Fantasy footballers who drafted Robert Griffin III this past season landed one of the best draft bargains of 2012. He recorded 3,200 passing yards, another 826 yards on the ground and scored a combined 27 touchdowns, and he did it all in 15 starts.
Those numbers vaulted RG3 to elite fantasy status.
Unfortunately, there are now some questions about the star quarterback, both on the field and in fantasy circles. RG3 underwent a major knee reconstruction on Wednesday as a result of an injury he initially suffered against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 14.
Griffin III appeared to make the ailment worse by playing in the wild card round when his knee buckled under him as he attempted to drop back to pass in the second half of a loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
The estimated time of recovery for such a procedure is typically six to eight months, so he should be back in time for the start of training camp (barring setbacks). That's not an unprecedented timetable either, as players like Adrian Peterson and Wes Welker have suffered late-season ACL injuries in recent years and were still able to suit up at the start of the following season.
Speaking of Peterson, he's been considered a medical miracle after rushing for over 2,000 yards in his first season back from knee reconstruction. Jamaal Charles and Knowshon Moreno also made successful returns from similar procedures in 2012, so the term "ACL surgery" isn't nearly as threatening to a player's career.
Owners should also keep in mind that Griffin III had an ACL operation back in 2009 while still in the collegiate ranks at Baylor. The following season he completed 67 percent of his passes, threw for 22 scores against eight interceptions and maybe more importantly, RG3 also rushed for 635 yards and eight touchdowns.
So the question on the minds of fantasy leaguers is this: When should Griffin III be taken in 2013 seasonal drafts?
Well, much depends on how smoothly his recovery and rehab go over the next few months. Considering his age, statistical upside and skill set, it will be tough to pass on RG3 if he slides into the third or fourth round. With that being said, there's no chance I would draft him in the first or second round ahead of the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Tom Brady or Cam Newton.
Just keep in mind that the days of an ACL operation meaning a statistical death sentence are all but over, so Griffin III has a good chance to rebound sooner than later.
Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!