Redskins QB Griffin III benched, Cousins to start
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Redskins QB Griffin III benched, Cousins to start

ESPN's John Keim reports the Redskins will start QB Kirk Cousins @KirkCousins8 in their Week 15 game vs. Atlanta. Coach Mike Shanahan raised the possibility Monday of benching Griffin for the last three regular-season games, citing 24 sacks in the past five games and the desire to keep him healthy for the offseason. Griffin's offseason work this year was compromised by the major knee injury he suffereed in the team's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks in January. A team source on Tuesday said owner Dan Snyder would not intervene if Shanahan decided to make a switch at quarterback.

Fantasy Analysis:

Washington's offense is a mess. You're already in dire straits at the QB position if you were considering RG III as an option in Week 15, as we have him ranked our #19 QB vs. Atlanta. Cousins is a non-factor this week and should not be started in any league.

Also expect this to de-value WR Pierre Garcon @PierreGarcon and TE Jordan Reed, if he plays. It could, however, mean an above average day for RB Alfred Morris @Trey_Deuces in the ground game, as the Falcons give up the third most rushing yards per game and have allowed 12 rushing TD's on the season.

Source:
ESPN

7 Comments | Add Yours

I wouldn't necessarily dismiss Kirk Cousins as a fantasy option. The Eagles were in pretty rough shape when Foles came in for Vick. They're 5-0 since then and Foles has been a fantastic weekly option. Cousins looked surprisingly good in limited action last season as a 2nd-string rookie, and another year under his belt may have helped in the same way it's helped Foles.
Granted, I wouldn't recommend starting Cousins this week either. Even though Atlanta's pass defense is subpar, their run defense is far worse, and even though they ranked 32nd in QB sacks going into last week, Matt Flynn still found a way to go down five times (although Matt Flynn is no Kirk Cousins...?). And let's face it... it's the fantasy playoffs. If you're playing for a spot in your Week 16 championship game and you're willing to roll the dice with a guy like Kirk Cousins and hope for a Foles vs. Oakland Raiders-like performance, you're either very brave, very dumb, or a unique combination of both (brumb, perhaps?) Either way, good luck with that.
I would recommend keeping an eye on how Cousins plays this week (or picking him up and stashing him if you A) truly have the roster space, and B) have an uncomfortable situation at QB). He may very well surprise some people, and his Week 16 matchup against the impressively bad Dallas Cowboys defense simply cannot be ignored.

Posted by:
theCencei 12/11/13 12:14 PM

I realize Cousins is a roll of the dice. Given the fact that I have Keenum and Big Ben as my QBs, is it worth that roll of the dice?

Posted by:
rbuysse 12/11/13 03:05 PM

I also seem to remember Cousins hooking up with Garcon just fine in his appearances last year. I'm sticking with Garcon this week...

Posted by:
joshyjosh49 12/12/13 09:04 AM

Thanks rbuysse. I would check available QBs in your league and make sure there isn't a better option out there (Jay Cutler perhaps?) With the way Keenum has played over the last month, I'd say he's impossible to even consider as a fantasy-playoffs QB. I would drop him and try to find someone who could actually help your team in Week 15 and/or 16 (maybe Cousins, maybe a defense if you play weekly matchups).
I would actually start Big Ben against Cincinnati with confidence this week. He's been terrific over the last month, and he's throwing the ball a TON. Also factor in that the Bengals will once again be without top CB Terence Newman, who missed last week's game against the Colts in which Andrew Luck tossed up a 326/4/0 stat line, and I'd say Ben has a pretty good matchup at home this week.
And good luck joshyjosh49, I took the same approach with Jordy Nelson last week against the same Falcons D and got four catches for 85 yards out of it. Not monstrous, but respectable.

Posted by:
theCencei 12/12/13 12:21 PM

I don't want to be starting Cousins, but unfortunately my only other options are Campbell, Cassel, or Flynn. Not exactly anything to get excited about. Thoughts?

Posted by:
peterdantes 12/12/13 12:59 PM

rbuysse - I agree with theCencei on the Roethlisberger vs. Keenum question. Roethlisberger has turned Cotchery into a TD Machine, and is playing very well right now. With Newman out, Big Ben is a pretty good start this week!

joshyjosh49 - While Garcon didn't necessarily have a "big" game the only time Cousins saw significant action last season (vs. CLE - #25 vs. pass in 2012), he did still have 6 for 65, which is serviceable for a PPR league. If you're still playing, that probably means you're in the playoffs, and Garcon is one of the guys who got you there. He's had double-digit targets in the last 7 games and in 11 out of 13 this season, so you've got to roll with him, regardless of who his QB is. We've still got him ranked as a WR2. With a better QB, he'd probably be a WR1 this week vs. Atlanta! Side note - Reed didn't practice again yesterday. If he's inactive, somebody has to catch the ball.

peterdantes - That's quite the stable of sketchy fantasy QB's! Our rankings have Campbell as the highest rated of the bunch & he's one of our super-sleepers this week, coming off a 391 yd/3 TD performance last week vs. the Patriots. With Jordan Cameron and Josh Gordon at his disposal, I think he would be the safe play. I'm a dice-roller and am actually using Matt Flynn (if Rodgers is inactive) vs. the Cowboys horrendous pass defense in a couple weekly leagues this week due to the value he offers. I think I could throw for 150 yds & a TD on Dallas! So, there's another option out of your group if you want to gamble a little.

Thanks for the input & good luck to you all this weekend!

Posted by:
Rusty Reeves 12/12/13 02:05 PM

Yeah, that's quite the trifecta of terrible. Considering Flynn hasn't even shown flashes, I would stay away from him even though he has the best matchup against the Cowboys. I also think it's just too much of a risk to start Cousins this week. Monitor how he plays, but stay away for now.
Between Campbell and Cassel... I believe Campbell is the better quarterback, but he has a much tougher matchup against the Bears, and both teams have issues at RB. If I had to pick, I'd go with Campbell, if only because Cassel is simply impossible to trust. One week he looks pretty good, the next two he looks like garbage.
It's not much, but I hope it helps. Good luck Pete!

Posted by:
theCencei 12/12/13 02:25 PM

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Rusty Reeves -
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Loogootee, IN
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2013
Rusty has been an avid fantasy player since 2000, focusing primarily on football and dabbling a little in baseball. After dominating his local 16 team, auction league for the last 10 years, he and partner Mark Weakley have entered the high stakes world, making the playoffs and finishing 12th in their inaugural 252 team Main Event. They are also regulars in the playoffs in the auction format. He converses regularly with some of the best high stakes pros in the industry.
Rusty also has a love of live theatre, having been cast as male lead in a play in 2010 & directing a play in 2012.
A 2000 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, Rusty resides in the Evansville, IN area with his wife & two daughters.
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