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In this weekly column, I typically explore some young players who haven’t made much of a consistent impact to date on their fantasy football teams. Some players may be available on your waiver jreedwire, some may be available via a cheap or moderate trade. Acquiring or not acquiring one of these players could decide how well your dynasty or keeper team does for the next few years.  This week I take a look at two young Washington skill players in Robert Griffin III and Jordan Reed.

QB-Robert Griffin III, WASH- I will refer to him as RG3 for the rest of the article for simplicity’s sake.  What a difference a year makes, when you look back to the beginning of 2013, the entire football world brimmed with excitement about the super athletic playmaker.  Now the realities of the 2014 season have set in, RG3 does not offer the same wonderment, in fact it might be better described as fear and loathing.  The third year quarterback started off the game pressured by the Bucs defense.  His first pass got batted in the air for an interception.  He was late on the throw and did not set his feet before releasing the ball.  A series later, RG3 didn’t see a linebacker looming underneath a short route, the ball got knocked into a Tampa corner’s arms for a short touchdown return.

RG3 is at his best when he doesn’t wait around for the play to develop, it is better when he invokes his will on the defense forcing them to pick their poison.  The quarterback has a very strong arm and might be looked upon differently in this game if he would have connected with Desean Jackson on any of the deep throws that should have gone for touchdowns had they connected.  The game is still moving too fast for him when he isn’t playing the read option.  That type of offense lets him key on the defensive end, so the quarterback can decide to handoff the ball, throw, or run.  RG3 is at his most dangerous when he feels the pocket collapsing around him, steps up, and sprints towards the line of scrimmage with reckless abandon. Whether he runs or throws this act forces the defenders to make a choice that RG3 can exploit.  It’s when he feels forced to sit back and wait for the play to develop that the quarterback loses control and the defense dictates the outcome.  His footwork and vision get compromised when this happens.

The young quarterback spent the majority of his passing targets on running backs and tight ends, not trusting plays to downfield.  He needs to get better protecting himself throwing the ball away or sliding more when his running lane dries up.  RG3 is not a sturdy built quarterback like Cam Newton or Ben Roethlisberger, and has the injuries to show for it.  For the purposes of dynasty, I don’t want to count on Griffin as anything more than a QB2.  He is too small and injury-prone to count on for more than five quality fantasy starts a year.  If you can find someone who still values him like a dynasty QB1, sell immediately.

TE-Jordan Reed, WASH- The second year tight end lines up as a traditional tight end, in the slot, and gets sent into motion to dictate coverage. Reed catches the ball well in traffic, shielding the defenders from the ball.  He got forced a few times to adjust himself to poorly thrown passes from RG3.  These seemed to be more Griffin centric than on the young playmaker.

I have seen an improvement in his blocking from last year to this season.  Reed is better at sealing off defenders and sustains the block longer which will help him see more playing time.  The young tight end catches the pigskin in stride with outstretched hands and uses his quick feet to make the first defender miss when making sharp cuts.   He suffered a strained hamstring during the game that limited his production.  Another injury is not what his fantasy outlook needs.  Reed had concussion issues last season and got banged up a few times this season.  I am bumping him down my rankings to a bottom end TE1.  He has amazing athleticism, but if the young tight end isn’t on the field, does it matter?

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