Fantasy owners of several Redskins players are still trying to assess the impact of Mike Shanahan’s decision to shut down franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III for the final 3 games of the season. Shanahan claims he does not want to risk injuring the second year quarterback now that the playoffs are a mathematical impossibility.
His decision shakes things up as far as fantasy rosters are concerned. Who is more valuable, who is less valuable and suddenly RGIII holds no value whatsoever barring the immediate firing of Shanahan.
In place of RGIII, Kirk Cousins will get the second start of his career. One can only guess how Shanahan will handle the former Michigan State Spartan. Will he protect his young, inexperienced quarterback or let him loose to show the franchise he is worthy of more than a backup role. Cousins will be up against a Falcons defense that allows the highest rating in the NFL to opposing quarterbacks.
The most likely situation will involve a lot of handing the ball off and not too many risky throws but enough to evaluate Cousins.
Running Back Alfred Morris will most likely benefit from the change at quarterback for a few reasons. Morris is now the top 1 or 2 options on offense with no RGIII, and if Shanahan wants to protect Cousins the Falcons will get a heavy dose of Morris.
When given an adequate amount of touches Morris has proven to be a top 5 back in the NFL outside of PPR formats. The Falcons are ranked 30th against the run and give up over 130 rushing yards per game giving Morris a very favorable matchup. Consider Morris a solid option on Sunday.
Wide receiver Pierre Garcon’s fantasy value could take a dip depending on the gameplan. Garcon is having the best season of his career amounting 89 receptions for 1017 yards and 3 touchdowns through his first 13 games and is clearly the number one option when the Redskins throw the ball.
Some of his success has to be attributed to the chemistry he shares with quarterback RGIII, something he will be lacking in Week 15. The Falcons rank 20th against the pass allowing almost 250 yards per game. Consider Garcon a strong flex against the Falcons.