Tom Brady is a quarterback for the New England Patriots and was drafted in the sixth round in the 2000 NFL draft. Brady is coming off a record-setting year and he still has Randy Moss and Wes Welker to throw to.
If you assume he’s going to get within 10 touchdowns of last year’s totals, Brady is worth a first round pick. Until the Super Bowl last year, Brady hardly got touched (10 sacks or so on the season; I’m not sure the total), so if that holds up, he’s unlikely to get hurt anytime soon.
The problem is, they call it a career season for a reason. Don’t expect Brady to match the record again. Maybe Moss or Welker get hurt; maybe Tom Brady’s offensive line gets hurt; there are so many moving parts in an NFL offense, you can never pencil in someone to match their numbers from the year before.
That being said, Brady has been a solid quarterback for years and should be for years to come, so he’s a fairly safe pick. (I personally wouldn’t spend a first rounder on a quarterback, though I would consider it in Brady’s case. If he’s in a league where you get 4 points per touchdown, I would definitely back off using a first rounder on Brady. If he gets 6 points per touchdown, that’s a different matter.)
Tom Brady College Career
Brady attended the University of Michigan and is one of the more remarkable stories in that he could hardly find playing time and is now the premier quarterback in the NFL.
His first two seasons he could hardly even see the field and was playing backup to Brian Griese. However in the 1998 and 1999 seasons he beat out Drew Henson to be the starting quarterback under head coach Lloyd Carr. He was captain his senior year and set Michigan records all the way.
Tom Brady – NFL Draft
In the 2000 NFL draft the New England Patriots selected Brady with the 199th pick overall in the sixth round. He was picked due to a positive review from then-Patriots quarterback coach Dick Rehbein.
Initially, Tom Brady was fourth on the depth chart, but by the end of his first season he was second behind Drew Bledsoe.
Tom Brady Replaces Drew Bledsoe
On September 23, 2001, Tom Brady was thrust into the spotlight after Bledsoe was injured.
He posted very average numbers his first two outings, but soon began showing the game that we are now so accustomed to. In Super Bowl XXXVI against the favored St. Louis Rams, Brady led his team on a drive that ultimately led to a game winning field goal.
The 2002 season was relatively mediocre season for Brady, and the New England Patriots missed the playoffs entirely.
It appeared as if Brady’s and Belichick’s 2001 season was a one-year wonder, like so many other recent Super Bowl championships. But the following 2003 season Brady again led the Patriots to a second Super Bowl title in three years. The 2004 season was similar, in that he again led the team to 3rd Super Bowl title in four years, a feat matched only the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990′s.
2005 saw Tom Brady lose the first playoff game of his career, after throwing a key interception to Champ Bailey of the Denver Broncos at the Broncos’ goal line. The 2005 season saw Tom Brady post the first great fantasy football numbers of his career, as the team became a pass-first offense with a group of lesser wide receivers (perhaps excluding Super Bowl MVP, Deion Branch, whom some rated highly.)
In 2006, Tom Brady had a great year, but the Patriots lost out to the arch-rival Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning in the AFC Championship game.
Last season, Tom Brady again led the Patriots to a Super Bowl final, but they lost out to the New York Giants in the dying moments of the game. Last year Brady had am amazing season, one of the best for a quarterback ever. The addition of some reliable wide receivers (Moss, Welker, Stallworth) has had a huge impact on Brady�s game. The same offence is still there and will be hungry after last year�s highly disappointing finale in the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady Fantasy Football 2009
Tom Brady is coming off a major knee injury in 2009, but he has looked great in the 2009 NFL Preseason. Brady has been lighting up the scoreboard in the handful of drives he’s led.
It looks like the Patriots are going to have more weapons than always in the passing game, as the Pats added Joey Galloway at wide receiver and Chris Baker (Jets) and Alex Smith (Bucs) at tight end. Randy Moss and Wes Welker will be the main targets, of course, while Ben Watson is the starting tight end. But note that Tom Brady has already thrown two preseason TDs to Chris Baker, so watch early in the season if Baker becomes a favorite target and pick him up a free agent if you have a deep league and big injuries at tight end.
The running game looks older and less talented than ever, with the Sammy Morris and Fred Taylor both pushing their mid-thirties and Kevin Faulk also over 30. Laurence Maroney is the only runner still in his twenties, but Maroney simply shouldn’t be drafted onto a fantasy roster – he just doesn’t produce in an NFL sense or a fantasy football sense.
So it looks like Tom Brady will be throwing it a lot in 2009. This could open him up to a new injury – Brady’s already got a sore shoulder from a tackle by Albert Haynesworth in a preseason game. Note that, in the two NFL seasons prior to his injury, Tom Brady has been hit more times than any other NFL quarterback. You could say Tom Brady was due for his injury.
Whether that signals a trend, we can’t say, but based on potential alone, Tom Brady is rated just behind Drew Brees as my #2 QB (Brees isn’t coming off an injury). My #3 qb pick, Aaron Rodgers, is the better value, because you can draft him late 3rd or early 4th, while Brady and Brees are early 2nd at the latest.
New England Patriots Offense – 2008
Randy Moss and Wes Welker are returning to the team, though the less productive (but still valuable) Donte Stallworth left in free agency. It’s possible that former first round selection and third-year wide receiver, Chad Jackson, finally becomes a valuable player for the New England Patriots. If Ben Watson stays clear of injury and has himself a break out season, Brady should find himself with another year with outstanding numbers.
NFL Passing Rules
The passing rules the NFL set prior to the 2005 NFL season are a major reason that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have each broken the NFL single-season passing record in the past three seasons, and those rules won’t be changed anytime soon.
Because of the new rules, which forbid defensive backs touching receivers in any way beyond five yards, you can expect top quarterbacks and their favorite receivers will continue to dominate fantasy football leagues. Tom Brady should be one of those quarterbacks for the near future.
The Patriots offence did slow down quite a bit as the season wore on last year, there output was 2 less touchdowns a game in the final nine games, and Brady seemed to suffer minor injuries to his ankle and shoulder. The offensive line had trouble keeping the blitz in check (in the Super Bowl especially).
Defenses were able to hold down Patriot receivers no matter what the formation was. All stats of previous QB�s points to a natural regression after a season like the last one. When it comes down to it the New England should have one of the elite offences again next year. It is unlikely that Brady will have another season with 50 TD�s and 8 INT, but its all depends on the players around him.
Tom Brady – Fantasy Value
Brady is a definite top 3 quarterback, and barring injury he should give you what you want in the first round of a draft. Whether it’s worth it to draft a quarterback in the 1st round of a fantasy draft is your decision. Certainly, if Brady throws 50 touchdowns again, he’s worth any pick in a fantasy draft.
But if he drops in production 10-15 TDs, then you might be able to find a comparable quarterback several rounds lower. In that case, you might be trading your chance at a Top 5 running back by drafting Tom Brady so high.
In the end, it comes down to whether you think Brady, Moss and Welker will continue to be as dominant as last year. They might, but the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets should be a little better this year, while Bill Parcells arrival should signal at least a competent Miami Dolphins team — which is more than can be said for last year.
So the New England Patriots division should be a little tougher than last year, though that’s not saying much. The AFC East was putrid last year. Because of that, the Patriots have the easiest strength of schedule this year, based on the 2007 records of their opponents. If that holds, the Patriots might very well dominate the football landscape again.