Many people were opining that they could see this moment coming. The ability of Robert Griffin III, while amazing and unlike what most of us have ever seen, would also put him in harm's way. Is he too athletic for his own good and putting himself in the line of fire where a quarterback should not?
The first sign of danger was a brutal hit earlier in the season that Griffin was perhaps lucky to avoid a serious concussion from. Week 14 brought on another brutal hit, this time to his knee, and once again Griffin could be getting lucky. MRI results showed no ligament damage with the injury being described as a sprain, but RG3 is clearly going to be on injury watch all week with Kirk Cousins perhaps preparing for his first NFL start.
Griffin's performance was not particularly great or bad for fantasy purposes (246 yards passing, 1 TD, 0 INT, 34 yards rushing) though his injury is the news of the day for the NFL. Fantasy owners with RG3 that advanced to the next round will have to keep watch, however.
These are the notable performances from Week 14:
Cam Newton against the Falcons (TOLD YA SO)
When I wrote up last week the best quarterbacks to own for the fantasy playoffs, Newton ranked number two. And now one week into the fantasy playoffs (for most leagues) he is the highest-scoring QB. Newton put up 287 passing yards, 2 TD, 0 INT, 116 rushing yards and another touchdowns as the Panthers rolled the Falcons. He became the first Panthers QB to run for over 100 yards in a game.
I have not been of the opinion that Newton is having any kind of "sophomore slump" this season. His numbers are mostly the same or better than they were last year, except for a few less rushing touchdowns. Well, the Panthers offensive line has been a mess and nobody was running well in Carolina. With a soft schedule to end the year, he should have a good opportunity to have a better overall second season than what he did last year, even if he doesn't rush for nearly as many scores.
It's Newton versus the Chargers in Week 15.
Well, who was really predicting this, as the rookie class got even better this week. Michael Vick's time in Philadelphia is ticking down after Nick Foles had 381 passing yards, 2 TD, 0 INT and a rushing score as the Eagles ended an 8-game losing streak with an upset win in Tampa Bay. Even if it ended Vick's career in Philly, maybe Andy Reid can still save his own.
Foles hasn't thrown an interception in any of his last three starts, he's completing a good number of his passes, and Philly has been a little more competitive. Maybe there's still time to have Foles as your RG3 insurance, depending on the competitiveness of your league. The Eagles draw the Bengals in Week 15.
I feel like another bounty joke would be rather lazy. But if New Orleans was still paying players for hurting opponents, they could move up from worst to 23rd! Okay, I guess I'm lazy.
Eli Manning opened up the scoring with 73-yard interception return to the Saints' Elbert Mack, but there wasn't much else that the Saints would do good on defense. Manning finished with 259 yards passing, 4 TD and 2 INT. New Orleans gave up 52 points.
Next week would be a good week to play the Saints opponent, Josh Freeman. Manning takes on the Falcons, the team that could not stop Newton this week.
I hate myself.
People who started Aaron Rodgers in Week 14 might be hating themselves too after the Packers QB had just 173 yards, 0 TD, 0 INT and 1 rushing TD against the Lions on Sunday night. It's a very disappointing week for the league's top QB, especially on the big stage.
The Packers won the game, but you may have been sent packing in the first round of your playoffs with a subpar game from Rodgers. If you are starting Rodgers next week, he gets the difficult (but now vulnerable) Bears defense.
Indy made their pick for Andrew Luck months ago and they're obviously very happy with that pick. But Luck has been putting in his own picks this year including two more against the Titans (with 196 yards and a touchdown) in another Indy win. However, it's difficult to have won in the playoffs today if you started Luck on a performance like that.
Overall, Luck is now at 18 TD and 18 INT on the year. The stats don't really do justice for what Luck has brought to that team already, but stats are all the matter in fantasy football. 196 yards were the second-lowest total of his career, even if he's on his way to perhaps the most prolific yardage-total for a rookie in NFL history.
Here is a veteran that's likely headed for the Hall of Fame and now he's tied with Luck in interceptions! Drew Brees had two more picks on Sunday, though he added 354 yards and a touchdown, it was still a rather lackluster (Lastlucker?) performance for Brees. He has racked up nine interceptions over his last eight games.
At this point I am sure that many people in New Orleans can't wait for the year to be over and to start over in 2013. If you started Brees this week, you may be starting over too.
Honorable Mentions: Peyton Manning (310 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), Tony Romo (268, 1 TD, 1 INT), Jay Cutler (260 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT). (These are typically reserved for people that you'd actually play in fantasy but: John Skelton had 74 yards and 4 INT and Christian Ponder found a way to throw for less than 100 yards again.)
Griffin is the big news here. If he can't go this week and that's your guy, I hope you picked up Kirk Cousins. It's not a great play, but it could be your only one. It seems like a good possibility that RG3 is out at least a week, but that's just my opinion.
Jay Cutler played terribly and then left with a neck injury. The good news is that it wasn't a concussion. The bad news, Bears, is that you've lost four of five and that's mostly with Jay Cutler.