After 6 seasons and almost 100 million dollars in career earnings, Andrew Luck stole late evening headlines by announcing his retirement at just 29 years old. Personally, I’m pumped that he is preserving his health and moving onto the next chapter of his life. He can enjoy his new marriage and starting a family. Cheers to Captain Neck Beard, but where does this leave Indianapolis on the offensive side of the ball?
The much improved offensive line that was meant to protect Andrew Luck will now protect a quietly talented Jacoby Brissett. Although the stock for T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, and Jack Doyle will likely go down, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are doomed if you drafted them. Indianapolis is a much different franchise than it was just two seasons ago when Brissett only threw 13 touchdowns and 3,098 yards. I believe that Brissett’s value lands somewhere on the high end QB3 range in 12-team two QB leagues. I would draft him above Andy Dalton, Joe Flacco, and the Miami QBs for instance, but not above high upside guys like Sam Darnold.
If T.Y. Hilton is falling to the fourth round as a result of Luck’s retirement, I have no problem grabbing him there. Marlon Mack’s stock actually goes up a little bit because I presume that Indy will call slightly more running plays to start the season off. I believe that Frank Reich and the gang will be okay and have confidence in the offense that they have in place, but there is no denying that losing Andrew Luck is a massive blow.
Indianapolis wasn’t the only place in the AFC South that will face big changes that they weren’t planning on when training camp started. The Houston Texans have lost their heavily used running back Lamar Miller to a torn ACL. There are a lot of things that could come into play as a result. The Texans could chose to replace Miller’s production through a trade for a running back like LeSean McCoy or Jordan Howard. If Houston really wants to get spicy on the trade market, they can put out feelers for Melvin Gordon. They could also sign a free agent that hasn’t signed anywhere yet like Jay Ajayi.
If Houston does decide to keep their running back depth chart in house, Duke Johnson is in line to see an increased workload. Duke Johnson is obviously a passing game specialist, but that doesn’t mean that he can’t handle an increase in carries. Still, the offensive line in Houston is a fluster cuck, so I’m not reaching too far in drafts for Duke as a reaction. Damarea Crockett has been impressive so far this preseason and could end up with a significant role in the Texans offense. I believe that he is worth a late round draft pick as long as Houston doesn’t make any trades.
Notes From The Preseason Slate
- Tampa’s offensive line isn’t great, but it’s not as bad as they showed on Friday night. Cleveland has an elite pass rush and I think that they’ll make a lot of offense lines look pedestrian.
- Baker Mayfield didn’t look his best, but he had a lot of near misses that I feel would have been big plays if Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry were on the field.
- Chris Godwin looked great while Mike Evans didn’t play. Jameis Winston looked his way quite a few times so that was good to see if you put a lot of eggs in the Chris Godwin basket. He’s still seeing a lot of snaps in the slot which is very valuable in a Bruce Arians offense.
- A healthy Dalvin Cook is a very dangerous running back that you can get in the second round. Dalvin ripped off an 85-yard touchdown run for one of his two carries against the Cardinals.
- Kyler Murray isn’t ripping off a bunch of big runs in the preseason but he looked a lot better throwing the ball on Saturday as the first half went on. It was good to see after a sub-par effort against Oakland last week.
- Derrius Guice looked great as well in his first real action since his torn ACL last training camp. The offensive line will be questionable and Adrian Peterson will be in the mix, but Guice could end up being a good value at his current ADP.
- Dede Westbrook saw 7 of Nick Foles’ targets on Thursday night. They clearly have chemistry and could be one of the biggest draft values. Rudy has Dede as the 16th ranked wide receiver in his draft rankings.
- We’ll have to keep an eye on Cam Newton’s progress for week 1 because he left Thursday night’s game in a walking boot. As of Sunday, Cam was out of the walking boot and Carolina is ‘cautiously optimistic that he will be ready for week 1.
- Justice Hill cooled off for Baltimore gaining only 8 yards on 7 carries. He also caught two passes for 8 yards.
- Daniel Jones continues to look better than Eli Manning. Just start him, New York.
- Matt Breida shined while Tevin Coleman had a forgettable day against Kansas City. I’m not panicking about Coleman, but Breida is not getting talked about enough as a great fantasy draft value.
- Sam Darnold hit Robby Anderson for a big play. Sam Darnold looks really good so far, it could be a big year.