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Fantasy Football Impact of the Brett Favre Trade

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Are you planning to draft the Brett “The Jet” Favre in the first round of your fantasy draft?  Don’t.  He won’t be worth it.

Favre is a low level QB1 in New York, with a receiving corps, offensive line and offensive game plan that is worse for him than what he would’ve had in Green Bay.  The Packers built their entire offense around Brett Favre, and had done so for many years.  Last season the Packers’ starting running backs were expected to be Vernand Morency and rookie Brandon Jackson.  Planning the running game in Green Bay went something like this:

“Running back?  We'll start..uh...Vernand Morency, sure.  What’s that, Morency sucks?  Start the rookie then.  He sucks too?  OK, well, who else do we have?  Some guy we got off the Giants’ practice squad?  Sure, whatever.”

That’s not the case for the Jets, where years of Chad Pennington have taught the Jets that the running game should be Plan A.  That’s not to say Favre won’t throw the ball a lot – he will – but it won’t be Favre’s Aerial Circus Comes To The Meadowlands.  If you draft him for that, you’ll be disappointed.

Things won’t be a lot better for Jerricho Cotchery.  Most people expect that he’ll explode under Favre, but I don’t see it.  Last season, the Packers’ WR1, Donald Driver, finished with 82 catches for 1130 rec yards and 2 TDs.  As the Jets’ WR1, Jerricho Cotchery finished with 82 catches for 1048 rec yards and 2 TDs.   That’s right, both WR finished with nearly the same stats, one guy with Favre throwing to him and one guy with Pennington/Clemons throwing to him.  With Cotchery getting the best DBs covering him, there's very little room for growth there.

The Jets’ WR2 (Laveranues Coles) actually had MORE receptions than the Packers’ WR2 (Greg Jennings) last season.  The difference is that Jennings finished with almost 300 more rec yards and 6 more touchdowns because Favre would just check huge bombs down the field to him.  It’s likely we’ll see some of that this year too, so I think Coles is worth drafting in fantasy leagues, but don't expect Coles to replicate Jennings' 2007 season. 

The big difference between the Green Bay and New York passing offenses last season were the OTHER receivers.   In Green Bay, James Jones and Donald Lee had nearly 50 receptions each, and they were the WR3 and WR4 on the team.  The Jets’ WR3 was former college quarterback Brad Smith with only 32 receptions.  Smith looks like a great sleeper this year – he’s always had talent – but the Jets offense just doesn’t call the number of the WR3 that often, let alone the WR4.  They do use the tight end a lot, but they’ll be starting rookie Dustin Keller this year and that seems risky. Former Packer TE Bubba Franks is also on the squad, but despite years of playing with Favre he was always a disappointment.

This is worth a post itself, but Favre is good news for Thomas Jones.  He should see a lot less pressure at the line this year and it set for a great year.  I liked him before Favre, I like him more now.