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Andrew Luck's Retirement Opens the Door for Jacoby Brissett

Jacoby Brissett takes over as the starting quarterback in Indianapolis following Andrew Luck's decision to retire. What type of fantasy impact could he have this season?

August 24, 2019, is a sad day in Indianapolis Colts franchise history. Andrew Luck decided to retire after a summer-long battle with a calf issue that wasn’t going away.

Luck revived the Colts in his rookie season in 2012 when he went 11-5 with 4,374 passing yards and 23 touchdowns. The previous year they went 2-14 following Peyton Manning's neck injury. Luck's career peaked in 2014 when he passed for 4,761 yards with 43 combined TDs. After missing 2017 with a shoulder injury, he returned to elite status in 2018 (10-6 with 4,593 passing yards and 39 TDs).

In the fantasy market, the big question is how it impacts all the players on the Colts’ roster.

Jacoby Brissett takes over as the starting QB after only attempting four passes in 2018. Indy made a wise move to acquire Brissett before the start of 2017 after Luck’s first significant injury. With minimal time to learn the playbook, he passed for 3,098 yards and 13 TDs while minimizing the damage in interceptions (7). Bissett showed value as a runner (63/260/4).

New England drafted Brissett in the third round in 2016 after two strong seasons at North Carolina State. In 2014 and 2015 with the Wolfpack, he had 6,167 combined yards with 52 TDs and 11 Ints. Brissett was also active as a runner (263/899/9).

In my update of the Colts’ offense after the Luck injury, I have Brissett passing for 3,943 yards with 22 TDs and 13 Ints. He should gain about 280 yards on the ground with four TDs.

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The sky is falling for sure in the state of Indiana, but Brissett should be a league-average player while gaining much more experience by sitting behind Luck last year and having the proper time to learn the playbook and the personnel on the Colts’ roster. Brissett should be drafted as the 21st QB in 2019.

The loss of Luck does change how defenses will attack the run game. Marlon Mack falls in my ranking to 33rd in PPR leagues. His rushing attempts and catches will drop slightly, but his bigger slide comes in his expected yards per rush (4.2 – 4.7 in 2018). I have Mack gaining 1,119 combined yards with about eight TDs and 20 catches.

T.Y. Hilton loses about 20 percent of his expected value. His updated projections point to 77 catches for 1,179 yards and five TDs. In 2017 with Brissett behind center, Hilton finished with 57 catches for 966 yards and four TDs. He should slip to the 4/5 turn from a front position in PPR leagues.

In the early projections, I didn’t have any other Colts receiver projected high due to a cloudy split in the WR rotation and opportunity.

The tight end position takes the biggest hit on this team. With Luck starting at QB in 2018, the Colts’ TEs caught 108 passes for 1,216 yards and 21 TDs in 165 targets. In 2017 with Brissett starting at QB, their TEs finished with 98 catches for 870 yards and five TDs on 140 targets.

Jack Doyle had his best season (80/690/4) with Brissett at QB. Indy didn’t have Eric Ebron on the roster in 2017.

I have both TEs projected for a combined 100 catches for 1,020 yards and about eight TDs. Doyle is slated to win the catch battle by a close margin (52 percent). I have Ebron (19th) and Doyle (21st) ranked low due to their expected timeshare. If one of them happened to get hurt, the other option would push back to TE1 status in PPR leagues.