Thursday - Apr 18, 2019

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Bye-Bye Brady

Hear that? It’s the sound of me eating my words. Last month, I wrote an article that explained why ‘history’ shouldn’t be used as a reason to discount Tom Brady’s chances for another monster season.

Well, Brady is done for the year (man, it feels weird to be writing that sentence).

In the fantasy community, Tom will be lumped in with Manning, Marino and Warner; he’ll be seen as a victim of the 40+ TD hangover.   

I don’t want to get all metaphysical on you here, but this turn of events is really freaky. At least for me. You see, I’m not one of those people for whom the past is a dictatorial force. I’ve never believed that history exerts pressure on the current state of things… that is until I saw Brady limp off the field.

Now I’m left wondering: are there forces at work – outside the realm of scientific rationalism – that might cause a football player to get injured? If so, what does this say about our autonomy as human beings? What’s controlling our fate? Wow. This is runaway thinking. I guess I’m just uncomfortable with the idea that Brady got hurt because he threw 50 touchdown passes last year. And believe me, this will be the subtext of some sketchy commentary during the next couple of weeks.  

Okay, okay. Enough of this. Let’s get back to a world that has definable rules. Let’s talk about fantasy football.

Here is the unthinkable scenario: in 2008, Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the New England Patriots.

There are some positives in this situation. The new guy will step into a potent offense and he’ll be throwing to the league’s best receiver. Cassel has had three years to absorb the system (he was drafted by the Patriots in 2005) and he plays for the best coach in the league. Belichick will put this guy in a position to succeed.

But let’s not get carried away. Including yesterday’s performance, Cassel has thrown 57 passes in the NFL. He’s a completely unknown commodity. What you saw from him against the Chiefs really meant nothing; backup quarterbacks often play well before the other teams in the league have a chance to game-plan for them. Once there is some film on Cassel, there is no way to predict what kind of fantasy value he will have. Remember, there are plenty of quarterbacks that are totally incapable of making use of superstar receiving talent. This leads us to another major issue. What happens to the fantasy value of the other Patriot players?

Will Wes Welker – who had an uncanny rapport with Tom Brady – still have a prominent role in the offense? Will Randy Moss still be capable of posting elite-level numbers? To what degree will Belichick now lean on his stable of running backs?

I love player analysis as much as the next guy, but it would be ridiculous if I even attempted to answer these questions. New England is adrift. They have lost their anchor. Where they might end up, nobody knows.

Sound a bit apathetic? Maybe. I suppose that I can afford this attitude – I was never in a position to draft Tom Brady or Randy Moss this year. However, I do have Wes Welker and Laurence Maroney in a PPR league. I’m now looking at Welks as a WR3. I’m optimistic that Maroney will see an increase in his production, but this might just be wishful thinking. Belichick may very well rotate his running backs even more than usual.

Ugghh. What a mess. History has really screwed some people over.   

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