@BergerTwoQBs) on the FakePigskin.com 2QB Podcast, and I think I put out a good case for him. That said, there is a lot to see with RGIII, and I couldn’t squeeze it all in. Here are some things you should consider when looking at the long-term prospects of Robert Griffin III in a dynasty format.
First of all, in a dynasty format remember that Griffin is only 25 years old, which is still younger than Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him QB for another ten years.
Speaking of Tannehill, as early as September of last year would you believe they were considering benching Tanny for the backup quarterback? Don’t put too much stock into “anonymous insiders” saying that RGIII doesn’t have what it takes. This year, Tannehill is the toast of the fantasy community and sitting at home stroking his shiny new contract while his team went 8 and 8 last year. Griffin will be fine. The recent argument the media is coming up with against RGIII (“…you have to have a degree of humility”) is the same argument they have in favor of Jameis Winston (“…somewhat loud, somewhat opinionated”). There’s a word for that… And it rhymes with “wool-knit”.
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During the offseason, Washington wised up and hired a quarterbacks coach for RGIII also. Matt Cavanaugh was a backup quarterback in the NFL for 13 years and has been in coaching and coordinating jobs since then. Rather than having the head coach who has publicly criticized Griffin in the past try to focus on both him and the team as a whole, now Griffin has a coach dedicated to the quarterbacks only. It’s a long overdue adjustment.
All the pieces are in place for a team resurgence with top wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon coming back healthy, Jordan Reed manning the tight end slot, Alfred Morris ensuring that team’s aren’t disrespecting the run game and the team spending their fifth overall draft pick on an offensive guard to protect RGIII.
But what if he gets injured? Yeah, about that little ACL problem…
In 2007, Tom Brady scored 50 touchdowns and 8 interceptions.
In 2008, Brady tore his ACL and MCL in an early September game and missed the rest of the year.
In 2009, Brady scored only 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.
In 2010, Brady scored 36 touchdowns and only 4 interceptions.
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Are you seeing where this is going?
Unfortunately, we all saw RGIII get his knee buckled under him over and over so there’s some visual memory of thinking “well, that’s it for him” and when he came back in 2014 we were all waiting for it to happen again. It didn’t happen.
However, what did happen was he dislocated his ankle running out of bounds in game two of 2014. This is a completely different sort of injury. So he sat out most of 2014, giving his ACL additional time to heal, until near the end of the season and finished healthy. He actually ran in a score near the end of the last game of the season. That’s like when you’re selling cars and the person who is shopping honks the horn as their last checklist item. That honk is like music to your ears as a car salesman.
He’s back, is what I’m saying. I’m buying RGIII in 2QB dynasty leagues at a discount before the preseason because I want everyone else to still be seeing that buckling knee and the dislocated ankle in their mind’s eye. As Josh Lake reminded us all, a player is only injury prone until they aren’t. You have a 25 year old second overall draft pick quarterback ready to stand under center again, and he’s being undervalued in fantasy. The past injuries are falling behind RGIII. A lot of time has actually gone by since his ACL tear. Just like Brady in 2010, he’s in his second season without re-tearing it.
Does he have to be a top ten quarterback again before you buy? Or are you going to invest early at his lowest value?