Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck's Updated Fantasy Outlook After Trent Richardson Trade

Andrew Luck must have just found out that the Indianapolis Colts acquired Trent Richardson.
Andrew Luck must have just found out that the Indianapolis Colts acquired Trent Richardson.Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistSeptember 18, 2013

The Indianapolis Colts sent shock waves throughout the NFL by acquiring star running back Trent Richardson from the Cleveland Browns.

ESPN Adam Schefter had the scoop on a massive trade that landed the Colts the former No. 3 pick for a future first-rounder.

Blockbuster trades are hardly a hallmark in the NFL, and this deal bolsters Indianapolis' offense while making Cleveland prime contenders to challenge the Jacksonville Jaguars for the league's bottom billing.

This major move also united the highly talented 22-year-old back with 24-year-old quarterback Andrew Luck, forming a dynamic duo for years to come.

The two will torture defenses down the line, but Luck's immediate fantasy status does not alter much with the transaction.

It sure helps Richardson, who averaged 3.5 yards per carry during his 17-game tenure in Cleveland. Defenses will no longer be able to clog the running lanes against him with Luck behind center instead of Brandon Weeden.

But don't worry about Richardson stealing all the touches and draining Luck's fantasy value.

Even with Vick Ballard out for the season, the Colts had (and still have) a solid running back in Ahmad Bradshaw, who registered 65 rushing yards and a score on 15 carries in Week 2. While Richardson will welcome his new surroundings, he does not represent a dramatic enough upgrade for Indianapolis to crumble up the playbook and become a run-first organization.

The club's running game has also been solid enough not to hinder Luck's output. After a season where he was forced to pass 627 times, he is on pace to finish the season with 528 passing attempts. That decreased burden, however, has resulted in more efficiency.

Luck, who completed 54.1 percent of his passes last season, now boasts a 65.2 percent clip. He has collected 499 passing yards alongside three touchdowns and a pick, none of which will be greatly threatened or enhanced by Richardson's arrival.

The sophomore is a low-end starting quarterback for fantasy owners with the upside for more. He may lose a few pass attempts, but he'll become even more efficient with a cavalcade of offensive weapons at his disposal.

Dynasty owners are now even happier to own Luck, who should assemble an offensive juggernaut in Indianapolis with Richardson joining the party. 

Those who own Luck should not overreact to the change in any way. Learn from Cleveland's mistake, as the team's inability to properly gauge a small sample size amid trying circumstances led it to jettison the franchise's offensive building block.

 

 

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