Fantasy football: Colts QB Andrew Luck getting hot at right time
BY JEFF AGREST firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @JeffreyA22 October 9, 2012 8:24PM
Green Bay Packers v Indianapolis Colts
Updated: November 11, 2012 6:17AM
Fantasy owners are in Luck.
As Luck would have it, points are coming in bunches.
It has nothing to do with dumb Luck.
I could go on, but you’d probably stop reading. My point is, Colts quarterback Andrew Luck is coming on fast, and fantasy owners in need should take notice, especially with bye weeks just beginning and Luck already past his.
Conveniently for a rookie, Luck has faced some soft pass defenses. Before turning the Packers’ 16th-ranked pass defense into mincemeat Sunday with 362 yards and two touchdowns, Luck threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns against the Jaguars’ 21st-ranked unit.
But wait, there’s more. After facing the Jets’ No. 6 pass defense Sunday, Luck will battle the Browns (26), Dolphins (27), Titans (25) and Jaguars again. Four teams are on bye every week through Week 11 except for Week 7, when six teams are off. Someone will need some Luck.
There I go again.
The matchups alone don’t make Luck special. The Colts are putting the offense on his shoulders. He’s averaging 44.2 pass attempts per game, second only to the Saints’ Drew Brees. Furthermore, the Colts have thrown on almost two-thirds of their offensive plays (64 percent).
Granted, there are rookie issues. Luck is completing 54.2 percent of his passes, second-lowest among qualifiers. Only the Jets’ Mark Sanchez is worse. Plus, he’s thrown five interceptions. But that’s fewer than those of fellow rookies Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill and Brandon Weeden.
More important, Luck is ahead of all three in fantasy scoring. His 28-point performance Sunday vaulted him to 12th among quarterbacks. Expect him to be in the top 10 before too long.
The knees have it
Tommy John surgery is to pitchers what ACL surgery is to running backs.
That’s probably not true, but pitchers do seem to perform better after their surgeries, and running backs Jamaal Charles, Rashard Mendenhall and Adrian Peterson are doing just fine after surgeries to repair their anterior cruciate ligaments.
Mendenhall made a triumphant return for the Steelers on Sunday, rushing 14 times for 81 yards and a touchdown. Though he shared time with Isaac Redman (13 carries, 41 yards), Mendenhall was by far the Steelers’ most productive rusher this season. Start him this week against the Titans’ 25th-ranked run defense.
All Charles has done is lead the league in rushing with 551 yards, averaging 5.4 per carry. Remember the concern about Charles sharing time with Peyton Hillis? Well, Hillis has missed the last two games with an ankle injury, and Charles has 102 carries, tied for third-most in the league. Perhaps not coincidentally, he’s the farthest of the three from his knee surgery.
Peterson has rushed for at least 84 yards in four of five games. He doesn’t have a touchdown since scoring twice in Week 1, but he’s getting the ball. Peterson is seventh in the league in carries. He played through a minor ankle injury Sunday, so monitor him this week.
WEEK 6 OUTLOOK
Bye weeks: Panthers, Bears, Saints, Jaguars.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Broncos at Chargers: Philip Rivers finally showed up Sunday. Peyton Manning has thrown for at least 330 yards in three consecutive games.
GAME OF THE MEEK
Dolphins at Rams: For the Dolphins, Reggie Bush is worth starting. Maybe Brian Hartline. The Rams’ best prospect? Kicker Greg Zuerlein.
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Vikings WR Percy Harvin: The Redskins have allowed the second-most receiving yards per game.
Bengals WR Andrew Hawkins: Browns CB Joe Haden is back; he’ll take A.J. Green. That should leave plenty of leftovers for Hawkins.
Raiders RB Darren McFadden: The Falcons have allowed 5.4 yards per carry, second-highest in the league.
PLAYERS OF THE MEEK
Buccaneers WR Vincent Jackson: The Chiefs have allowed the sixth-fewest yards to wide receivers.
Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch: He has two problems: The Patriots are eighth in run defense and first in points.
Redskins RB Alfred Morris: The Vikings’ longest run allowed is 15 yards, a league best. Morris’ pace slows this week.
LAST WEEK’S PICKS
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
QB Joe Flacco: 187 yards
RB Ryan Matthews: 139 total yards, TD
WR Dwayne Bowe: 6 catches, 60 yards
PLAYERS OF THE MEEK
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: 126 yards
RB Steven Jackson: 76 yards
Panthers RBs: James Stewart, 16 yards; DeAngelo Williams, 6 yards