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Faceoff - QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Andy Hicks's mug

Upside - by Andy Hicks

Is Tom Brady a fantasy Ďstudí?

Will Tom Brady outperform his draft slot?

The answer to the first question is debatable, but more importantly the answer to the second question is likely to be yes. Brady has outperformed his ADP in each of the last 3 seasons and will be drafted well after much riskier propositions. Currently he is being drafted in the 7th round in 12 team leagues. All the other quarterbacks drafted in a similar slot have steeper downsides than Brady (Collins, Hasselbeck, Favre, Palmer, Plummer and Brooks). To put it another way Brady is the Peyton Manning of fantasy quarterbacks for those who donít want to spend an early pick on the position. Obviously he wonít get you the stats that Peyton Manning will, but:

He is safe and reliable. He has a large arsenal of weapons He has a solid running game and a strong offensive line. His team is likely to win.

Brady alone wonít get you a title, but heíll be rock solid in a position which requires strong performances each and every week.

Consider his 2004 performances: Only 1 game without a TD Only 1 game with more intercepts than TDs (and that was a 3 TD game) Twice as many TDs as intercepts

Hereís a nasty thought for Patriot fans. What if the Patriots fall behind in games this year? After attempting only 474 passes last year one has to wonder what Brady would be like as a fantasy option if he received more opportunities. Itís unlikely heíll see less. For a player approaching his prime with no durability issues, in an established winning system and with plenty of weapons, he has minimal downside and is about as safe a starting quarterback as you can get after the marquee options are gone.

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Downside - by Chris Smith

Without question, you can make a case that Tom Brady is the top NFL quarterback in the game today. However much like Troy Aikman and Terry Bradshaw of different eras, his success doesnít always translate into top fantasy numbers.

Tom Brady is currently sitting as a marginal fantasy starter in my rankings (12th overall) and there are a number of valid reasons to not have him as a must start fantasy quarterback this season

Brady wonít be a top fantasy quarterback for these reasons

  1. In a good season a year ago in which he tossed 28 touchdown passes, Brady was only 15th overall in fantasy points per game at the quarterback position (minimum 10 games played)
  2. Brady has never finished higher than 9th in one season
  3. The Patriots will feature a strong running game with Corey Dillon
  4. Brady has only had four 300-yard passing games in the last two seasons
  5. Brady is no threat to run with the football (only 91 rushing yards the past two seasons)

Conclusion Now donít get me wrong, drafting Tom Brady and using him as a starter isnít a terrible thing. He is pretty consistent and has been able to stay healthy and on the field. However his upside in fantasy points per game puts him in as a marginal starter and he shouldnít be drafted any higher than 10th overall. Tom Brady is one of the biggest stars right now in the NFL and rightfully so as he is a proven winner. However his lack of running ability will always hurt him when it comes to putting up fantasy numbers and he shouldnít be considered a top fantasy quarterback.

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