Posted by Steve Andress
Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 4:33pm
Before an injury-riddled 2015, we saw what Luck’s upside can be in 2014 with decent offensive line play in front of him: a top tier fantasy QB. That season he finished as the QB2 with 356 points, just two points behind Rodgers...and more points than any other QB not named Cam Newton in 2015. The Colts invested half of their draft into offensive linemen, including a first round pick on center Ryan Kelly and a 3rd round pick on G/T Le’Raven Clark, after a season where advanced statistics showed Luck only had two unavoidable sacks. No fantasy quarterback will have his offensive line under a microscope leading to draft day more than Luck, and if it can at least get to 2014 levels (which was still average, at best), Luck can return to top tier fantasy QB status, with even more weapons than he had that season.
Even in the seven games Luck played last year, he did not play like an elite fantasy quarterback. His 18.7 FP/G put him just below Aaron Rodgers and just above Kirk Cousins for what would have been a QB8 finish over a 16-game pace. Yes, his offensive line was utterly dismal, but Luck compounded that into turnovers. 15 touchdowns to 13 turnovers in seven games was terrible, including multiple turnovers in five of seven games. If the offensive line doesn’t improve, Luck could be scrambling for his life again, more susceptible to turnovers and injury again.
Luck is our #4 QB heading into 2016 but one of three QBs projected to crack 300 points, with Cam Newton, Russell Wilson, and Aaron Rodgers. His turnovers are still a concern (less than two-to-one TD-INT ratio still for his career), but Luck’s lackluster 2015 have depressed his average draft position to a point where he may be worth the risk to you, going around the 4th-5th round turn, when RBs and WRs start to all blend together, but it’s hard to justify drafting him any earlier than that with how deep the QB position has become. The projected difference between Luck and QBs available in the 9th round or later comes out to about 2 points per week or less.