Week Seventeen Analysis: The Dallas secondary has seen a lot of good quarterbacks of late, and they haven't risen to the challenge. They've been abused by Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger over the past two weeks. And this week's opponent, Robert Griffin, saw them five games ago, and posted a fantastic performance, with 311 yards and four touchdown passes. With another week of recovery under his belt, Griffin's knee may not be much of a factor, and he could still post solid rushing numbers. Although he hasn't run in a score since way back in week six, so he doesn't have Newtonian upside. Griffin is a solid play in a critical must-win game.
Week Sixteen Analysis: With last week's outstanding performance by Kirk Cousins, it affords the Redskins the luxury of resting Robert Griffin. But, maybe he'll play, and if so, here's his ranking. Clearly, if he plays, his mobility will be affected, so we'll concentrate on his passing prospects. And, maybe the running doesn't matter: When he faced the Eagles in week 11, he had a crazy game, passing for four touchdowns, while throwing just one incompletion. The Eagles secondary has been improved over the last couple weeks, but has still allowed opposing quarterbacks to score multiple touchdowns in a deplorable nine straight games. While the threat of reinjury worries me, if RG3 starts, you can start him too.
Week Fifteen Analysis: This ranking assumes that Robert Griffin is healthy enough to play, but also that his knee injury will limit his rushing abilities. Removing Griffin's rushing potential certainly hurts his value, but it doesn't completely destroy his fantasy prospects. He's only two games removed from back-to-back four-touchdown performances. But, the Browns secondary is sneaky good, allowing less than one touchdown per game since week 7, and keeping five of the past seven opposing quarterbacks to less than 200 yards. So, when you combine a possible lack of rushing yards, the threat of reinjury, and a good secondary, RG3 is a dangerous start.
Week Fourteen Analysis: We've said it before, we'll say it again. These are not your father's Ravens. Last week the Ravens allowed Charlie Batch, yes that Charlie Batch, to complete 25 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown. But more importantly, Batch led the Steelers to a game-winning field goal as time expired. Inconsistent passers Carson Palmer, Brandon Weeden and Michael Vick each threw for over 320 yards against Baltimore this season, so Griffin has some unusual upside for passing yardage. He's only thrown for more than 200 yards three times in his last eight outings, but has nine passing scores over the last three weeks and has run for more than 50 yards in five of his last seven games.
Week Thirteen Analysis: It's week 13, and I'm running out of superlatives for Robert Griffin. And it's not based on his rushing. In fact, he hasn't scored a rushing touchdown in five games. It's his arm. He's thrown four touchdowns in back to back games...in games 10 and 11 of his career. By way of comparison, Tom Brady posted back-to-back four touchdown games in his 102nd and 103rd games. The Giants secondary is all over the place, yielding four touchdowns to Andy Dalton, and then holding Aaron Rodgers to his worst game of the season. But, when these teams met in New York in week 7, Griffin threw two touchdowns, while adding 258 passing yards and a whopping 89 rushing yards. Another two all-purpose scores feels like his absolute basement.
Week Twelve Analysis: Robert Griffin's performance last week was absurd. He maxed out the passer rating scale. He tossed four touchdowns, something Eli Manning needs his last six games to equal. He threw one incompletion. John Skelton does that before kickoff. And he chipped in 83 rushing yards. That's just sick. But he's got a stout test coming this week, and we've seen him wilt in these situations recently. When RG3 faced the Steelers and Panthers, two very good secondaries, in weeks eight and nine, he managed just one total touchdown, and threw for just 177 and 215 yards. Dallas ranks 6th against the pass, and has allowed the fifth-fewest touchdown passes. And no quarterback has scored a rushing touchdown against them. Despite all that, Griffin remains startable because of his crazy skillset and rushing ability.
Week Eleven Analysis: Shame on anyone who has given up on Robert Griffin after a couple tough games and a bye week. He's still the same quarterback who looked phenomenal before meeting the very tough secondaries in Pittsburgh and Carolina in weeks 8 and 9. Needless to say, the Eagles are reeling in almost every way, including their big name secondary. Nnamdi and Dominique have allowed multiple touchdowns and/or 300 passing yards in six of seven games. RG3 will pick up where he was before his schedule turned brutal, and finds fantasy success again.
Week Nine Analysis: Apparently Robert Griffin is human after all. As we discussed last week, his matchup with the Steelers was going to be tough, and it was. And this week's matchup is another potential trap. Quietly, the Panthers host a very good pass defense. Every opposing quarterback has thrown exactly one touchdown, except for Matt Ryan who managed three. But, that means that Drew Brees, Eli Manning and Tony Romo were all held to just one passing touchdown. That's impressive. What's more, Carolina has allowed the third-fewest quarterback rushing yards this year, just six per game, and they get to practice against Cam Newton, so they're familiar with rushing quarterbacks. Griffin is mortal, and this is a tough matchup. But, he's a very special player, and anything can happen.
Week Eight Analysis: Does it even matter who Robert Griffin is playing against? One way or another, he's finding his way to excellent fantasy stat production every week. Granted, Sunday's opponent is his toughest of the year, Pittsburgh. The Steelers rank No. 2 against the pass, allowing just 195 passing yards through the air. Also troubling, the only rushing quarterback the Steelers have seen, Michael Vick, was shut down, as he managed just 16 yards on the ground. On the plus side, the Steelers have allowed at least one passing touchdown in every game, and Carson Palmer managed a three touchdown game against them in week three. But throw out all that, and just start Robert Griffin, and wait for good things to happen.
Week Seven Analysis: It's going to be tough for Robert Griffin to top last week's insane performance. He won't rush for 182 yards again. But, his arm could lead you to victory this week, even if Pierre Garcon doesn't play. The Giants are allowing the 10th most passing yards, 275 per game. Plus, Griffin's closest comparable quarterback, Michael Vick, ran for 50 yards against the Cowboys earlier this year, and Cam Newton has run in a touchdown. One way or another, Griffin finds his ways to big fantasy days. That's unlikely to change this week.
Week Six Analysis: Last week was a tough game for rookie quarterback Robert Griffin. But one bad game in a rookie's first five outings is forgivable. Until last week, Griffin had found ways to accumulate fantastic fantasy points. He's got a solid chance to do so this week. The Vikings' secondary is improved. Last year, they were arguably the NFL's worst secondary. This year, they're all the way up to meh. But, games against Blaine Gabbert, Andrew Luck, Alex Smith, and Matt Hasselbeck will pad the stats. The Vikings are very strong against the run, and Griffin will pass often. I expect him to set season highs in attempts, and find his way to a nice box score.
Week Five Analysis: Thanks to a stat line that reads better than most first round runningbacks', Robert Griffin remains one of fantasy football's best finds this year. He's now rushed for touchdowns in three of four games, and he's throwing the ball very well too. What kind of rookie quarterback has just one interception in his first four games? That's amazing. So is his 69% completion rating. But, he hasn't faced a top-half defense yet this year, and Atlanta is very good. Over the past three weeks, the Falcons have held three pretty good passers, Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, and Cam Newton an average of 209 yards and 1 TD pass. Fortunately, they've also given up two quarterback rushing touchdowns already this year, and Cam Newton just ran for 86 yards against them. So, there's hope that Griffin will find his way to a good box score.
Week Four Analysis: The fans in Washington are getting a little worried about the physical beating that Robert Griffin is undergoing. He's taken some big sacks behind a leaky offensive line, and he's run the ball 10, 11, and 12 times in his three NFL games. He's been sacked nine times, including six last week. The loss of left tackle Trent Williams certainly hurt last week, and his status for this week is important to monitor. While you're at it, get familiar with Pierre Garcon's injury status, too. Griffin could use him. Griffin will face off against a Tampa defense that shocked me with a solid performance last week, but got carved up the prior two weeks, and most of last year. One way or another Griffin should find fantasy points again, especially if his supporting cast is healthy.
Week Three Analysis: I really liked Robert Griffin in the preseason, and ranked him as highly as anyone. But, I didn't expect him to be the highest scoring quarterback through two weeks. Especially with his star receiver, Pierre Garcon, missing most of those two games. But, thanks to solid passing and rushing, Griffin has been a fantasy find for those who gambled on him. I can't find many reasons not to start Griffin again this week. Garcon is due to return. Cincinnati has allowed the 2nd-most passing yards so far, 325 per game. The only downside is this, maybe the Bengals coaches have enough game tape on Griffin to figure him out. If not, he's in line for another big game.
Week Two Analysis: RG3 was impeccable last week, completing his first seven passes, and finishing with multiple touchdowns and over 300 passing yards. He showed pocket poise and a ton of leadership. He even chipped in 42 rushing yards, which helped plenty of owners. A matchup against St. Louis sounds easy, but tell that to Matthew Stafford. He threw three picks against the new look Rams secondary, sporting new starting corners Courtland Finnegan and Janoris Jenkins, both of whom nabbed interceptions last week. More bad news: Griffin's best target Pierre Garcon has turf toe, which could rob him of the speed we saw during his long touchdown run. I expect a statistical regression for Griffin, but he remains startable.
Week One Analysis: Starting a rookie quarterback in his first start is always risky. But, there's going to be a lot of passing in the Saints-Redskins game, for both teams. The Saints will pass a lot, because that's what they do. The Redskins will pass a lot because they'll be trying to catch up. And the Saints secondary is pretty shaky. Gone is Tracy Porter. Which might be addition by subtraction, I suppose. The Saints gave up the fourth-most passing yards, and the 7th-most completions. So, there's some upside with Griffin's arm in this one. I don't know that he rushes for much, though. The Saints saw plenty of mobile quaterbacks last year: Cam Newton twice, Josh Freeman, Aaron Rodgers, Christian Ponder. In those five games, there was only one touchdown (by Cam Newton), and they averaged only 18 rushing yards per game.
NEXT: #5 ELI MANNING