Fantasy Football Risks: Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins

      June 19, 2012 @ 12:32:59 PDT

Fantasy football owners are always looking to avoid players with the "bust" label, but I find that to be a very easily misconstrued moniker to place on someone. The idea of what constitutes a player being a bust varies depending on the person you ask. Does an injured player deserve the bust label? How about someone that is still useful but doesn't live up to expectations?

Some players have inflated chances of letting down fantasy owners. That doesn't mean you should outright avoid the player in question, as everyone has some fantasy football worth at the right price.

Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington Redskins
Don't be overzealous on draft day

Overvalued players are just that - drafted much earlier than warranted. You may get quality output, but having the player live up to the draft potential or hype is not likely to happen. Rather than using the much-bandied label of bust, I prefer "risky" when looking at players with possible pitfalls.

It is tough to ignore all of the draft love that Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III is receiving. He probably will have a better fantasy year than Andrew Luck, primarily because of the talent around him, but I fear too many owners will get caught up in Cam Newton's magical rookie season of a year ago. That was the exception, not the rule - even in this pass-happy era.

RG3 should have a respectable rookie season, but his average draft position (ADP) of 89th overall (eighth round) makes him the 12th quarterback selected, or a low-end starter. That doesn't seem too bad until you notice the quarterbacks routinely selected after Griffin. Ben Roethlisberger, Matt Schaub, Jay Cutler and Josh Freeman are all smarter bets. The owner drafting RG3 better also be taking a shot at one of these guys to play the matchups.
Drafting Griffin that early is not egregious, as long as you hedge your bets and do not go all in on him. What Newton did last year may never be replicated; the expectations he created for Griffin will be tough to live up to ... and that's putting it kindly.

Griffin may have similar or even better open-field skills as Newton, but Cam is 6-foot-5, 248 pounds. He can take the beating, whereas RG3 (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) is closer in size to Michael Vick. Injuries could be a problem for the rookie. The NFL is full of bigger, faster, stronger players.

He will have moments of brilliance in his first year, and Griffin will also make you scratch your head. Counting on him as anything more than a flier backup is ill-advised, unless you build the strongest team of wideouts and running backs in your league.

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About Cory J. Bonini

Cory is KFFL's General Manager. In late 2002, he joined the KFFL staff as a research analyst and has been involved in fantasy sports since 1996. A member of the Fantasy Sports Trade Association, as well as Fantasy Sports Writers Association, Bonini has been featured in print, on radio and on scores of websites. Bonini co-hosted Big Lead Sports on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio from 2011 to 2012.

Bonini was recognized with the 2010 Best Article in Print Award from the FSWA and was a finalist for the same award in 2011. In '11, he finished first overall in the FSWA NFL experts challenge that featured 60 of the industry's best competitors.

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