Ranking RG3, Davis among fantasy keepers

Ranking RG3, Davis among fantasy keepers
May 9, 2012, 6:52 pm
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Part of my duties outside the CSN world involveswriting about, analyzing and as you will soon read, ranking fantasy football players. In this case, top 25 keeper rankings for quarterbacks and tight ends. As you might imagine, two Redskins made the cut - and no, not Rex Grossman and Logan Paulsen.Before I reveal where Robert Griffin III and Fred Davis fell on their appropriate lists, note that Im viewing this on a short-term basis. In other words, for leagues where you can keep a player for one additional season as opposed to dynasty leagues where an owner can maintain hold of a player for years and years. Got it? Got it.Let's start with RG3, who I slotted 16th, behind Peyton Manning and Joe Flacco but ahead of Andrew Luck and Sam Bradford. First, my general take."The Redskins made a franchise-altering move when they jumped up to snag the Heisman winner. Now coach Mike Shanahan ends the speculation, by announcing RGIII will be the starter. Big question now is whether there are proper pieces in place especially along the offensive line - to ensure a smooth transition into the pro ranks. There is no questioning the mobile and strong-armed QB's immense upside."Despite the insanity that were Cam Newton's real life and fantasy numbers- better than any rookie quarterback in history - it's not realistic to think or any newbie, even RG3, could duplicate or potentially even sniff them.That's not saying Griffin cannot have a stellar first campaign for the Redskins.However, unlike Newton he does not have two stud running backs, Steve Smithand a strong offensive line to work with (and don't forget that like the Redskins, the Panthers also had a quality pair of tight ends). Also, I do not see Mike Shanahan consistently running the sleek Griffin up the gut at the goal line the way the Panthers employed the powerful Newton.However, RG3's legs will do wonders for his fantasy numbers. Between Davis, Pierre Garcon, Santana Moss (if he sticks around) and Leonard Hankerson, there are targets that possess after-the-catch talent to help jack the passing stats. By his second season Griffin may be a fantasy starter, but right now he should not be drafted as one for 2012.That's why on this list he falls below the likely starters in 12-14 team leagues, but his potential ranks above the other burgeoning talents like Luck and Bradford. As for Davis, what to do, what to do. As I wrote in my blurb, talent-wise he stacks up favorably with the elite options at his position. Of course, I don't need to tell Redskins fans that he often has those watching wanting more. Maybe his previous quarterbacks are partly to blame. Maybe lacking full commitment to his craft - i.e., the failed drug tests - is the primary culprit.It would not stun me if Davis leads the Redskins in receptions; he has the skill, unlike Garcon and Josh Morgan he has experience in Shanahan's system and we all know that rookie passers supposedly looooove passing to their trusty tight end. The fear he could be suspended for a season looms over his keeper value as does the uncertainty of the Redskins offense under RG3 (for now just take "uncertainty" to mean something like Griffin could prefer throwing outside to Garcon and the wide receivers rather than to his tight end down the middle). Put it all together and Davis lands at No. 12. on my tight end keeper list. Even if Chris Cooley sticks around, Davis' value should not drop. If Cooley is a cap casualty, Davis' fantasy stock rises. If he avoids another positive drug test, fantasy owners could have a nice keeper on their hands.

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