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2014 Draft Prep: RG3 will surprise the naysayers

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The last thing Fantasy owners who like Robert Griffin III wanted to see is what's taken place this preseason. It's been an ugly display on offense.

Griffin, who is coming back from last year's disappointing campaign when he limped through the season and was eventually benched for the final three games, is struggling to grasp new coach Jay Gruden's offense. He's also taken too many hits, reminding Fantasy owners of his fragile nature.

It's easy to be concerned about drafting Griffin, so pass on him if you're so inclined. But I'll still take that gamble, especially where he's falling in drafts. His Average Draft Position heading into Labor Day weekend is No. 93 overall, which is Round 8 in a 12-team league. A better gauge of his value is he's the No. 13 quarterback being drafted.

I love that he's going so late because it means I can get him at a bargain. I'm still expecting Griffin to be a solid Fantasy quarterback this year, and don't be surprised if he returns to his rookie form before he tore up his knee at the end of the 2012 season. He was No. 6 in Fantasy points that year.

It's going to take Griffin proving himself on the field before Fantasy owners can trust him. He's just 13-of-20 passing in the preseason for 141 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, and he has seven carries for 27 yards and a lost fumble. He looked bad in the second and third preseason games against Cleveland and Baltimore, respectively, and there's been talk of him being benched in favor of Kirk Cousins.

Thankfully, Gruden ended that conversation, but it's clear we need to see Griffin do something special early in the year. And I think he will.

This should be the best passing season of his young career thanks to Gruden. As the offensive coordinator for the Bengals the past two seasons, Gruden has helped Andy Dalton become a top-12 Fantasy quarterback, including No. 3 last year.

No one is expecting Griffin to reach those heights, but he has a stacked receiving corps with DeSean Jackson and Andre Roberts joining Pierre Garcon and Jordan Reed. Eventually, Griffin will click with those guys and this offense should hum along with a lot of potential.

Griffin also will boost his Fantasy production with his rushing ability. It's a good sign that he's attempted seven rushes in the preseason. His knee isn't an issue anymore, but he has to avoid taking hits when he runs. He seems to understand that, so we'll see how it plays out.

The thing I like best about Griffin, especially based on his ADP, is you have little risk to draft him as your starter and a lot of reward. Just make sure you pair him with a high-end No. 2 quarterback like Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson or even Cam Newton.

If Griffin struggles then you have a great fallback option. But if he plays to his rookie level or even better then you might have the steal of the draft. I'm willing to gamble on him playing well, making him a quarterback to target on Draft Day.

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Player News
Cardinals planning to start Drew Stanton vs. 49ers
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:42 am ET) Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said quarterback Carson Palmer's status hasn't changed and that backup Drew Stanton is in line to start Sunday against the 49ers, reports the Bay Area News Group. Palmer has a bruised nerve in his throwing shoulder.

Stanton completed 14 of 29 throws for 167 yards in the Week 2 win at the Giants.


Roy Helu expects no limitations in practice
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(11:40 am ET) Redskins running back Roy Helu (knee) said Wednesday he will be full go in practice this week, according to CSNWashington.com.

Kirk Cousins expects D-Jax to play
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:39 am ET) Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins told reporters he expects receiver DeSean Jackson to play Sunday in Philadelphia. Jackson is dealing with a sprained shoulder.

"It is hard to overthrow him," Cousins said of Jackson. "You let him go get it."


Darrion Weems hits injured reserve
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:29 am ET) The Cowboys placed offensive tackle Darrion Weems on IR with a shoulder injury, ending his season.

Odell Beckham not expected to practice this week
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:11 am ET) Giants coach Tom Coughlin said rookie receiver Odell Beckham (hamstring) likely won't practice this week, reports the New York Daily News. It's unclear when Beckham will make his season debut.

Preston Parker is Giants' new No. 3 receiver
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(11:09 am ET) With Jerrel Jernigan (foot) done for the season, Preston Parker is the Giants' new No. 3 receiver, coach Tom Coughlin told the New York Post. However, Coughlin said all five Giants receivers will get their opportunities.

Parker made a 29-yard catch in the Week 2 loss to the Cardinals.


Orlando Scandrick allowed to play right away
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:57 am ET) Cowboys cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who had two games left on his four-game suspension, is eligible to play right away under the new drug policy announced Wednesday. Dallas visits St. Louis on Sunday.

New policy lets Stedman Bailey play Sunday
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:53 am ET) Under the NFL's new drug policy, Rams receiver Stedman Bailey doesn't have to serve the rest of his four-game suspension, the league announced. He's eligible to play Sunday against the Cowboys.

Wes Welker eligible to return Week 3
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(10:47 am ET) The NFL and NFL Players Association announced Wednesday morning a new agreement on improvements to their policy on performance enhancing substances, which include the use of third-party arbitration appeals of positive tests and implementation of testing for human growth hormone within the next few weeks.

Due to the new policy, the NFL announced Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker, who was serving a four-game suspension, will be eligible to return this week.


Josh Gordon eligible to play Nov. 23
by Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
(10:45 am ET) The NFL and its players association agreed to a new drug policy that reduces Browns receiver Josh Gordon's one-year suspension to 10 games, reports CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora. Gordon will be eligible to play Nov. 23 at Atlanta.

Gordon is expected to return to the Browns' facility this week for meetings and conditioning.


 
 
 
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