2014 Speed Bump 27 – Cam vs. Luck vs. Stafford Sponsored by Rotorants (Zach Harbison)
We are nearing the final set of 2014 Speed Bumps, now 113 players deep. Who is your favorite QB here between Andrew Luck, Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford. To help us answer this question, today we welcome in Zach Harbison from RotoRants.
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Luck vs. Newton vs. Stafford, RotoRants selects (08/09/14): Andrew LucK.
Sure, this may seem like an easy answer on the surface. However, be reminded that Cam Newton has been a top-5 fantasy quarterback since coming to the NFL. However, he is coming off of ankle surgery. This may help his mobility long term, but is also scary to think about. Matthew Stafford? Well, he has a beast of a human accurately coined Megatron to throw the ball to. He also broke the record for most pass attempts in a three year span, throwing over 2,000 passes. Both of these quarterbacks bring value through different methods, then you have Luck who seems to be a hybrid of the two (as I’ll explore below).
Andrew Luck has been no slouch as a fantasy QB his two years in the league. While Newton slotted in as the third highest scoring fantasy in 2013, Luck was just behind him in fourth. He made this leap into the top 5 while having a “downgrade” as a passer- throwing for 450 less yards than his rookie year. However, what he did was become more efficient even after losing two of his most trust targets in Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Allen. Luck’s completion percentage increased to over 60%, he cut his interceptions in half, dropped his fumbles from nine to five, and maintained the same amount of touchdowns. Yes, Pep Hamilton’s offense scares some fake footballers, and he may not reach the amount of yards that Stafford is throwing every year, but he doesn’t need to. Last year Luck threw 830 less yards than Stafford, but he also threw 10 less interceptions. He threw 450 yards more than Newton, and four fewer interceptions. Remember that hybrid factor? Well Luck also rushed for 377 and four touchdowns, which was 200 less yards and two less touchdowns than Newton, but 300 more yards and two more touchdowns than Stafford.
Now that we’ve covered that Luck is the most efficient and versatile of the three choices, time to look at weapons. Luck now has a plethora of positional talent around him. Last year saw the emergence of TY Hilton (82 receptions, 1,083 yards), but the closest receiver to him was Coby Fleener (52 receptions, 608 yards). Reggie Wayne was third on the team in receiving yards bringing in 503 in the seven games he played. All signs point to Wayne’s full recovery- which is a huge bonus to Luck. In 23 career games with Luck at the helm, Wayne has hauled in 144 receptions for 1850 yards. The 1,000 yard club doesn’t end there though, as the Colts brought in Hakeem Nicks who posted two 1,000+ season during his time with the Giants.
Last year the Colts leading rusher, Donald Brown, only had 537 rushing yards. The incumbent leader in the clubhouse right now, Trent Richardson, posted 458. Expect a change, as the Colts will put the ball on the ground often and work in rushing behind high-efficiency passes to move the chains. The running backs will be active in helping Luck’s numbers rise though, as Brown and Richardson hauled in 55 passes last year. I expect that number to be similar. Add in the tight end duo of Fleener and Allen, and you can see the stat sheets and projections busting out for amazing efficiency and bust out potential.
Ready for the icing on the cake? The Colts have the easiest strength of schedule based on last year’s ending results. Their division is in a rebuilding mode, and they are primed to continue taking advantage of this. I see 4,000 yards and 25 passing touchdowns being a floor for him this year! Enjoy the bonus as he continues to prove why he was such a highly-touted talent.
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About RotoRants: Zach Harbison has been a long time fantasy sports player and analyst. RotoRants is a full-service fantasy sports website built around providing detailed, algorithmic approaches to daily and season-long fantasy sports. The writers and researchers at RotoRants are constantly perfecting their algorithm and creating premium content behind the algorithm’s output. Their mathematical approach, combined with expert advice is built to provide daily and weekly projections that continually improve and have thousands in tracked winnings.