Just as Andrew Luck was starting to emerge as a reliable fantasy starter, the Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback had a clunker against the New York Jets last week. Luckily for his new owners, Luck should be able to bounce right back in Week 7.
The first overall pick scored just five points against the Jets, a disappointing result for all the fantasy owners who jumped on the bandwagon late. One bad performance isn't enough to give up on him, however. He still has a lot of upside.
Luck has continued a recent trend of rookie quarterbacks being thrown right into the fire. Not just in terms of starting games, but being asked to control the entire offense in an attempt to accelerate the learning curve for the future.
Through five games, he's averaging 44 passing attempts. That has led to nearly 300 yards per game and seven touchdowns. And while he's made his fair share of mistakes (seven interceptions and two lost fumbles), the overall progress has been encouraging.
In fantasy terms, he's had three really good games and two subpar ones, which is pretty much the type of inconsistency you'd expect from a rookie. Even the most talented young players are prone to mistakes in their first season.
The most important thing is to avoid making snap judgments based off one game. It doesn't necessarily mean Luck should be benched the following week or, taken to a further extreme, dropped altogether. Having some patience is crucial.
Moving forward, it'll be best to use him based on matchups, instead of just using him as a blanket starter every week. If owners bench him against the elite defenses, they significantly increase their odds of avoiding one of those down games.
Fortunately, he has a promising Week 7 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. They rank 30th in passing yards allowed at over 290 per game and have given up 15 passing touchdowns, which is tied for the most in the NFL.
No quarterback has scored less fewer 15 fantasy points against the Cleveland defense all season, a streak Luck should be able to continue given his string of success prior to the Jets game.
Given Indianapolis' offensive game plan in the first portion of Luck's rookie season, owners should expect him to top 300 yards with a couple touchdowns, rewarding those fantasy owners who stuck with him after an off week.
Projection: 22 fantasy points