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Outlook

Monday Meltdown: RGIII owners need insurance; The Hoodie comes through

If Robert Griffin III continues to take hits like the one he did yesterday, fantasy owners are going to need an insurance policy.

It might be time for Robert Griffin III to take over for teammate Brian Orakpo in those Geico commercials.

At the very least, RGIII’s owners should be looking to invest in some insurance.

After taking a vicious hit to the head from Atlanta Falcons linebacker Sean Weatherspoon yesterday, Griffin did not return to the game, officially labeled by the Redskins as “shaken up” (which, last time I checked, was not an actual injury). As was obvious to anyone watching, Griffin was later diagnosed with a concussion, and it is uncertain if he will play in the coming week.

For fantasy owners who have invested heavily in the rookie signal caller, this was exactly the kind of play that would make them squirm. The hit was legal, as Griffin was running with the ball and was no longer covered by the NFL’s many rules preserving the safety of the quarterback. And with all of the young aplomb that makes him so fun to watch, it also brings a high amount of risk, as Griffin will often hang onto the ball and try to get a couple extra yards with his legs, rather than throwing the ball away or stepping out of bounds to avoid the big hit.

With a build that more resembles Michael Vick than Cam Newton, Griffin is going to be at risk for injury the more Washington runs him and the more he lets his sandlot instincts kick into overdrive. Indeed, media pundits have already raised plenty of concerns about the number of hits he has taken – not including the 11 sacks he has sustained – and those voices will only be louder after this week’s incident.

As a result, it might be time for fantasy owners to start looking for a backup plan. The only problem, though, is that most of the under the radar options are disappearing in 12-team and deeper leagues as the season progresses. In one league where I own Bob Griff, my alternates currently encompass Ryan Tannehill on my bench, or the devil’s threesome of Russell Wilson, Blaine Gabbert and Mark Sanchez off waivers.

So what is a desperate fake footballer to do? At this point, hope for RGIII’s return in Week 6, then start shopping him around for a safer alternative. Even this might be a difficult end to achieve, as his points have ticked a little bit lower each week, but it is the only safe way to ensure actually having a decent starting quarterback in your lineup each week.

Other thoughts from the weekend that was…

Colston returns to form. Lost in the hubbub of Drew Brees breaking the consecutive games with a touchdown record was the monster night by wide receiver Marques Colston – 131 yards receiving and three touchdowns. In the past two weeks, Colston has been looking like the reliable fantasy option he always has been, with 284 yards and four TDs in his last two games. With a bye week up next to help rest his nasty plantar fascia injury, Colston becomes a must-start from Week 7 on.

Graham hobbled. Another takeaway from Sunday Night Football was a little less fortunate for fantasy owners, as Saints tight end Jimmy Graham scored less than one point and left the stadium in a walking boot after suffering an ankle injury. Keep an eye on this one, and hope for the best after the team’s bye.

The Hoodie loves your team – this week, at least. After railing on Bill Belichick and his nefarious use of running backs last week, I must say I owe him an apology – or at the very least, some recognition. This week, Belichick leaned heavily on Stevan Ridley, rewarding fantasy owners with a 151 yard, one touchdown performance against a reeling Denver defense. Ridley is now the fourth ranked running back in standard scoring leagues, and the way New England’s offense is firing on all cylinders, it looks like there will be plenty more touches coming for the youngster.

Chuckstrong could be Luckstrong. What an inspiring, emotional performance from the Indianapolis Colts yesterday, knocking off the Green Bay Goliaths on the heels of news that their head coach, Chuck Pagano, was diagnosed with leukemia. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck continues to prove he is the real deal, as he tossed for 362 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception while dissecting the Packers’ secondary. It also helps that the kid has Reggie Wayne, who is using all of his veteran savvy, to throw to. If I am in a dynasty league and I don’t have Luck, I am selling the farm to acquire him at this point.

Don’t ditch Jordy, yet. Much to Mrs. Naptime Quarterback’s chagrin, Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson has been nothing short of a disappointment through five games this season. While some drop off was to be expected from last season’s 15 touchdown outburst, no one could have seen less than 300 yards and a single touchdown coming. At the same time, the Packers are going to have to make adjustments to stay afloat in a competitive division, which may mean taking the same route as Arizona has with Larry Fitzgerald, moving their stud receiver around in different formations to get the ball in his hands. I still think it is too early to give up on Nelson, but I understand the impatience his owners are experiencing.

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