Spotlight - QB Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
Posted 8/25 by Jason Wood and Bob Henry,
Exclusive to Footballguys.com
Jason Wood's Thoughts
One of these seasons, Brett Favre is going to stop being so productive. And as a fantasy writer, there's nothing I would like more than to call the year he falls off ahead of time and hopefully help you guys avoid that pitfall in the process. But try as I might, I don't see why this year would be the one where the wheels come off.
...In 2004, Favre passed for 4,088 yards which was his first 4,000 yard season since 1999
...In 2004, Favre's 64.1% completion percentage marked the 2nd best rate of his career
...In 2004, Favre generated 7.6 yards per attempt, just 0.1 yards shy of his career best
...In 2004, Favre threw for 30 TDs (4th in the NFL), the 8th time of his career he went for 30+
...In 2004, Favre was +13 TD/INT, his second best mark in the last seven years
In the process, he finished 6th among fantasy QBs, his best showing since 2001.
In other words, it was a great season. This year little has changed for him besides a potentially weaker team defense. A weak defense should translate into more passing attempts, so that's a net positive from a fantasy perspective (although it may lead to him throwing a few more INTs as he tries to win games single-handedly).
Add to that two excellent receivers (Javon Walker and Donald Driver were both top-10 fantasy wideouts last year), one of the league's best running backs, excellent depth, and a newly re-signed (and happy) franchise tight end, Favre should have no problem putting points on the board.
The one area of concern, and I would be remiss to not acknowledge it, is the state of the interior line. Marco Rivera and Mike Wahle were stalwarts but have left for gr$$ner pastures. In their place will be some combination of Adrian Klemm, Matt O'Dwyer, Will Whitticker, and Grey Ruegamer. But I've been told by more than one NFL pundit that interior lineman are not indispensable, so as long as Mark Tauscher and Chad Clifton stay healthy at the tackle spots, Favre shouldn't get pressured an inordinate amount.
- One of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history (2nd all time in completions, 2nd in passing TDs and 3rd in yards)
- Weapons at every position (Walker, Driver, Green, Franks, et al.)
- Over the last 13 years, he's started 207 consecutive games at a position when 2 or 3 games missed per year seems the norm
- In leagues that heavily penalize for turnovers, Favre warrants a downgrade as he always throws for 15 or more picks
- With each passing year, the law of averages would suggest he's due for an injury
Favre has had an extraordinary run of fantasy greatness. Using FBG scoring, Favre has been a top 10 fantasy QB in 12 of the last 13 seasons. In the other, he finished 11th. He finished 6th last year, yet always seems to be drafted a round or two beyond where he should because people are waiting for the wheels to fall off. Yet, we also know Favre is the closest thing to an iron man the position has ever witnessed. In a dynasty league, I could make a case for avoiding him, but in redraft leagues, he clearly remains a likely QB1 again this season.
Bob Henry's Thoughts
When it comes down to consistency year over year, staying healthy and producing top 10 fantasy numbers Brett Favre is a great value. He’s an 8-time Pro Bowl QB with 3 NFL MVPs under his belt. Favre completed 300 or more passes in every season since 1992 and threw more than 30 TDs or more in three of the last four years. While doing this he’s also setting the standard for longevity – starting every Packers game since 1992. The Packers have a tremendous amount of talent at wide receiver, too. The Packers’ highly suspect defense should also be conducive for Favre’s production.
The Packers offense might struggle to replace both starting guards and TE Bubba Franks is a holdout after being slapped with a transition tag. When Favre’s been under pressure to throw the ball he turns the ball over much more frequently. Some of that comes from the confidence he has in himself and his receivers. He threw 2 or more interceptions in 6 games last year. Favre is in better physical condition this year, but he also hasn’t contributed much of anything as a runner in the past several years. He hasn’t run for a TD since 2001 or run for more than 1 TD in six years.
What you see is what you get. He’s consistent from year to year, but from a game by game perspective he can be all over the map. At least he benefits from several TDs each season that are 5 yards or shorter. The Packers usage of misdirection and play-action passes near the goal line pad Favre’s stats every year. If you draft Favre be sure to get a solid backup QB, but not because of the potential for injury. You may need to avoid Favre in some matchups and a strong backup gives you options.
- 8 time Pro Bowl QB with career completion percentage of 61.5%
- Extremely consistent year after year with 300 completions every year in 1992
- Thrown 30+ TDs passes in 3 of the last 4 years
- Great mix of surrounding talent and experience with very little turnover from last year
- Packers did very little to improve an already horrible defense
- Suffers from overconfidence at times which results in untimely interceptions, sometimes in bunches (see recent playoff losses)
- Losing both starting guards could lead to more pressure and sacks allowed
- Favre is no longer a threat to run the ball and hasn’t rushed for a TD since 2001
- The Packers divisional rivals have all improved defensively. Favre may have a tougher run through the “Norris” division.
With almost the same cast of offensive players and with no improvements made to the Packers matador defense it’s hard to project anything but similar or slightly better numbers for Favre in 2005. The other teams in the division have improved offensively and defensively making it very likely that Favre will be relied upon as much as ever to lead the Packers offense and rally them in several shootout type games. Favre remains as healthy as ever, and while he routinely flirts with retirement year after year, there are no signs of any slippage in his play or physical abilities. In fact, he’s in better physical condition than last year. After the top tier of QBs is gone, Favre is arguably the most consistent, rock solid option left on the board come draft day – regardless of the scoring system. Barring injury, of course, you can safely pencil Favre in for another 3,800+ yards, 25+ TDs and another top 10 fantasy ranking among QBs. He’s the Iron Man among fantasy quarterbacks.
Quotations from the Message Board Thread
To view the entire Player Spotlight thread (there's a ton of fantastic commentary in there),
In a 6 pt/TD -1 INT league, Favre is VALUE. He NEVER misses a game, enabling you to wait on a QB2 until the late rounds. He's about a lock to throw for 3,500-4,000 yards and put up 27-32 TDs. He's consistent, and you always know what you're going to get. I like that in a fantasy player, especially a QB.
Brett Favre has been consistent, but it might be a mistake to turn a blind eye towards changes that have happened with the team that could impact his production. Both of his starting guards -- Mike Wahle and Marco Rivera left as free agents. Matt O'Dwyer, who was expected to fill in at right guard, has been hampered with a neck injury in camp. Center Mike Flanagan is recovering from knee surgery. A unit that once was an elite group will most likely struggle early in the season until new players are incorporated into the mix.
I wouldn't put that much stock on the O-Line. Just remember, Rivera was a NFL-E guy that Beightol made into a pro-bowler. Tauscher was a 7th round draft pick who started 14 games in his first season. Flanagan was traded for peanuts years ago, the Panthers revoked the trade because the guy didn't pass his physical. Now he's a pro-bowler.
Brett Favre Projections
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