During Thanksgiving in 2017, Andrew Luck was on the Colts’ injured reserve. At the time, the star QB was in the process of bouncing back from surgery to repair a frayed labrum. He should’ve returned to football earlier, but setbacks in his rehab caused him to miss the entire season. This led to doubts even from Luck himself as to whether he could return to the sport again.
Yet Luck proved everyone wrong, playing in every game last season as well as taking part in every single regular-season practice – something he had not done since 2014. 11 games into his comeback campaign, the quarterback completed a career-best 68.4% in converted passes with 32 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. During that time, he even threw three touchdown passes in eight games – a feat matched only by Tom Brady and Peyton Manning.
As a result, former Colt Jeff Saturday said that Luck was worthy of winning MVP for his incredible 2018 season. “Without [Patrick] Mahomes, he’s an MVP,” Saturday remarked. “You’re literally talking about, he had an MVP year." Saturday then went on to praise Luck for his decision-making and playing style, a heavy compliment from someone who played alongside Peyton Manning for many years.
Given his recent performances, Luck has remained central to his team’s efforts. In fact, a few years back the Indiana Colts gave him a new contract. The deal was struck in 2016, and the contract would see Luck stay with the Colts until 2021, earning him $140 million. This deal made Luck the NFL’s best-paid player, even earning him a spot in a list of the highest-paid athletes in the world by sports site Ladbrokes. With all these accolades under his belt, the quarterback could very well become a popular fantasy football draft pick this season.
Yet one question remains: should you draft him?
Despite his amazing recovery, readers should still exercise caution. Recently, Luck’s involvement in the offseason program was limited due to a calf injury, something that Yahoo! Sports speculate could impact his ability to stay healthy and perform the way Manning did during his time with the Colts. Though the player has explained that his absence only comes down to a post-surgery realization that he needs to be more conservative when it comes to injuries, it still serves as a distinct reminder that his health and fitness should not be taken for granted.
Furthermore, an article by Star Tribune explains why you shouldn’t rush when selecting a fantasy QB. The reason for this is that unless you’re in a league that plays two quarterbacks, there isn’t much of a difference between the top picks and quarterbacks you can select afterward. You might even be better off taking another running back or wide receiver in the third or fourth round instead, rather than going for the top QBs. Phillip Rivers, for example, was at one point 19th in ESPN's average draft position among quarterbacks yet, he scored only 78 fewer points than the No.1 fantasy pick, Russell Wilson.
If you are going to go for a running back, keep in mind that there is an even wider point disparity in this position. In one season, top-ranked Todd Gurley scored 125 more points than No. 8 Leonard Fournette, in standard non-point-per-reception scoring. Thus, it is advisable that you use your third-round pick to grab a running back like Aaron Jones or Derrick Henry, someone who may potentially finish at the top. Although this may mean having to miss out on drafting Andrew Luck, there’s always the option of simply just watching him play.