Fantasy Football: Don’t Panic On RG3

by Sarah Bojarski

Tuesday nights can be stressful. In most leagues, waiver picks have to be submitted. Who do you put in for? What’s your strategy? How much FAAB money to spend? Do you forfeit your waiver position if it doesn’t reset each week? There are dozens of articles out there. However, if you don’t have time to read all of them, you may be tempted to just click on the stats. Who’s available on the waiver wire with the most yards, the most touchdowns, the fewest fumbles? Here’s a secret: stats lie.

There’s a guy on the waiver wire with this stat line: 13/233/1. There’s a guy on my team with this stat line: 9/90/1. Who would you rather have on your team? You know how it goes. Waiver wire guy: Stephen Hill, NYJ. My rostered “WR2″:Dwayne Bowe, KC. The waiver wire has some hidden gems, but you need to know the story behind the players. Do some research before putting in claims. And, please, don’t just sort by stats.

Or, consult the pink football:

Robert Griffin III's Fantasy owners don't need to panic after a mediocre Week 3. Photo Credit: Gold Medal Impression

Robert Griffin III’s Fantasy owners don’t need to panic after a mediocre Week 3. Photo Credit: Gold Medal Impression

1. Robert Griffin III will end the season as a Top 10 quarterback.

Fantasy owners of Robert Griffin III may be starting to panic a bit. Through three weeks, RG3 has 975 yards, five touchdowns, four interceptions and 62 rushing yards. Depending on the scoring in your league, that will put him at about 11th in terms of Fantasy points for quarterbacks. For passing yards, he’s thrown the fifth most in the league. While those numbers aren’t terrible, they aren’t what you were expecting. For comparison, through the first three games last season, RG3 had 747 passing yards, four touchdowns, one interception, 76 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns.

Owners need to remember that he is coming off major knee surgery. Not everyone is Adrian Peterson. The surgery – and corresponding rehab – is tough. But what’s tougher is mentally getting back into the game – the game that caused the injury in the first place. The first week, RG3 looked rusty. He didn’t play in the preseason, so the first game was to get back into football shape. He did look better in Week 2, throwing for three touchdowns. Week 3 didn’t have the same number of Fantasy points because the touchdowns weren’t there (hence the Fantasy panic). However, he did throw a 57-yard would-be touchdown to Aldrick Robinson that was overturned because Robinson didn’t maintain possession in the end zone. Add another 57 yards and a touchdown to RG3′s numbers, and the Fantasy day is much better.

Here’s the other thing: the Redskins aren’t a very good football team. The defense is terrible. In fact, start your offensive players against the Washington D/ST. What does this have to do with RG3? Well, he’s going to be playing from behind. He’s going to have to be throwing the ball. And it’s possible he ends up with garbage time points. While this isn’t an ideal way to win your Fantasy week, it’s still a way. Garbage time points count just as much as regular points.

The point here: don’t give up on RG3. He’s not going to be Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers, but he’ll be just fine as your QB1 for the rest of the season.

2. Josh Gordon’s arrow is pointing straight up.

In Week Three, Josh Gordon had 19 targets. He caught 10 of them for 146 yards and a touchdown. He added 22 rushing yards as well. Unfortunately for most Fantasy owners, all of those points were on their bench. With good reason – here’s a player coming off suspension with a quarterback in his first game with the Browns.

Well, the joke’s on us. Brian Hoyer looked for Gordon – and often. The Browns don’t have a running game. Instead, they are going to throw the ball to get yards. Look at Denver as an example of this. Wes Welker is the best running back the team has, but he doesn’t get his yards by running. He catches short passes and moves the chains. Look for Cleveland to operate in a similar manner. Sure, Hoyer is no Peyton Manning, but the targets are going to be there – for both Gordon and Jordan Cameron. While the matchup against Cincinnati this week might be tougher, don’t hesitate to start both pass catchers for Cleveland.

It looked for a few days like Gordon might be traded. That still might happen. However, until it does (if it does), Cleveland will showcase their receiver. They want the best offer for him. If Cleveland showcases him, so should Fantasy owners.

3. An overreaction and an underreaction: The New York Jets receivers aren’t as good as they looked on Sunday and there still is hope for David Wilson.

As mentioned in the intro of this column, Stephen Hill will likely be a popular waiver wire pickup this week. Another pickup will be Santonio Holmes. Fantasy owners desperate for something to pin their hopes on are going to look at receivers that no one wanted to even go near on draft day. The reason that no one wanted them was because the Jets offense isn’t exactly high-powered. Geno Smith is the quarterback and while he’s serviceable, he’s not exactly amazing. In a game where they played at home, against the Buffalo Bills, Hill and Holmes had good stat lines. Buffalo is ranked in the bottom half of the league in terms of passing yards and touchdowns allowed through three games. Holmes played against a backup cornerback and posted a 5/154/1 line. The yards are nice, but only five receptions is worrisome. How often will he post a line like that? Probably not often. He’s serviceable as a bye-week fill-in, but not anything more than that. Also, monitor the injury reports. He misses a lot of practice, and some of that is for rest, but if there are too many missed practices in a row, be wary of starting him on Sunday.

Hill actually is a better pickup than Holmes. He’s put up over 80 yards two weeks in a row and finally found the end zone in Week Three. However, he’s done it on four and three receptions, respectively. He has the ability to make big plays and catch a long touchdown. If he’s available on your waiver wire, pick him up, but temper expectations for him.

And last, call me crazy, but I’m still holding out hope for David Wilson. He managed positive Fantasy points in Week Three, so that’s improvement. The Giants are trusting him more, and his Fantasy day could have (should have) been much better than it was. He had a touchdown and a long run called back due to penalties. If the Giants are trusting him again, so should Fantasy owners. He had 11 carries in Week Three and was on the field for 25 plays. Both of those numbers are more than any other running back for the Giants. While the Giants may be struggling, sooner or later they are going to have to realize that if they want a running game, Wilson is the one to give the ball to. Once Andre Brownreturns, Wilson’s value will take a hit, but before that happens, he faces Philadelphia twice. Make sure he’s in your lineup for those games.

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