You heard it yesterday. It came around 4 p.m. ET, and at first it sounded like just your casual scream filled with anguish and agony. Whatever, right? You ignored it at first, assuming a child was just told that Santa Claus doesn’t exist only weeks before Christmas. That is, of course, a filthy lie. For shame.
But then the sound kept growing, and it was more of a groan — a constant, sort of humming groan — that sometimes varied its pitch, though it mostly stayed at the same decibel level. And then it rose to a dramatic crescendo, sort of like this…
You were hearing Robert Griffin III owners, and their failed attempts to suppress their sadness. Let it all out, you guys. Just let it pour out.
Done? Good, because we have work to do. Let’s find a solution to what ails you.
That’s impossible, but we’re going to try. Usually this would wait until my weekly Tuesday afternoon/evening waiver wire manifesto, and I’ll likely dig a little deeper into your RGIII worries there too tomorrow. But dammit, I can’t wait that long, and neither can you. So let’s see if there’s something out there to get you through Week 15 if Griffin misses a game during the worst possible time for such an absence. Next week is the semi finals for most of you, and the first week of the finals for those of you in leagues that dedicate two weeks to your fantasy championship.
First, though, a quick review of where we stand now with Griffin. His leg wrapped around Haloti Ngata yesterday during the Redskins’ OT win over Baltimore, and legs generally aren’t designed to wrap around things. There’s been plenty of rosy news since, with the Redskins confirming that no ligaments have been torn, and a further update from head coach Mike Shanahan will follow later on this afternoon. However, despite that swell news and the likelihood that we’ll see Griffin on a practice field in some capacity this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter cited team sources who told him that right now there’s no guarantee he’ll be available Sunday.
Alright then, let’s get to work. Pack your Gravol, this won’t be pretty.
Top waiver options for the RGIII owner in your life (see: you)
1. Colin Kaepernick: I know, right. I’m bat shit crazy for thinking Kaepernick would possibly be available for anyone in any league ever at this point. You mean, the same kind of demon crazy that’s possessed those who refuse to spread their love on Danario Alexander? Yeah, Kaep is stunningly still widely available in way too many leagues.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 47%, Yahoo – 52%
2. Ryan Fitzpatrick: Another option that’s surprisingly available, Fitzpatrick also inspires odd, squealing animal sounds at the thought of owning him. And I get that, especially with his upcoming matchup against the Seahawks, and their fourth-ranked pass defense. Remember, though, that they’ll still be playing without Brandon Browner, and Richard Sherman’s appeal for his PED suspension is set for this Friday. If it fails, Sherman will sit too, meaning the Seahawks will be missing two of the league’s top young corners, giving Fitzpatrick and Stevie Johnson plenty of green grass.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 50.9%, Yahoo – 42%
3. Nick Foles: Believe. You’ll look at Foles’ upcoming matchup against the Bengals and note that it sucks, and you’ll sour on him despite his impressive performance yesterday against Tampa, owners of the league’s worst pass defense (Foles had 381 passing yards at a pace of 7.8 per attempt while throwing two touchdowns, rushing for 27 yards, scoring a rushing touchdown, and completing his third straight game without an interception). And fair enough, because the Bengals are first in sacks with 42, and Foles is still playing behind an offensive line which scratched themselves as he was sacked six times yesterday. But let’s assume that although Griffin’s absence will lead to a steady flow of human water from your eyes, you’re quite confident in the matchups you have elsewhere on your lineup, and your ability to hold it together for one week. Let’s go further with this game of make believe, and imagine a world where Griffin misses two weeks, a terrifying yet real possibility at this point. In Week 16, Foles faces the Redskins and their 31st-ranked secondary that features DeAngelo Hall’s endless comedy. They’re giving up 289.3 passing yards per game.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 3.9%, Yahoo – 8%
4. Ryan Tannehill: The upside here may be low, but the floor is high too. Tannehill gets a favorable matchup against the Jaguars next week, but his dud performances this year will make you cast him aside promptly, as it’s your instinct to remember the bad times. He’s had four games this year with five or fewer fantasy points, but he’s also logged seven games with 12 or more. This is a safe play then, and one with great potential. At worst, Tannehill will provide you with replacement-level production, meaning he may not dazzle, but he won’t hurt you either. At best, he could flirt with 20 points.
Percentage owned: ESPN – 9.6%, Yahoo – 3%
5. Jake Locker: Similar to Fitzpatrick, owning Locker feels like a punch to the face. Actually, in Week 15 it’s two punches since he’ll oppose the Jets, and defending the pass is pretty much the only football activity the Jets can still do with some degree of success when they’re not running into asses. But if you’ve made it this far, keep that eye fork holstered, fine sir, because there’s an added element Locker brings to your roster that we’re not supposed to talk about, sort of like fight club. He’s rushed for 213 yards, and he had a season high 51 yards on the ground yesterday during the Titans’ loss to Indianapolis. That puts his per game rushing average (26.6 over eight game appearances) ahead of Russell Wilson’s (23.8), the same Russell Wilson who rushed for 34 yards against the Jets in Week 10. Most leagues award more points for rushing yards, so the three or four possible points you get from Locker’s rushing combined with his passing totals could easily net you something in the neighborhood of 10-to-12 points from the position (Locker’s had 10 or more points in all but one of his games this year). Maintain perspective, and realize that’s fine output from a desperate, reaching option.
Percentage Owned: ESPN 7.6%, Yahoo – 17%