Fantasy Impact: Brady’s 4 Game Suspension In 2016

Contributed by: Bill Enright
Last Updated: Jul 15, 2016 4:35 PM

After nearly 18 months of battling the NFL, Tom Brady has waved the white flag. He will no longer pursue further legal action against the NFL regarding his four game suspension for his “involvement” in Deflategate.

So what does that mean for Fantasy Football?

Well for starters, it means Tom Brady becomes EXCELLENT value in all re-draft leagues. Right now he has an Average Draft Position of  71st overall, so somewhere around the 7th round in a 10 man league. With the suspension now certain, his stock will drop a bit down to the 9th or 10th round. We have a full list of ADP on our DraftKit which launches on Monday July 18th.

Which is why you need to JUMP all over the four-time super bowl winner. He led all QBs in 2015 with 36 passing TDs and if it wasn't for Cam Newton's insane rushing ability, Brady would have been the Number 1 Fantasy QB fa year ago. Long story short… we're keeping Brady inside the Top 12 because once that suspension is over, he'll be back in the running for the best fantasy QB of the year.

Second point about Brady's suspension:

DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT DROPPING Rob Gronkowski anywhere in your rankings.

He's one of the most dominant players in the entire NFL, hands down, no questions asked Number 1 option at Tight End and a lock for a 1st Round pick in nearly every format.

Next up…Brady's replacement: Jimmy Garoppolo will be under center for the Pats in Week 1.

Now what do we know about Jimmy? 

Despite being a “small school” guy (Eastern Illinois), Garoppolo was a 2nd round pick for the Pats in 2014. He hasn't had a lot of in-season experience ( just 31 attempts) since Brady only heads to the bench if they're winning in a blow out or getting blown out (see the Chiefs game from Jimmy G's rookie season).

According to Strength of Schedule chart, the Pats backup QB, will face two difficult and two average pass defenses. The two difficult games come in Weeks 1 and 3 when New England plays the Cardinals (W1) and Texans (W3). The neutral match-ups come against two AFC East opponents with the Dolphins in Week 2 and Bills in Week 4.

By the way, can the Browns luck get any worse? The Pats play the Browns in Week 5, Brady's first game back from the suspension…

ANYWAY: What can Jimmy G do for you?

Let's see how he does in Training Camp and Preseason but our prediction for those four games is somewhere along the lines of 1,100 yards, 9 TDs 4 INTs. That's roughly a 275 yard per game average with about two scores a game. While those who draft Brady in season long leagues may look elsewhere to get their starting QB for the first month of the season, Daily Fantasy Football players may choose to use the former Eastern Illinois passer in some big guaranteed prize pool type tournaments.

Add up our projections for Garoppolo with Brady's, and you'll get somewhere in the range of 4,800 yards and 35 TDs, which would have made the veteran QB a Top 3 QB on our Preseason Cheathseet.

What about the other Patriots Playmakers:

Julian Edelman is a chain mover, so we expect his targets to hover around the same even without Brady on the field. Garoppolo will look to get the ball out of his hands quickly and what better way to do that, than threw in the direction of your sure-handed slot receiver who runs short to intermediate routes and continually shakes and bakes defenders to get open.

Another way to get rid of the ball quickly is check down to the running back. So Dion Lewis may get a chance to prove his partial breakout season from a year ago was no fluke.

Will the Pats try to run more to help ease Garoppolo into action? It's a distinct possibility, especially if they jump to an early lead. That's where LeGarrette Blount steps in as the team's power runner. Blount could start the season with a lot of carries, making him a great candidate for trade bait after the 1st month of the season.

Bottom Line:

-Brady will miss the 1st four weeks of the 2016 NFL Season.

-He's a Top 12 option and GREAT VALUE in your draft as he would be Top 3 if he wasn't missing four games.

-Gronk is still Gronk and should be drafted accordingly.

-Edelman will still get 6-10 catches a game to start the year.

-Lewis and Blount may have an expanded role while Jimmy G gets comfy.

-Jimmy G may end up being a solid GPP play in DFS. 

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