Robert Griffin won't be immune to the sophomore slump

      December 17, 2012 @ 17:52:43 PDT


Robert Griffin III has been phenomenal this season and has helped many of his owners get to their fantasy football league playoffs. It's been impressive to see so many rookie passers - Griffin, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson - find so much success in their first seasons. It has to be one of the biggest storylines in the NFL this year.

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III
RGIII's price will be sky high

The expectations were already pretty high, though, for both Griffin and Luck, at least, but did you really expect this much? As a result, what are the odds of these young quarterbacks hitting a wall - otherwise known as the sophomore slump - in 2013?

Cam Newton was 2011's version of Griffin and Luck, but he wasn't immune to struggles in his second season when opposing defenses adjusted and adapted to his skills.

It's heresy to say this now, but Griffin could be in line for a similar letdown in 2013. Washington's overall squad may be better positioned to keep them competitive than Carolina did for Newton this year, but their similar skillset makes it entirely probable.

If I had to choose one between Griffin or Luck for a sophomore slump in 2013, I'd easily go with Griffin. Don't hate me, please.

Griffin has dazzled with his arm strength, pocket presence, accuracy and ability to make plays and stretch the defense with his legs. His penchant for leaving the pocket, much like Newton and Eagles QB Michael Vick, has left him vulnerable to big hits and injuries, though.

Griffin has taken a ton of hard hits while in the pocket, too, and he hasn't been able to escape the injury bug. The Baylor product and former Heisman winner doesn't have the size like Newton to take such a pounding. He's more similar to Vick's stature, and we've all seen how tough it's been for Vick to stay on the field the last few years.

If Griffin continues to take hard hits and leave the pocket with frequency, he'll continue to pile on the injuries, making him a risky fantasy commodity moving forward.

Will his top-rounds price next season be worth it? Probably not, especially when there are plenty of other slingers that can rack up the points with the NFL transitioning to more of a passing league. Perhaps that's why Washington made the then-surprising move to draft Kirk Cousins in last spring's draft. After all, it's working out so far - Cousins has effectively kept them moving forward toward playoff contention with RGIII limping on the sidelines.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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