So somehow you made it through semi final week without Robert Griffin III, the leading scorer in fantasy football. This was accomplished primarily by not changing clothes throughout the entire week. Yeah, I’d say you took that whole lucky sock, shirt, pants, and underwear thing a little too far, but whatever works.
Now your breathing has started to return to its normal pace, which is nice and healthy. A week from now you’ll be filling your body with turkey and other various festive gorging, so you need to be in prime condition. You’re starting to feel pretty good about yourself, because since Griffin was only narrowly scratched this week, surely he’s on track to play next week, right?
There are, of course, many elements at play here beyond simply the health of Griffin’s knee, and the hopeful improvement of his grade 1 LCL sprain. Although every game is quite clearly a vital game for a team clawing their way to the playoffs, Kirk Cousins impressed yesterday, and his play could lead to some more conservative thinking regarding Griffin’s playing status this week in a powder puff matchup against an Eagles team that defense forgot. After possibly resting for yet another week as Cousins takes care of the Eagles, Griffin would then ideally be fully healthy (or at least much closer to it) for what will likely be a massive divisional game against the Cowboys in Week 17 to close out the season.
That was part of Jene Bramel’s thinking too. But there was also a more concerning element to the injury expert’s diagnosis:
The decision may be much more difficult this week. Griffin’s injury isn’t likely to be fully healed, but it will be much closer than it was yesterday. Expect Griffin to be limited in practice again this week and for the same decision-making process to be applied next Friday or Saturday. The strong play of Kirk Cousins yesterday could offset some of the vocal push we’ll continue to hear from Griffin and it’s too early to say for certain, but I think I’d bet on Griffin playing this week.
That last part — you know, the part about Griffin playing — is delightful. But the words “isn’t likely to be fully healed”? Not so much.
Based on the early opinions of Bramel and others, I also think we’ll get a favorable game-time decision with Griffin this week. But while that’s fantastic, it won’t be the end of your worries, and difficult choices.
As we’ve heard repeatedly and will continue to hear repeatedly, even when he returns to the field Griffin will be limited, and surely not his usual extremely mobile self. That means he’ll be losing part of what makes him valuable in both reality and fantasy. The yardage he’s capable of compiling on the ground comprises a large percentage of his fantasy production, as of Griffin’s 275 overall fantasy points, 110.8 of them have come through rushing yards and touchdowns.
Specifically, that’s 40.3 percent of Griffin’s points, and of course much of his success in the passing game is also powered by his legs as he creates his own space by escaping the rush, and he’s often most comfortable throwing while rolling out of the pocket. But really, who the hell are we kidding here, guys? If Griffin is healthy and playing, you’re starting him during championship week. You’ll just have to do what you’ve so often done this year when one of your studs is either returning from an injury or trying to play through one (see: Roddy White), and mentally prepare yourself for decreased production.
Some Griffin is better than no Griffin, amirite?