Following a loss to the New York Giants in the 2008 NFC Divisional Round, Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Terrell Owens broke down in front of cameras defending quarterback Tony Romo in a pure, heartfelt expression of camaraderie.
Facetiousness aside, that is how I feel this year about Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Please don’t judge me. “If you do that, it’s really unfair . . . it’s unfair. That’s my quarterback.”
I might admit going a bit overboard on setting up this bro-mance image, but I won’t admit to being overly optimistic about Luck’s numbers in 2013. If things go well in the fantasy football drafts I participate in this season, the former Stanford Cardinal will be the signal caller for most of my teams.
First I must briefly explain my draft strategy. Unless the fantasy football world spins off its axis in to an inexplicable cosmos and Aaron Rodgers is still on the board in the fourth round, I have zero intention of thinking quarterback until the sixth round, where it becomes all about value.
Value, as defined by fantasy football gurus, is the ability to draft a player at a position far lower then said player’s production during the actual season. If you participate in mock drafts or look through numerous player projections, you will notice Luck is ranked outside the top-10 fantasy quarterbacks.
If that is the case and you don’t find yourself surrounded by rival GMs wearing their “We Heart Colts Nation” t-shirts or number 12 jerseys, Luck should fall to the sixth or seventh round. For a minute, let’s just assume he matches the numbers he put up in his rookie season. You will get a mid-round quarterback that averages right at 40 attempts per game, threw for over 4,300 yards and even showed mobility rushing for five scores.
I would certainly take that scenario with a smile on my face.
However, it is my contention that Luck’s rookie numbers were simply a baseline for the remainder of his career and he will get better each season. To take this one step further, I do not believe it unrealistic for Luck to end the season as a top-five fantasy quarterback. Yes, I said top-five.
If that happens, and I believe the chances are more likely it does than not, you can enthusiastically pat yourself on the back in December for selecting one of the bigger steals of your league’s draft.
Luck is a must-target quarterback in every fantasy format. He gives you the flexibility to fill valuable running back, wide receiver and maybe even a tight end positions before you are forced to call his name. And when you do, you own a solid gunslinger worth no less than 4,300 yards.
Back in my day, 4,300 yards was a lot of yards.
You do what you have to do on draft day: roll with the punches and remain flexible based on league trends. Just remember the name as your draft progresses ensuring fruition of the words of our friend William Shakespeare, “good ‘Luck’ go with thee.”