Is T.Y. Hilton worth anything without Andrew Luck?

It’s been over 500 days since the Colts’ star quarterback Andrew Luck has thrown even one pass, and all reports surrounding Luck sound eerily similar to how they sounded last offseason. In 2017 we were fed lie after lie about Luck’s status. For the majority of the offseason, the Colts’ organization made it seem like Luck was a sure thing to start in Week 1. As August drew to a close, his Week 1 status was “in doubt.” Then he was supposed to play in October, and then around Week 6 or 7, or maybe after their Week 11 Bye. The charade finally ended when the Colts officially shut him down for the season.

We’re hearing the same kind of optimism right now that we heard at this time last year, and as much as I want Luck to play, I’m not buying any of it until he can at least throw a football. The Colts are apparently not worried at all and Luck himself admits he “skipped steps” in his rehab process last year creating multiple setbacks, saying, “I’m not going to do that again. I trust very much the people that I’m working with. More importantly, I trust myself in this process and I trust how I feel.’’ That’s all well and good, but the rest of us aren’t going to trust anything we hear from Luck or the Colts until he actually picks up a football.

Fantasy players will have to decide for themselves whether or not to take a risk and draft Andrew Luck, but an even bigger decision might be where they should draft T.Y. Hilton. Without Luck throwing him the ball, Hilton posted his worst stat line since his rookie year: 57 receptions, 966 yards, and four touchdowns. Before last year he had gone four season straight with at least 69 catches, 1,083 yards and five touchdowns.

Hilton was the poster child for boom or bust numbers in 2017 (with an emphasis on bust). He had three games in which he topped 24 fantasy points in PPR scoring, but he scored less that seven fantasy points in an unfathomable nine games. It wasn’t as if you could predict in which games he would go off and try to have him in your starting lineup against poor defenses. The Titans gave up the 8th most passing yards per game last year and tied for the 8th most passing touchdowns. In Hilton’s two games against them he totaled three catches for 34 yards.

In 2016, Hilton finished with a career high 1,448 receiving yards and was the 5th best receiver in fantasy football. He was finally hitting his prime and looked to be a shoe-in WR 1 for the future, but he needs Andrew Luck in order to maximize that potential. He finished as the 24th best fantasy receiver last year but he was being drafted as a top 10 guy, and he only (barely) reached top 24 number because of three completely unpredictable games.