First of all, I would like to begin by saying to NEVER THINK ABOUT BENCHING ROBERT GRIFFIN III AGAIN!
I advised that I thought Griffin would struggle against Tampa Bay’s defense last week, but it didn’t happen. All RGIII did was pass for 323 yards and rush for 43 and a score in the Redskins’ 24-22 road win.
I’ve been sold on RGIII being an NFL star since I saw him play at Baylor a year ago, but you figure a player is due for a rough outing every once in a while as a rookie. But, it didn’t happen, and it’s time to forget about the points you could have had last week if, for some reason, you did show him the splinters.
RGIII has proven that he is more than capable of being an elite talent through only four weeks of his rookie season as a passer, but his value as a rushing option is what makes him a fantasy stud. So even though a tough matchup may be a road block when it comes to starting or sitting a first-year player like Griffin III, don’t forget that his playmaking ability as a runner always makes him a threat to be a high scoring fantasy player against any team. In fact, Griffin III could be in line to post solid numbers against a Falcons defense that’s a little banged up.
While an NFC East team is the lead subject, let’s talk about the Dallas Cowboys as far as it pertains to fantasy circles.
After watching the Cowboys implode on offense against a tough Bears defensive unit, it’s easy to see that a big part of the problem with Dallas is its offensive line play. Throughout the game against Chicago, Dallas quarterback Tony Romo was under constant duress, which played a role in him matching a career-high with five interceptions. Romo finished with respectable passing stats (31 of 43 for 307 yards and a TD), but the five picks killed his fantasy point total.
As for tailback DeMarco Murray, he, like Romo, found little daylight behind the Cowboys O-line. Murray finished with 24 yards on 11 carries, which didn’t help out fantasy owners in the least bit.
Dez Bryant, who posted solid numbers for fantasy owners with eight catches for 105 yards, could have had over 200 yards if he would have caught the football’s that were thrown right into his hands. As talented as Bryant is, he has yet to be the star Dallas thought he would be. He makes too many mental errors and can’t seem to make the routine plays.
Entering the week, Dallas sits 30th in the NFL in rushing offense (68.7 ypg) but fifth in passing offense (310.2 ypg), so that tells me Romo is doing something right. The line however is another story.
Starting center Phil Costa (may return after bye week) has been sidelined with a back injury, and free agent signee Mackenzy Bernardeau, the team’s right guard, has played poorly. Those two areas will have to get better if fantasy owners want to get maximum production out of the Cowboys top skill players.
Injuries and bye weeks are playing a role entering Week 5 of the NFL, but don’t reach for players on the waiver wire and cut a productive player for a quick fix if you’ve started slowly. If you’re desperate for a spark, think about a trade (ex: If you’re loaded at RB, offer one for a position you’re weak at). There’s still a long way to go, but the last thing you want to do is drop a productive player for a guy that can be a hit or miss chasing a win. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.
Bye Weeks: Dallas, Detroit, Oakland, Tampa Bay
Let See The Field
Robert Griffin III, QB, Washington: I don’t have to explain this one. Get him in the lineup. I think the Redskins could give Atlanta all it can handle.
Ryan Williams, RB, Arizona: I mentioned Williams last week against Miami and he was a bust. However, the Dolphins are making a name for themselves by playing stellar run defense. This week, Williams could finally make a fantasy impact facing the Rams. St. Louis is ranked 26th in the NFL in run defense (135.2 ypg) and has allowed six rushing scores in four games.
Brian Hartline, WR, Miami: Hartline was snatched up in leagues all over the country after he was targeted 18 times and caught 12 passes for a Miami single-game record 253 yards and a touchdown against Arizona. This week, Hartline and his Miami buddies are in Cincinnati, so look for rookie QB Ryan Tannehill to target the third-year pro early and often. The Bengals have been vulnerable against the pass all season and Hartline could be in line for another big day.
Show the Splinters
Buffalo Tailbacks, C.J. Spiller or Fred Jackson: The Bills will likely be playing against San Francisco’s stout defense without their starting left tackle Cordy Glenn and starting right guard Kraig Urbik. That doesn’t bode well for the Bills offense. Yeah, it’s tough to put a player like Spiller or Jackson on the bench, but, if you have better options, it might good to use them.
Cincinnati Bengals Defense: The Bengals defense has given up 44, 27, 31 and 10 points in their first four games, but this week might be a tough matchup for Cincinnati’s defensive unit. Miami just rolled up a lot of yardage against a tough Arizona defense, and the Fins could do the same against a Bengals unit that’s been average at best.
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Carolina: Last week, Williams had a solid day, but Seattle’s run defense is among the best in the league. It would be wise to show Williams the splinters this weekend if you have other options.
Greg Jennings, WR, Green Bay: Jennings aggravated an earlier groin injury in the win over the Saints and may not play against Indianapolis Sunday. Keep an eye on his progress over the weekend.