Name: Andrew Luck
Age: 28 years old (9/12/1989)
Team: Indianapolis Colts
2015 Stats: 7 games, 1881 yards passing, 15 TD, 12 INT. 33 rushes for 196 yds, 0 TD.
2016 Stats: 15 games, 4,240 yards passing, 31 TD, 13 INT. 64 rushes for 341 yds, 2 TD.
2017 Stats: None
2018 Projections: 16 games, 3,633 yards passing, 24 TD, 14 INT. 56 rushes for 265 yds, 2 TD.
Projected 2018 Fantasy Rank (FantasyPros): QB12
Injury: As we all know, Andrew Luck’s shoulder injury is easily the most complicated out of all of the injuries we will discuss. Luck’s shoulder woes have bothered him for over 3 years now, going as far back as 2015 when he was getting corticosteroid injections before games. Luck suffered a tear in the labrum of his shoulder. The labrum of the shoulder, like the one in our hips, the labrum helps to support and stabilize the shoulder joint, and provide a strong, smooth throwing motion.
Luck required mandatory off-days on Thursdays during the 2016 season, but there is only so much non-conservative management can help a torn labrum – especially one that he is trying to throw over 100 times (between practice, warm-ups and games) each and every week. He underwent surgery in January 2017, likely a repair of his labrum, possible debridement or cleaning out of the shoulder joint, and maybe even some manual manipulation of the shoulder socket (to help his ROM). The timeline for RTP for Luck’s surgery was 6 to 9 months; mind you this is without any complications or setbacks. That would have put Luck returning as early as July, and as late as October 2017. Colts owner, Jim Irsay, promised Luck would return for Week 1 of the 2017 season. Well as we all know, that didn’t happen. Luck missed the entire 2017 NFL season, nice job Irsay. FWIW, going forward, I don’t trust anything that Irsay says.
Ok, so we know that Luck went to Europe in November of 2017 seeking treatment to “get everything in his shoulder balanced” reported by Ian Rapoport. Its unclear what this means. Stem-cell? Regenokine? Something else? Your guess is as good as mine. We know he spent a month there rehabbing, but what was done there we will likely never know. Then there was the threat of another possible shoulder surgery, but that never came to fruition. Luck believes his first rehab failed because he reportedly ‘skipped steps,’ and now he is adamant about being thorough in his second round of rehab.
In late January, Luck was working with famous QB specialists Tom House and Adam Dedeaux in LA, helping to strengthen his arm and throwing motion. In late February, Luck was throwing weight footballs, and his rehab was reportedly going really well. Luck resumed throwing a football in early June 2018, over 500 days after his last live pass on January 1, 2017, where he was witnessed throwing at a local high school. The most recent news out of the Colts camp is that Luck is pain-free and that he has upped his rehab in recent weeks, which is fantastic news.
What if Luck takes a helmet to his shoulder? Honestly, it’s hard to tell. I expect him to bounce back up, but it is possible to re-tear his repaired labrum, or possibly cause a tear in a new part of the labrum.
Can Luck be the same dominant QB he was in 2016? Yes, possibly better (now healthier with better mechanics).
2018 Health Outlook: It sounds like Andrew Luck is finally healthy again. Shoulder injuries are complicated, so I am not surprised that this injury took a long time to completely recover. As long as Luck continues to do all the small, important things during his rehab (stretching, massages etc.) I think he will return to being one of the NFL’s premier QBs in 2018. It may take some time to get the rust off, but by mid-season he should be in vintage form.
Risk of Re-Injury: ~ 20%. While there is always risk of re-injury with an overhead-throwing athlete, especially one that has require labrum repair, I think Luck rehabbed appropriately.
Recommendations: The staff of the Colts has claimed that Luck is to be ‘without any restrictions’ only to place a restriction on him that isn’t allowed to throw everyday. The word is that Luck will play about a quarter in the Colts’ first preseason game and likely ramp up from there. It would be wise to see how he throws and reacts in the pocket before making your decision on him. As long as his possible bicep issue does not linger or return, I personally recommend drafting Andrew Luck with confidence, as I think Luck will be a top 10 QB this year.
NFL Draft Day is Here!!
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Waiver Wire: NFL Week 14
Fantasy football teams are starting to take shape. Hitting the waiver wire is a critical task in filling the holes or adding significant depth, especially as we enter bye-weeks and an increasing list of injuries. My goal is to find you the best player available for the lowest owned percentage. Therefore, you will see some of the more prominent names under others to consider.
Philip Rivers–IND (ESPN-16.5%) (Yahoo-40%)
Rivers has averaged at least 292 passing yards and two touchdowns in his last six games, and he just feels short of theaverage against Houston with 285 yards and two scores. In the next two weeks, the Colts will face Las Vegas, who allows over 20 Fantasy Points Per Game to quarterbacks, and Houston. Getting Rivers will bring you a top streaming signal-caller for two-straight weeks.
Others to Consider: Jalen Hurts (PHI), Mitchell Trubisky(CHI), Sam Darnold (NYJ), Tua Tagovailoa (MIA), Baker Mayfield (CLE).
Cam Akers-LAR (ESPN-35.8%) (Yahoo-53%)
Akers has seen an increase in snaps over the last few weeks, and he may have full ownership after his 21 carries for 72 yards while catching a pass for another 22 yards and a score. Both Malcolm Brown and Darrell Henderson will have a role, but Akers should be the bell-cow. The Rams tried him at the goal line on several attempts, but he couldn’t punch it in. Rams face the Patriots and Jets in the next few weeks, and both teams he should exploit for good fantasy performances.
Cordarrelle Patterson-CHI (ESPN-4.8%) (Yahoo-7%)
Patterson has become a running back, and he fits the role well. David Montgomery will be the bell-cow when healthy, but Patterson has gotten extensive looks. Against the Lions, Patterson carried the rock 10 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Patterson has spent his career as a receiver; therefore, catching the ball is no issue. The Bears have Houston this week, and they are horrible against the run.
Ty Johnson-NYJ (ESPN-0.3%) (Yahoo-2%)
The ancient one Frank Gore was the Jets bell-cow until he suffered a concussion. Enter Johnson, who rushed 22 times for 104 yards and a score. Johnson showed promise and someone who deserves more of a look. He will face the Seahawks and Rams next, but he is of good value this late in the season.
Others to Consider: Peyton Barber (WAS), Phillip Lindsay(DEN), Gus Edwards (BAL), Carlos Hyde (SEA), Jeff Wilson(SF), Ito Smith (ATL), Benny Snell (PIT), Adrian Peterson(DET).
T.Y. Hilton-IND (ESPN-47.0%) (Yahoo-45%)
Through 11-weeks, Hilton was sitting on the garbage pile. Then against the Titans, he caught his first touchdown on the season to go along with four receptions for 81 yards. It got even better against the Texans as Hilton brought in 8 balls on 11 targets for 110 yards and a score. He is looking more and more like the stud we drafted him to be. Now the Colts face the Raiders and Texans in back-to-back weeks.
Jalen Guyton-LAC (ESPN-0.3%) (Yahoo-0%)
Guyton was on speed-dial for Justin Herbert. He targeted his receiver seven times, and Guyton brought in two for 38 yards. Fantasy owners may wonder how Guyton can be valuable with Mike Williams, but looking at the numbers and there isn’t much difference. On the season, Guyton has 20-369-3 while Williams stat line 36-572-4 in 11 games. That is just one reception and 18-yards more on average. The Chargers have Atlanta and Las Vegas next, which are prime spots for exploitation.
Rashard Higgins-CLE (ESPN-3.4%) (Yahoo-8%)
Higgins is the one that looks to be the number two receiver, and he lit up the Titans last week for six receptions, 95 yards, and a touchdown. Higgins has deep speed and will make plays downfield. The schedule will be tough next week against Baltimore, but the Giants and Jets could be an easy route for teams in the playoffs and championship.
Others to Consider: Tim Patrick (DEN), Keke Coutee (HOU), Sterling Shepard (NYG), Nelson Agholor (LAS), DenzilMims (NYJ), Breshad Perriman (NYJ), Gabriel Davis (BUF), Allen Lazard (GB).
Logan Thomas-WFT (ESPN-24.9%) (Yahoo-40%)
The Washington Football Team likes to target Thomas, which was prevalent against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Afternoon Football. Thomas brought in nine balls for 98 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. Even outside this performance, he is getting at least four targets each game. Thomas has another tough performance next week against San Francisco, but the Seahawks and Panthers are scheduled for Weeks 15 and 16.
Others to Consider: Jordan Reed (SF), Cole Kmet (CHI), Anthony Firsker (TEN), Dalton Schultz (DAL), Kyle Rudolph (MIN), Jacob Hollister (SEA), Jordan Akins(HOU).