By Adam Harris-
(CBS) Andrew Luck’s rookie status has left some fantasy owners weary about acquiring him in a trade. Some people still have not taken Luck seriously, and feel insecure about putting all their chips into a young, inexperienced quarterback on a Colts team essentially starting over. However, all these negative connotations have opened up a door for forward thinking fantasy owners to step through. This is a perfect “cold iron” situation for teams that start the likes of Jay Cutler, Matt Schaub, Alex Smith, and Joe Flacco.
Anyone who remains weary about Luck, keep reading.
Luck currently has the 12th most fantasy points among quarterbacks in only four games. Remember, Luck has already been on his bye and this helps his projection of 227 fantasy points for the rest of the season which ranks sixth among quarterbacks and seventh of all players.
The Colts have many easy matchups the rest of the season as they face Tennessee twice and Buffalo, Cleveland, Jacksonville, New England and Kansas City all before week 16. All those teams rank in the bottom half against the pass, and all rank in the bottom half of passing touchdowns given up. The Titans have given up just over 36 points per game (last in NFL), 12 touchdowns (31st) and 280 passing yards per game (25th). Luck will feast TWICE on them.
Luck is making throws that veterans are expected to make. Last week against an experienced Packers secondary, Luck scrambled out of the pocket and threw a perfect out pattern to Reggie Wayne on the run, just out of the reach of future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson. This put the Colts into scoring range. The number one pick has made several quality NFL throws just like that, springing the Colts to an unexpected 2-2 record.
If you look at your roster, and constantly try to convince yourself that Philip Rivers, Michael Vick, Andy Dalton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Carson Palmer, etc. are going to bring you to the promised land, think again. Luck will be more consistent than any of those quarterbacks. He will not have the poor 180 yard, one touchdown game that any of the quarterbacks I mentioned above are prone to (Jay Cutler, Alex Smith).
I’m sure Luck is a backup somewhere in your league. I say go after him as an afterthought. Maybe the owner still looks at him as a backup, wide eyed, scared rookie. I certainly don’t.
Notable Cold Irons:
Matthew Stafford (DET) – No one is really sure what Detroit is doing. Stafford has not been impressive and could be acquired for a combination quarterback, wide receiver/running back player. Stafford has put up the 21st most fantasy points among quarterbacks, putting him behind Kevin Kolb, Jay Cutler, Christian Ponder, and Matt Schaub. Lions running back Mikel Leshoure’s positive Week 4 should open up the play action to go over the top, helping Stafford reconnect with Calvin Johnson. Expect some turnovers, but Stafford is in an amazing “cold iron” situation if his owner writes him off.
Darren McFadden (OAK) – McFadden’s disappointing season has him ranked 25th among fantasy running backs and 101st overall in fantasy production. The Oakland offense has scored just 16.8 points per game ranking 29th in the NFL and McFadden has only scored one touchdown so far. There is plenty of upside, however, as 10 of Oakland’s remaining 12 games are against defenses currently in the bottom half of the NFL in rushing yard per game. The Saints are the worst in fact, and Oakland sees them in November. McFadden is a fantastic “cold iron” option for those wanting to trade a wide receiver for a lot of running production.
Adrian Peterson (MIN) – Peterson has had some nice weeks, but nothing like I feel we have yet to see. His knee keeps getting better, the confidence keeps growing, and best of all, the Vikings have offensive production that doesn’t revolve around Peterson. Minnesota is unexpectedly putting up numbers and wins, and Peterson has benefited from limited snaps, not carrying the burden of solely bringing the team down the field drive after drive. Peterson is rested and ready to explode with the fourth most projected points by a running back for the remainder of the season. As his confidence in his knee grows, so does his production.
DeMarco Murray (DAL) – Murray currently ranks among the Matt Forte’s of the fantasy running back world, and for those interested in acquiring him, now is the perfect time to strike. If redrafted, Murray would go late first, early second round in fantasy drafts. With a cupcake schedule, and a new commitment to the run by the Cowboys, Murray will shoot out of the bye week gate for fantasy glory.
Miles Austin (DAL) – Austin doesn’t get too much respect from fantasy owners because of the shadow of Dez Bryant. This is great for someone looking to improve their wide receiver spot. Austin is projected as the second best fantasy wide receiver the rest of the way behind Calvin Johnson (who failed to make this list because no one would trade him low….unless they are stupid). Austin runs crisp, timed, and fast routes giving Tony Romo a reason to trust him when needed,. The defenses’ decoy in Dez Bryant will deter some of the attention from Austin in red zone situations. Frankly, that is what the Cowboys want.
Erik Decker (DEN) – Demaryius Thomas seems to take all of the credit for the Denver Broncos’ sexiness on offense, but often Peyton Manning is not sexy. Manning enjoys the five yard touchdown to a receiver’s back shoulder, or the simple flat pass to a wide out from the very same five yard line. Decker can do that, and Manning knows it. Decker is a viable No. 2 wide receiver in ten team leagues, and is almost a respected number one in larger leagues.
Hopefully these players are on teams that don’t value potential. Remember, it is not about what your fantasy player has done, but about what they will do. Happy trade hunting.
For Fantasy Football questions and answers, follow Adam on Twitter at @AHarris670.