After being a fairly consistent performer for the first four weeks of the season, Andrew Luck followed the Indianapolis Colts' bye week by posting a rather paltry five-point outing against the New York Jets.
Never fear, fantasy owners! Luck and the Colts have the blessing of facing the Cleveland Browns at home in Week 7, a matchup that should have you salivating to start Luck at the top of your fantasy lineup.
There's no reason to think that will stop in Week 7 against the Browns, one of the worst fantasy defenses in allowing QB points. The lowest number of points they've given up through six weeks is 15, and that was Week 1 against Michael Vick and the turnover train that is the Philadelphia Eagles.
Andy Dalton has thrown three touchdowns this year against the Browns twice, while Eli Manning and Ryan Fitzpatrick were also able to accomplish the feat.
The one bit of good news for the Browns is that this is the third week with starter Joe Haden back in the mix. He was on A.J. Green last weekend against the Bengals, but Green broke loose with 135 yards and two touchdowns on the afternoon. Another week of practice should benefit the young star.
Through five games, Luck's 53 percent completion percentage and 72.0 QB rating aren't particularly great stats. The latter ranks him 30th among NFL starters, but luckily for fantasy owners, those numbers haven't affected his standing as the 14th-highest scorer in standard leagues.
One reason Luck hasn't tumbled towards the bottom of the pile is his rushing stats. He's got 100 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown on the season, one of the most valuable assets a QB can have in fantasy football.
This week against the Browns, his favorite target will likely see double coverage most of the game. Reggie Wayne is hands down the best receiver on the roster, and you can bet Cleveland will game-plan accordingly.
Luckily for Luck, however, he has weapons in the passing game that can combat some of that coverage. Tight ends Coby Fleener and Dwayne Allen haven't emerged just yet, but both are huge targets and valuable red-zone commodities.
Out of the backfield, Delone Carter and Mewelde Moore should have a role in the passing game this week with Donald Brown still nursing a sore knee.
For Cleveland to shut down this passing game, it'll have to completely take the threat of Vick Ballard and the running game off the table. That's something it hasn't been able to do this year, allowing 131 yards on the ground per game.
Playing at home, Luck and this offense get back on track. Expect a big day from the Colts rookie, as he has the tools to outlast fellow rookie Brandon Weeden and this Cleveland defense en route to a big day.
Projected Stats: 28-of-39, 311 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT; 3 rushes, 30 yards
Fantasy Points: 25
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