Blog Archives

TE Review

Over the next few days, we here at Dr. Fantasy will take a closer look at each skill position and where the best value is as you prepare for your drafts. 

Elite Tier (1)

  • Rob Gronkowski – New England Patriots
  • Travis Kelce – Kansas City Chiefs
  • Greg Olsen – Carolina Panthers

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Washington RedskinsBefore you jump down my throat that “how can you elevate these two guys into Gronk’s class!?” I’d like to point out that I’ve really just pulled back on my Gronkspectations as an injury or two are nearly guaranteed. Still, these guys offer the highest ceiling at the position.

Very Good Tier (2)

  • Jordan Reed – Washington Redskins
  • Tyler Eifert – Cincinnati Bengals
  • Jimmy Graham – Seattle Seahawks
  • Delanie Walker – Tennessee Titans

My plan this year is to grab one of these guys in the middle rounds. I’m amazed that Jordan Reed doesn’t get the same pass on his health that Gronk gets because when he’s on the field he’s really, really good. Delanie Walker has probably the weakest claim to this tier as the Titans offense should spread the ball round better than previously but he still offers plenty of talent.

Decent Tier (3) 

  • Kyle Rudolph – Minnesota Vikings
  • Zach Ertz – Philadelphia Eagles
  • Martellus Bennett – Green Bay Packers
  • Eric Ebron – Detroit Lions
  • Hunter Henry – Los Angeles Chargers
  • Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts
  • Coby Fleener – New Orleans Saints

I’m personally a big believer in Kyle Rudolph’s ability as a pass catcher. Last year was just a start to what he should accomplish. Hunter Henry should certainly see an uptick in targets between the 20’s but until proven otherwise the red zone still belongs to Antonio Gates.

Make A Prayer Tier (4)

  • CJ Fiedorowicz – Houston Texans
  • Jason Witten – Dallas Texans
  • Cameron Brate – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Julius Thomas – Miami Dolphins
  • Austin Hooper – Atlanta Falcons
  • Antonio Gates – Los Angeles Chargers
  • Evan Engram – New York Giants

This is a fantastic late round tier of tight ends as very little investment gets you a starting quality TE. Austin Hooper is the darling of the off season so be wary of where he’s being drafted but in the later rounds he’s a steal. Evan Engram is another TE that is getting a lot of buzz after playing very well in the preseason but anything other than a late round flier in deep leagues and dynasty/keeper formats may be a wasted pick.

Worth a Flyer Tier (5)

  • O.J. Howard – Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • David Njoku – Cleveland Browns
  • Erik Swoope – Indianapolis Colts
  • Dwayne Allen – New England Patriots
  • Benjamin Watson – Baltimore Ravens
  • Jesse James – Pittsburgh Steelers

If you’re drafting these guys then make sure you do your homework. OJ Howard may be the most NFL ready TE from this draft class but that doesn’t mean he’ll unseat Cameron Brate as the top dog in Tampa. Jesse James is a sneaky good late pick if you miss on the top guys and want a back up to mitigate disaster. LeDarius Green is gone and Big Ben has a history of using his TE’s in the red zone.

I’ve never been in favor of spending a pick on a TE in the first 5 rounds, it’s effectually throwing away a very valuable asset so your team looks pretty on draft night. While Gronkowski is as dominant at his position as any other player, the fact is he can’t stay on the field and I’d rather take my chances with a WR or RB in the 1st or 2nd round and hang my hat on Kyle Rudolph in the 9th instead.

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5 Players I’m NOT Drafting

Every year, I encourage fantasy owners to find a strategy and stick to it. The worst thing you can do is change your plan half way through a fantasy draft. While it’s important to target the players you like, it’s equally as important to note the players you hate, and to never compromise on your research.

Here are five players I refuse to draft this year in any format.

Rob Gronkowski – TE, New England Patriots

GronkinjI’ve made this point before, and I’ll make it again; drafting a TE in the 2nd or 3rd round is not a smart move. When Gronk is healthy (a big if with him) he’s a world beater and far and away the best TE in football, but at his current draft position he presents too much risk for me with sure fire WR and QB on the board behind him (eg. Amari Cooper, Aaron Rodgers).

Jay Ajayi – RB, Miami Dolphons

I was one of Ajayi’s biggest fans when he was drafted out of Boise St, and I still think he projects to be a very good back in the NFL; I just don’t know if he’s ready to return the investment of a 2nd round pick. He’s currently being drafter around the 11-13 spot (first round in some leagues) and he’s done little outside of three monster games to prove that he’s worth that kind of capital.

Odell Beckahm Jr, WR – New York Giants

I’ll preface this by saying I’m a huge OBJ fan, I think he’s one of the most talented WRs in the league, but the conditions are ripe in NY for him to go bust. Read into Beckham’s antics all you want, but his absense at OTAs and his (alleged) strained relationship with Eli Manning don’t inspire confidence. Add into that mix another year with Shephard in the slot and the addition of Brandon Marshall and that’s a recipe for disaster. At his current ADP in the first round, there’s no chance OBJ ends up on any of my teams following the draft.

Mark Ingram, RB – New Orleans Saints

Ingram has long been labeled as injury prone, but last year he put together the finest season of his short NFL career. Then the Saints draft Alvin Kamara, a receiving specialist out of the backfield, and followed that up by signing one of the greatest RBs of all time in Adrian Peterson. Does this mean Ingram is on the outs in NO? Surely not, but I’ve learned that Peterson is at his best when he’s counted out, and the noise out of Saints camp is he’s playing with a massive chip on his shoulder. Ingram should remain the feature back for now, but there’s no telling if he wilts under the pressure from Peterson or if he loses passing downs to Kamar as the season goes on.

Cam Newton, QB – Carolina Panthers

This isn’t a knock on Newton, who’s unique skillset means he’ll probably put up decent numbers when he’s right; but the Panthers addition of Christian McCaffrey means to me that they want Newton to cut down on running the football and get back to running the offense. I still expect Newton to be servicable, but he’s no where near my QB6 and I’d much rather have several other QB’s ranked behind him in the later rounds.

Hidden Gems (TE)

Every year we spend our fantasy prep time pouring through periodicals and compiling statistics based off of “expert” analysis. And while this information is invaluable, we often times ignore the most important players to a championship team: The Bench.

Finding these hidden gems can be difficult but rewarding when your first and second round picks start experiencing the injuries that come with playing as often as elite NFL players do. We’ll examine who from the bargain barrel section of the drafts can help you when they inevitably enter the fray.

Surest Thing – Zac Ertz: Last year the Eagles finally got Ertz involved to the tune of 110+ targets and close to 900 yards. While he had a disappointing 2 TD’s for the season, it’s clear that the torch is being passed from Celek to Ertz at the TE position. Considering he’s being drafted after guys like Jimmy Graham, you have to bennettlike his value in the 12-14th rounds.

Highest Risk Reward – Martellus Bennett: The risk is expecting the Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez offense of a few years ago, but Bennett is still going to offer upside in the later rounds. The issue will be consistency, both through the first four games (Brady’s suspension) and when Gronk and Edelman are healthy. If he can prove reliable, we all know Brady likes to spread the ball around, so his ceiling is close to 1,000 yards and 5 TDs. Not bad for an ADP around 130.

Big Ole’ Bust – Jimmy Graham: Graham hasn’t been himself for a while now, and it’s clear that Seattle has made strides to give Wilson better options at WR. The first strike against him is that his role with Seattle is nothing like it was with New Orleans, and coupled with his Patellar surgery (strike 2) it’s obvious that he’s in for a rough year. Draft with extreme caution, but expect that he’ll be a roster albatross if you do.

Bonus – Tyler Eifert: If you’re fearful that Eifert will miss some time, you’re not alone, and it’s likely that his draft position will reflect that fear. But along with the tumbling ADP, you’ll get extreme value when he does return. With as many questions as the Bengals offense has on it’s receiving depth chart after AJ Green, it’s likely that Dalton turns to Eifert in large volumes when he does return near the end of September.

 

Hidden Gems (WR)

Every year we spend our fantasy prep time pouring through periodicals and compiling statistics based off of “expert” analysis. And while this information is invaluable, we often times ignore the most important players to a championship team: The Bench.

Finding these hidden gems can be difficult but rewarding when your first and second round picks start experiencing the injuries that come with playing as often as elite NFL players do. We’ll examine who from the bargain barrel section of the drafts can help you when they inevitably enter the fray.

Surest Thing – Mike Wallace: Despite the appearance of a crowded receiver team, Mike Wallace is my surest bet amongst the late round WR picks based on his ADP (around 179!) Simply put, he’s hiding behind an unproven journey man in Kamar Aiken and a 35 year old Steve Smith Sr. and whatever mess at TE they decide to roll out (Maxx  is a competent NFL TE but he’s going to eat significant targets away from any of the players already mentioned, nor is Gillmore). If Aiken regresses and/or Smith Sr. misses time with injury, the speedfunchessy Wallace should find himself hooking up with the strong armed Flacco more and more often. For a late round pick, he offers the highest ceiling with the lowest floor.

Highest Risk Reward – Devin Funchess: Despite pedestrian numbers in 2015, Funchess showed that he could be a productive player in the NFL, and there are two sides to the coin surrounding the return of Carolina’s “main man” Kelvin Benjamin. The majority of fantasy players expect Benjamin to step back into his #1 role, and you’d be justified, but I expect there’s a decent chance that having extra time to work with Funchess will result in better numbers for a WR being drafted in the 12-14th round. Obviously with Cam Newton, there’s no
garuntee that skill player A performs the same week in and week out, as the play breaks down Cam’s on of the best in the game finding the open man. Still, the reward if he turns into Cam’s saftey blanket far outweighs the risks.

Big Ole’ Bust – Marvin Jones: Maybe it’s low hanging fruit, but Marvin Jones has the easiest road to ruin of any WR in the entire league. For starters, Matthew Stafford is is entering his 8th NFL season, and his attempts have dropped significantly as his mileage piles up. With Golden Tate proving he can carry the mantle, it’s highly unlikely Jones (who has no history in the NFL of carrying an offense) will step in and replace the departing Calvin Johnson. It’s more likely that Stafford adjusts his targets to Tate, Ebron, and Abdullah and Jones is left as the 4th or 5th player in touches.

Bonus – Chris Hogan: It’s easy to overlook the former Bill as he dons the enemies attire with New England this year. Why? Well, Gronkowski, Edeleman, Lewis, and Amendola to name a few. But the truth is that it’s highly unlikely the New England offense stays healthy, and each of the names just mentioned has a lengthy injury history. Hogan is a sure handed blue collar guy who is likely to slide right in and pick up where guys like Lafell fit (when he was productive). He’s being drafted in the final rounds of drafts, so feel free to take a flier on him.

5 Players I’m Not Drafting (And Neither Should You)

080714-carlos-thumbIt’s easy to go into a draft with a simple plan, and maximizing value is a great way to start your preparations. It’s also important to recognize players that may be overvalued going into draft day in an attempt to avoid wasting valuable picks on players that may not reward you with anything but headaches. It’s especially to remind ourselves that drafting a player because we like them is not the same thing as drafting them based on their value. Below are the five players that at this very moment are valued far to high for my tastes and as a result I will be crossing off on draft lists before the bell to begin even rings.

Rob Gronkowski – TE | New England Patriots

I’ll preface this first player by saying that as a life long Patriots fan, it pains me to include one of my favorite players on this list. The fact remains that his ADP (currently around 10-12) will result in Gronk being drafted near the end of Round 1 and his value begins to become a question mark. There are pro’s to Gronkowski’s fantasy game; he’s the clear-cut number one at a position with a very small top tier, and when he gets going he puts up consistent points week to week. But the Con’s for me outweigh all of this. At his draft position, there are 6-10 players who will likely out score Gronkowski by a measurable margin. It becomes preference if you’d rather target a 6-10th round TE like Martellus Bennett that may score 40 points less than Gronkowski to target a top 5 WR or RB that will likely out score Gronk by the same margin. Sure it seems like a wash in the long run at the TE position, but what you’re doing is hamstringing your other skill positions, especially RB, considering how shallow the elite pool is and how many of those will be drafted in the first two rounds. If it’s me, Gronkowski is out of the question in the first round, and likely in the second. If by some miracle he drops into the 3rd, he provides excellent value, but at his current ADP, he’s on my Don’t Draft list.

Alshon Jeffery – WR | Chicago Bears

With Brandon Marshall gone, everyone bumped Jefferey up due to higher expectations as the clear-cut number one in the Chicago offense. This in spite of the fact that Jay Cutler is the epitome of inconsistent and that Jeffery isn’t known as a crisp route runner. In fact, his biggest asset is his size, which rookie WR Kevin White brings in spades. While White may not usurp the starting job from Jeffery right away, the plan in Chicago is to mold White in to an elite WR, and the expectation is that he’ll steal a good chunk of red zone targets. As talented as Jeffery is, over a complete season he’ll likely under perform his ADP, and the inconsistencies would be infuriating and if poorly timed, could cost your team BIG.

Mark Ingram – RB | New Orleans Saints

When Ingram came into the league, he was expected to step in and contribute right away. He had the skill, and he had the pedigree. Unfortunately he didn’t have the success. It took him three years of under whelming play on the field for him to finally put up numbers that represented the pick the Saints invested in him. Granted, much of his struggles can be attributed to health issues, the fact remains that Ingram is being targeted as a RB2 because of a small sample size of success. With a poor defense that may result in a lot of passing plays, and a better 3rd down back in CJ Spiller on the field, I sense a recipe for disaster. Ingram could be one of the biggest busts of the draft, and I’m determined to not let it be on my roster.

Carlos Hyde – RB | San Fransisco 49ers

Carlos Hyde is a fine player, but a player we’ve seen very little of in a backfield dominated by Frank Gore. The news in the offseason has been tumultuous to say the least, and if you expect San Fransisco to run the ball often, you’d be wrong. I expect a defense decimated by departures to provide for plenty of passing opportunities for a supposedly improved Colin Kaepernick. The fact that Kaep likes to run the ball as often as he does and that Kendall Hunter is still in the fold to steal rushes will impact Hyde’s ability to be anything but a depth pick for bye weeks and injuries. I’d rather draft Frank Gore who has a later ADP in Indy than bank on a player who is just now getting his chance.

Todd Gurley – RB | St. Louis Rams

We all know Gurley’s recent injury history, which is why he’s being drafted in the 4th round despite his immense talent. The issue that I take with even an ADP around 47 is that Gurley will see very little of the field in year one. The team has a capable back in Tre Mason who will get the starts until Gurley returns. To expect that Gurley will suddenly touch the football 20 times a game when he does is plain irresponsible. St. Louis knows what they have in Gurley, and they’ll work hard to limit his exposure as he continues to distance himself from a potentially devastating injury. Unless you’re in a keeper or dynasty league and you can get him with a pick later in the draft, let him be an albatross on someone elses roster.

Updated: TE Rankings (updated 7/2)

Updated 6/29

  1. Rob Gronkowski – NE
  2. Greg Olsen – CAR
  3. Travis Kelce – KC
  4. Jimmy Graham – NO
  5. Martellus Bennett – CHI
  6. Delanie Walker – TEN
  7. Dwayne Allen – IND
  8. Julius Thomas – JAC
  9. Jason Witten – DAL
  10. Jordan Cameron – MIA
  11. Zach Ertz – PHI
  12. Owen Daniels – DEN
  13. Heath Miller – PIT
  14. Antonio Gates – SD
  15. Kyle Rudolph – MIN
  16. Jordan Reed – WAS
  17. Tyler Eifert – CIN
  18. Austin Sefarian-Jenkins
  19. Josh Hill – NO
  20. Larry Donnell – NYG
  21. Maxx Williams – BAL
  22. LeDarius Green – SD
  23. Coby Fleener – IND
  24. Vernon Davis – SF
  25. Charles Clay – BUF
  26. Jared Cook – STL
  27. Richard Rogers – GB
  28. Jace Amaro – NYJ
  29. Mychal Rivera – OAK
  30. Eric Ebron – DET
  31. Scott Chandler – NE
  32. Andrew Quarless – GB
  33. Ladarius Green – SD
  34. Jacob Tamme – ATL
  35. Dion Sims – MIA
  36. Virgil Green – DEN

3 Up

Jordan Cameron – MIA – At times in Cleveland, Cameron looked like an elite pass catching TE until injuries and inconsistent QB play derailed his season last year. Arguably an upgrade over Charles Clay, Cameron could find himself pushing the top 5 in TE fantasy points by the end of the season.

Austin Sefarian-Jenkins – TB – For those who drafted him a little early last year assuming his freak athletesism would overcome the dismal offense in Tampa Bay, there is probably a little skeptisism left after a disappointing year. Add a QB that can make the throws, and Jenkins looks poised to have the breakout year many expected of him last year.

Andrew Quarless – GB – Despite being often ranked behind teammate Richard Rogers, all the buzz out of mini camps is that the offense will likely end up using Quarless as their number 1 TE, and he has the hands and skills to be a middle of the pack fantasy TE in the high powered GB offense. He says all the right things and Aaron Rodgers has beemed, expect him to leap over Richard Rogers before the season starts, but will likely be an afterthought in your drafts.

3 Down

Josh Hill – NO – I feel bad piling on a TE that hasn’t even had a chance to take the field as his teams starting TE, but the buzz is almost all bad going into fantasy drafts, and the chances he’ll produce at levels close to Jimmy Graham are zero. Don’t over bid on player who is likely going to let down fantasy owners and make way for Ben Watson on the field.

Eric Ebron – DET – A player many lauded as the replacement for the much maligned Brandon Pettigrew, Ebron did nothing to prove his supports right last year, and hasn’t done much this year to change my expectations. Detroit will likely continue to force the football to Calvin Johnson and Golden Tate and balance it out of the backfield with super rookie Ameer Abdullah. Use caution when drafting Ebron.

Jordan Reed – WSH – Reed has the physical tools to be a top 10 TE, but his health isn’t there, and the roster features another capable TE in Niles Paul. Expect both TE’s to line up on the field together and neither will create much of a cushion between the other in terms of fantasy production. In case of injuries, one or the other could be a late, and I mean LATE round sleeper.

Bust Candidates

Here’s a list of a few of my prime Bust Candidates. Although there are plenty of candidates still out there, these stand out to me as potential disasters. anderson

C.J. Anderson | Den | RB – While it is still to early to predict an ADP with any real accuracy, C.J. Anderson has been a popular pick in the first two rounds. A second year player who’s performance was relegated to less than half an NFL season is a precarious first or second round pick, especially when a back the team invested heavily on is returning from injury (Montee Ball). Although I’d be surprised if Anderson doesn’t break camp as the starting RB, he’ll be hard pressed to repeat the same kind of dominance over a full 16 games.

Mark Ingram | NO | RB – It was nice to see Ingram finally produce near the level we’d expected when NO drafted him a few years ago. A common flier pick, Ingram returned the investment in spades, but will be hard pressed to repeat those numbers given his NFL track record and injury history. Ingram is being selected in the top 20 for RB’s and my prediction is he’ll fall well short of that expectation.

Alshon Jeffery | Chi | WR – An elite talent, Jefferey has rare go and get it skills and the size to dominate most NFL corners. Sadly, his partner in crime Brandon Marshall is now a Jet and Jeffery will likely be the one drawing double teams. I’m not sure that Jeffery is a complete enough player to carry that burden and with a rookie WR on the other side, I expect him to have a down year as defenses key on him more than ever.

Jeremy Maclin | KC | WR – What else can I say other than Maclin is wearing a Chief’s jersey… a nightmare scenario for a great WR, Maclin will certainly not repeat the great numbers he put up coming off of an injury two years ago. Although he’ll likely perform better than Dwayne Bowe did as the WR1 in this offense, I’m wary of the drop of in production having no QB or help will cause.

Michael Floyd | Ari | WR – Judging from how far Larry Fitzgerald has tumbled in rankings, it’s clear that many thing Floyd is going to take the next step. Floyd is a fine WR an great athlete, but John Brown is the WR in Arizona who should slot in for Fitzgerald. Inconsistency will continue to plague Floyd, and he will fail to live up to his ADP.

Rob Gronkowski | NE | TE – Despite the fact that he’s the number one target in a high powered NE offense, Gronkowski has two strikes against him going into 2015. He’s a safe bet to miss time due to injury as previous seasons have shown, and he’ll be missing his QB for a few games to start the season. Brady and Gronk took some time to get going this past year, meaning if we get some kind of repeat, we’re looking at week 6 or 7 for full Gronk power. As the top TE taken likely in the 2nd or 3rd rounds, there won’t be enough of a return early.

5 Best Players at their Positions

demaryiusIn the world of fantasy, we all want to be the best. I find myself checking to see how my teams members are scoring against the other elite of the world, and it’s a warm and fuzzy feeling to see my guys excel. Obviously there are week to week fluctuations, but in the end, only one can be crowned the best at his position.

QB: Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts – At only 25 years old, it’s impressive to see the poise and talent that Luck brings to every NFL game. At at time when the Tom Brady’s and Peyton Manning’s of the world are entering the twinkling twilight of their careers, Luck hasn’t even entered his statistical prime. Still, after throwing for 4700 yards and 40 TD’s, it’s hard to imagine him being any better. Then he got new weapons to offset his already elite talent. Andre Johnson and Frank Gore may not be top 10’s anymore, but Luck certainly won’t regress with them added to the roster. I fully expect Luck to repeat his numbers, if not improve on them.

Runner Up: Aaron Rodgers – He has the same tools as Luck, but still has a bit of an injury history and Green Bay can be a more balanced attack with Eddie Lacy in the backfield. Still elite, Rodgers will push Luck at the top of the totem pole for a few more years.

RB: Le’Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers – Mike Tomlin loves a balanced offense, and Bell is a rare blend of speed and power. Playing all three downs, Bell will be the focal point for the offense going into the year despite missing time due to a suspension. Like Luck above, Bell has already established himself as elite despite only being 23. The difference this year is that from his first snap to his last, he’ll be a top option in a powerful Pittsburgh offense. Between his use in the passing game and his dominance on the ground, expect a few huge weeks and numbers that come close to last year even minus the two game suspension.

Runner Up: DeMarco Murray – Many will list Murray over Bell, and you wouldn’t be wrong to do so. This is a 1A, 1B situation, but I dock Murray a bit being in a new location running behind a line that couldn’t open up quality lanes for another elite back in LeSean McCoy the year before. He’ll be used a lot, but my concern is that he won’t duplicate the health or the numbers after a stellar year in Dallas.

WR: Demaryius Thomas, Denver Broncos – As steady as they come, being the number one option for Peyton Manning doesn’t hurt either. I’ll argue that as Manning’s skills regress, his smarts become his strength and he’d be stupid to not rely on the elite talent he’s got in Thomas. With the offense shifting a bit (no Welker or Julius Thomas) Demaryuis will be called upon to do even more, and he’ll be up to the challenge. As a WR, he’ll pace the league and I’d be surprised if he didn’t push the single season TD record for WRs.

Runner Up: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers – Consistency is a boon in the world of fantasy football, and Brown finished at the top of the list for WR’s last year. As great as Brown is, he’s still relying on Ben Roethlisburger to remain elite and for Le’Veon bell to not shift the balance to a run first team. A lock to be top 3 WR, you can’t go wrong with Brown either way.

TE: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots – The big gifted TE in New England had to prove he could stay healthy after a rash of injuries in consecutive years. All he did was return and pace the leagues TE’s with 1,100 yards and 12 TD’s. If you account for a few rough weeks during the first few weeks of the season as Brady acclimated himself and Gronkowski returned to form, it’s not hard to imagine Gronk putting up a full year similar to his second half numbers. As a TE there is no other weapon in the league like Gronkowski and he should continute to be Brady’s primary target, especially in the red zone.

Runner up: Greg Olson – TE is a murky position going into the season. Antonio Gates continues to perform like a young stud, but the wheels will fall off soon and Ledarius Green is waiting in the wings. Jimmy Graham has pushed Gronk for the top spot in the past has left NO and gone to Seattle, where there’s no garuntee Wilson will use his as judiciously as Brees did. That leaves Olson who showed flashes and remained consistent throughout for fantasy owners. A healthy Cam Newton should see Olson’s numbers improve slightly while the other two mentioned should decline. 

Tom Brady’s 4 Game Suspension

garoppoloSo our fears were realized as Tom Brady received his punishment from the NFL for his alleged role in deflategate. Now understand that this could very well be lightened to 1-2 games, but for now we’ll operate under the assumption that Brady will miss weeks 1-4.

What this means for Brady:

Brady becomes the biggest guess in the draft at this point. Some will point to his historic (at the time) season in 2007 after Spygate. This becomes instantly relevant as you hear the news of how angry Patriots front office members are. Often you see a QB hand off up 25 points in the 4th… not a league-scorned Patriots team.  Could Brady be worth his pre-suspension ADP considering this?

I wouldn’t hesitate to pull the trigger on Brady if he fell into the Joe Flacco / Colin Kaepernick range. I’m assuming Brady’s appeal will be met with some push back, so even if it stands at 4 games, I’ll take an angry Brady for the final 12 weeks knowing that he’ll be a stud in the playoffs.

What this means for Jimmy Garoppolo:

The man slated to take snaps under center in Brady’s absense is Jimmy Garoppolo. There’s an argument here that the Patriots are masters at hiding a QB’s deficiencies and planning to their strengths. When Matt Cassel stepped in for Brady in 2008, his regular season stats were Brady-esque despite not having nearly the football aqumen of the man he replaced.

A good way to look at Garoppolo is that he’s able to extend plays with his legs in a way that Brady can’t. He has plenty of sure-handed saftey blankets in Rob Gronkowski and Julien Edeleman, so I expect him to put up middle of the pack fantasy numbers. His legs may net you a good game or two ealy, but I’d caution drafting him unless your handcuffing for a Brady pick.

What this means for the rest of the team:

LeGarrett Blount (suspended one game himself) should have a good chance to carry the ball a lot in weeks 2-4. He’s the type of runner that gets better with volume, so having a Blount that’s rolling could help when Brady returns.

Rob Gronkowski shouldn’t suffer too much as they will likely scheme to him a great deal due to his size and ability to match up in the middle. Garoppolo attempted a ton of his passes Gronk’s way in the preaseason last year and I expect that to stay the same.

Julien Edelman is a volume receiver and he takes a bit of a hit if Garoppolo struggles. I expect them to use a lot of short and intermediate plays early so he shouldn’t suffer much.

Brandon LaFell is the player that sufferes the most on offense. Garoppolo threw a few nice deep balls last year, and LaFell showed he isn’t afraid to run and stick to his routes and take a hit. Still, I expect him to be too deep on the check down list to be of much impact until Brady returns.

What do you think about the fallout from the Brady Suspension?