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Over the next few weeks, we will ask our staff a single question on a variety of topics ranging from a huge news event to a tough fantasy decision or player evaluation.
If you like this format, come back for another Question of the Day. Today, we focus on a polarizing rookie. Loaded with physical talent but coming off an uneven (and relatively short) college career, Anthony Richardson has fervent detractors and eager supporters. First things first - Richardson needs to get on the field.
Here's the question we asked our staff.
Recently, Anthony Richardson has been getting more first-team reps in training camp. In what week does he get his first start? If it's not Week 1 and the Colts are winning, can Gardner Minshew hold off the rookie all year long?
Here's a quick glance at the answers:
- Almost everyone expects Richardson to be the team's Week 1 starter.
Here are the full answers. Enjoy!
Matt Waldman: No, Gardner Minshew cannot and will not hold off the most talented quarterback in this draft or the past 2-3 drafts. Minshew is good enough to give the Colts’ staff the luxury of easing Richardson into the lineup. It would be wise to give Richardson intermittent playing time the way the Titans and Chargers eased Steve McNair and Drew Brees into the lineup with isolated series or quarters of playing time.
Jim Irsay may lack the foresight or patience to allow this for long, if at all. So expect the Colts to create a program that has Richardson preparing like Minshew and doing a certain level of work on the sideline until he’s comfortable with the prep work. Richardson will likely be starting no later than Week 8 and likely 3-5 weeks earlier.
Sam Wagman: I think Anthony Richardson will start the season for the Colts. Given the draft capital invested in him and the ever-present need for Jim Irsay to make a splash, the Colts may choose to throw Richardson into the deep end right away in Week 1. He has been taking first-team reps more and more recently, and the Colts are not exactly in a spot where they are prime playoff contenders in a loaded AFC. This is the perfect opportunity for them to see what they have in Richardson, the most athletic quarterback to ever attend the NFL Combine. Gardner Minshew is passable, and it might be a good idea to let him start the first two contests against division rivals, but I think this team is better served by letting Richardson prove his mettle.
Jason Wood: Anthony Richardson will be the Week 1 starter, and Gardner Minshew will be relegated to bench duties, as he should be. The Colts didn’t draft Richardson to learn from the sidelines, particularly from a middling journeyman whose game bears little resemblance to Richardson’s.
Peyton Manning started every game as a rookie, despite throwing 28 interceptions. They let him learn while struggling. Andrew Luck started every game as a rookie, too. Richardson’s athleticism will allow him to have more fantasy success than either as a rookie, even if he’s far less refined as a passer and field processor.
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