Don't Worry, Fantasy Owners: Tom Brady's Going to Be Fine
Cue the Tom Brady freak out.
Brady didn't have the best game against the Dolphins in Week 1. He threw for 249 yards, a 51.8% completion percentage and one touchdown, with two fumbles and a 32.2 QBR. In ESPN standard scoring leagues, Brady was the 26th best quarterback with nine points. And because he's Tom Brady, people don't know what to do with themselves.
Admittedly, it was really bad for Brady in Week 1. According to our Net Expected Points (NEP) metric, which measures how many points a player adds or subtracts from his team on each play, Brady was the worst quarterback in the NFL this week among the 34 who played. And he wasn't that much better on a per play basis either.
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Yes, Brady had a bad week, but it's no reason for alarm - it's one week. There's no need to drop Brady or find yourself another quarterback. Brady's going to be just fine. The Dolphins defense was one of the better defenses in the league last year against the pass according to our metrics, ranking 10th. Good defensive performances can give any quarterback trouble. Just look at the past Super Bowl.
Even last year against the Dolphins, Brady didn't perform all that great. He totaled just 27.60 points in standard leagues against the Dolphins, 20.56 in Week 15 and just 7.14 in Week 8, according to FantasyData.com. For the season, Brady averaged almost 16 points per week.
Furthermore, Brady was bothered by a calf injury throughout the week. The injury caused him to miss practice, but his status was never in doubt for the game. It could have bothered - but neither Brady nor Bill Belichick will ever admit it.
Brady's been one of the most consistent and good quarterbacks in the game both fantasy-wise and on the field. He's only finished outside the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks once, which happened last year when there was a constant carousel of receivers catching passes in New England. Don't overreact after one week.
More so, with Rob Gronkowski's return from injury and the acquisition of Tim Wright, Brady could be in for another great season. Brady's historical comparables - players who match up similarly in terms of production and team composition with regards to NEP - are jaw dropping and lend the possibility of a huge, bounce-back campaign.
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Each of his comparables put up monster seasons, including Drew Brees' record breaking season last year. Even if Brady only comes close to these seasons, he'll be a huge success and one of the top fantasy quarterbacks this year.
For the rest of the season, we project Brady to finish as the ninth best fantasy quarterback with 265.78 fantasy points. And if Brady lives up to his comparables, that projection might even be a bit conservative. Even better, he plays a Vikings defense this week which was among the worst pass defenses in the NFL last year, so he should rebound nicely. Our weekly projections have him scoring 19.44 points.
Don't worry, fantasy owner. Brady just had a bad week. Doesn't everyone?