Brady will be Big

If you somehow thought QB Tom Brady wasn’t all that, then consider Brady came very, very close to winning the Super Bowl this year, for the 4th time in six year, with Reche Caldwell and Jabar Gaffney as his top two receivers. I know the Pats didn’t even make the big game, but they could have easily pulled out a win in the AFC title game – and they would have creamed the Bears in the Big Game had they made it. Peyton Manning did win it, and I’m happy to give him credit, but he also could have easily lost that game to Brady’s Patriots, with Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne as his top two receivers.
Kind of puts Brady into perspective, doesn’t it?

Some may be more impressed by his impregnating (multiple) hot celebrity types, but I still can’t get over the fact that he was “this” close to winning another championship with such skank at receiver. Perhaps, when I’m over that, I’ll become catatonic once the reality of Brady’s ridiculous sex life sinks in.  

Brady was always an undervalued QB, until 2006. I knew he would be overvalued last year, and I said it repeatedly in the summer. He was, but he was still actually about the 7th best fantasy QB in the land, which speaks to Brady’s excellence and also the garbage at the position in 2006 (Jon Kitna was a top-5 or 6 QB in most leagues that didn’t penalize for picks, for example). Brady had two big games and accounted for 8 of his 24 TDs in those two games. In nine other games, he threw 1 TD or fewer, and he failed to throw a TD pass in three games. So while he was a very respectable 7th in most leagues, he wasn’t a particularly good fantasy option.

He will be much better in 2007, and on the heels of his down season, even though everyone will know his receiving corps is vastly improved, he will be a good value again. For a while there last year, when Brady went back to pass on a 3rd and long play, he was looking at a dreadful group of receivers, save for TE Ben Watson. This year, he’ll look deep to Donte Stallworth, or down the seam to Watson, or maybe down the sideline to Caldwell, who is a very decent #2. He could toss it to Wes Welker, who seems to get 5-6 yards after the catch on every underneath ball he pulls in. Brady might be able to find the sizeable Kelly Washington matched up against a smaller nickel or dime corner, or he could just dump if off to Laurence Maroney or Kevin Faulk. I think TE David Thomas will help them, and let’s not forget that Gaffney caught 21 balls for 244 yards and 2 TD in three playoff games this past year.

I won’t say that Brady’s fantasy potential is scary this year. Based on the improvements, I certainly could, but Tom Brady will never throw 35 TD passes in a season under this coaching staff. But what Brady should do is equal or better his career-high of 28 TD passes and his yardage total should increase by 300-400 yards (from 3500 last year). Most importantly, he should be more consistent given all the weapons he will have at his disposal. When Brady has weapons, he makes the most of them and when he doesn’t, he still makes the most of them.  

The QB position looks to be very top-heavy this year – Manning, Palmer, Brees, McNabb, and Bulger. My early advice is, if you don’t get one of these guys as your starter, there’s only one other option: Tom Brady.  

Category: Fantasy Football


5 Responses

  1. pferg says:

    Hey John –
    In all your analysis about Stallworth and Brady, I haven’t seen what you think the effect will be on the #1 Philly WR. It sounds like you are skeptical about PH #2 WR but I’m curious about your thoughts on Reggie Brown now that Stallworth is out of there. It seemed like he had some good mojo going with McNabb and then McN went down. But even while McN was in there, there were games when Stallworth got the attention. So, can Brown perform like a solid #2 fantasy WR or does he simply not have the talent to pull it off or does Westbrook steal too many catches and McN spread things around too much?

  2. bsteinbe73 says:

    Wouldn’t you put Vick in the same tier or right below and still above the next tier? Are you also suggesting Bulger and McNabb over Brady next year? I would think he would finish around 4-6 at QB with with less risk than most to finish much beyond that.

  3. John Hansen says:

    I like Brown a lot. I have from Day One going back to his rookie season and I’ve pushed him pretty hard. I don’t think he’s elite or an ideal #1, but I think he can be and will be very good on this team. Right now there is no question he’s a strong #2 fantasy receiver.

    I do think they will need to find another viable threat because I’m not sold on Baskett as the #2, but check out Brown’s numbers in the 4 games Stallworth missed:


    Pretty revealing.

  4. John Hansen says:

    I agree Brady will have less risk, but I will likely rank Brady below Bulger and McNabb, assuming McNabb is in good shape physically. Bulger has a tremendous supporting cast, and they were able to hide their issues on the O-Line pretty well last year. As for McNabb, if healthy, I have 100% confidence in him and this system, even without Stallworth. But if Brady is going 2 or more rounds later, then he’ll be the better value.

  5. pferg says:

    Hey John –
    The blog is a great idea. I really enjoy it. Thanks for replying to our questions. And don’t hesitate to post a few non-fball topics. Between you and my students, I think I’m keeping up with current music trends!

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