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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
Panthers' Star Lotulelei out with stress reaction
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:37 pm ET) Panthers defensive tackle Star Lotulelei suffered a stress reaction in his right foot, per the Charlotte Observer.

Lotulelei had surgery to repair a broken bone in that foot in January. 

He'll be shut down and reevaluated in "a few weeks". 


Redskins' David Amerson, Akeem Davis slowed by injury
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:25 pm ET) The Redskins lost two defensive backs to injuries, Monday. 

David Amerson is being evaluated after suffering a left-shoulder injury, and Akeem Davis is getting evaluated for an injury to his left thumb, per the Washington Post

Davis played in 13 games as a rookie last year. Amerson has played in 31 games over the last two seasons.


Steelers considering season-ending surgery for Senquez Golson
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:22 pm ET) The Steelers are considering season-ending shoulder surgery for rookie cornerback Senquez Golson , the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported.

Golson was placed on the PUP list at the start of training camp. He told the team he suffered a shoulder injury during OTAs. 

The Steelers are considering other options, in addition to the surgery. 


Former Jaguars WR Ace Sanders suspended 10 games
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:16 pm ET) Free agent wide receiver Ace Sanders , released by the Jaguars last month, has been suspended for the first 10 games of the season, ESPN reported

Sanders missed the first four games last year under the league's substance abuse policy. Initial reports didn't say whether the 10-game suspension was due to another violation. 


Report: Eagles' Travis Long tears ACL, out for season
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:12 pm ET) Eagles linebacker Travis Long tore the ACL in his left knee and is out for the season, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. 

Long suffered the same injury to the same knee last year at the end of preseason and missed the season. 


Patriots waive Kevin Hughes, Vince Taylor
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(6:02 pm ET) The Patriots waived two injured players on Monday, putting the team four players below the 90-man roster limit, per NESN.

Offensive lineman Kevin Hughes was waived/injured after suffering a shoulder injury in Saturday's workout. If Hughes isn't claimed by a team on Tuesday, he'll be placed on injured reserve for the Patriots. 

Defensive tackle Vince Taylor was waived after a failed physical.


Browns rookie Duke Johnson out with hamstring injury
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:52 pm ET) Browns running back Duke Johnson, who was selected in the third round of the NFL Draft out of Miami, injured his hamstring at Saturday's practice. 

Johnson hasn't practiced since, and coach Mike Pettine said it "could be a little bit" of time before Johnson is able to return, per Ohio.com.


Browns sign Timothy Flanders, Jalen Parmele
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:48 pm ET) The Browns signed running backs Timothy Flanders and Jalen Parmele on Monday after suffering a rash of injuries at the position. 

Flanders spent time with New Orleans last year. Parmele has played with Miami and Arizona. 

To make room, the Browns waived wide receiver Kevin Cone and defensive back Brandon Stephens


Eagles' DeMarco Murray returns to practice, doesn't explain absence
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:34 pm ET) Eagles running back DeMarco Murray participated in practice on Monday, after being absent during team drills on Sunday.

Murray said that Sunday's reduction in workload was a coach's decision, not injury-related, but he wouldn't give any details.  

"I just do what I’m told,” he said, per the Philadelphia Inquirer.


Broncos place Kyle Williams on injured reserve
by Shawn Krest | CBSSports.com
(5:30 pm ET) The Broncos placed wide receiver Kyle Williams on injured reserve, the team announced on Monday, two days after he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury at practice. 

Williams missed all of last season after suffering an injury at the end of Kansas City training camp. 


 
 
 
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