Does Kirk Cousins hurt the fantasy football value for other Redskins?

      December 12, 2013 @ 11:28:53 PDT

Mike Shanahan shocked a lot of folks the other day when he announced that Kirk Cousins would start over Robert Griffin III for Week 15. RG3 later indicated that he'll sit out the rest of the regular season - Week 16 against the Dallas Cowboys and Week 17 at the New York Giants.

Washington Redskins RB Alfred Morris
More work for Alf Mo?

The reason for Shanahan benching Griffin is a conversation that could go on all day. Was it purely to keep the versatile QB healthy heading into the offseason? Was it for personal reasons between he and RG3 or an attempt to give owner Daniel Snyder cause to fire him so he can collect guaranteed money?

Who knows…

The only thing we do know is that Cousins will be under center this weekend against the Atlanta Falcons, and Griffin will be learning a lesson in humility as the third-string QB behind Rex Grossman.

What most fantasy footballers want to know, though, is, will Cousins under center harm the value of the rest of Washington's fantasy-relevant players in the fantasy football semifinals? It's a valid fear with so much on the line and the fact that Cousins has only attempted 25 passes in mop-up time this season.

One of my Twitter followers expressed worry over starting Alfred Morris this week with Cousins under center. I don't think you have anything to fear there. Morris is averaging a healthy 4.7 yards per carry this season and should have more ground to cover now that Griffin won't be scrambling for yards of his own. Atlanta has been one of the easier units to run on this year, too.

What about Pierre Garcon? I think he'll be just fine, too. In Cousins' lone start last season against the Cleveland Browns, he targeted the 'Skins' No. 1 wideout 12 times (a season high for Garcon) for six catches and 65 yards. Once again, Atlanta's D likes to give up big chunks of yardage through the air.

Cousins doesn't have the repetitions or experience to warrant trust in a fantasy owner at this critical juncture of the season, but he definitely has the skills to surprise in these next two weeks against the Falcons and Cowboys - defenses that give up points and yards like it's their job.

And who is usually a young QB's favorite safety valve again, kids? That's right, the tight end. Jordan Reed (concussion) still hasn't passed his concussion tests and seems likely to sit out another week. Enter Logan Paulsen, who could be a strong choice as a desperation flex play at the position in Week 15.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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