I haven't done one of these for a while, so I thought I'd jump back in with a controversial one....
Skeller's Big Fantasy Football Questions
PLAYERS HEAVILY AFFECTED: Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker
Now on the surface, this is a ridiculous question. Everybody knows Tom Brady is the greatest athlete ever to grace American sports. He wins Super Bowls. He marries supermodels. He has a great smile. He has an accelerated healing factor. He won the 2007 Indy 500. In this year’s Super Bowl, Brady will play LB and run an interception back 101 yards for a touchdown. He can impregnate Kate Gosselin with SEVEN children at once.
All of which is wonderful, but for fantasy owners expecting mind-numbing, record-breaking stats from Brady this season there are some doubts.
Matt Cassel had a great fantasy season last year. He finished the regular season with 3,693 passing yards, 21 TDs, 11 INTs and even ran in another 2 touchdowns. Fantastic! Can Brady can top that?
In seven seasons (not counting last year), Brady has topped that passing yard threshold only 3 times. He topped 21 TDs six times, but he finished with fewer than 11 INTs only once. It's hard to say one way or the other.
So, can he do it? Of course he can.
Is it likely, especially coming off a season-long knee injury? I say no, it’s not likely.
Take a look at what Cassel did for the Patriots. The Pats went 11-5 and just missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker. Four of those five losses came against playoff teams -- Pittsburgh, San Diego, Miami and Indianapolis. Those are tough games for anybody to win, even Brady. And in those four games the Patriots defense gave up 33, 30 and 38 points respectively. Since Brady isn’t expected to start on defense (yet), he won’t be able to stop opposing defenses from putting up big points. Sure, maybe Tom Brady could put up 38+ points against some of the best teams in the league, but maybe not. The Steelers turned out to be pretty good, you know.
The fifth loss, by the way, was to the New York Jets who put up 34 points on the Pats. In that game Cassel threw for 400 passing yards and 3 TDs, totals that even Tom Brady would be hard-pressed to top. So where does Tom Brady pick up extra wins? Especially since the Patriots’ schedule includes Baltimore, Tennessee and two games against a much-improved Buffalo squad.
If Brady duplicates Matt Cassel’s 2008 stats, he will be a great fantasy pick. If he leads New England to another 11-5 record, he will be a great fantasy pick. If you expect numbers from Tom Brady greater than that though, I think you need to tone down your expectations for now. The man is only superhuman after all.