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Brady’s Back! What Does That Mean For Fantasy Football?
Total Pro Sports – It was the moment that turned the 2008 fantasy football season upside down. Sunday, September 7, 2008 marks the last time Tom Brady was on the field throwing to his fellow New England Patriot receivers. That was the day Bernard Pollard tackled his knee, tearing his ACL in the process. Every fantasy football player with the first overall pick was left to wallow in misery.
Yesterday was the first day back on the field for Brady in his long road back to supremacy, and although he felt a little rusty, he was just happy to get back out there and do his thing. He practiced with a knee brace on under his sweat pants, but felt he could have gone without it had the trainers not requested he wear it. As for the beginning of the season, slated for Monday, September 14, at home against the Bills, he believes he will be ready to go baring any unforeseen circumstances. Good news to fantasy owners and Pats fans alike, but bad new for Bills fans.
So now that he is back, it will be interesting to see where he goes on draft boards for the 2009 NFL Fantasy Football season. Here is what my list of the top 10 in all offensive positions looks like.
(Using standard scoring of 1 point/10 yards rushing/receiving, 1pt/25 yards passing, and 6 pts/touchdown)
1. Adrian Peterson, RB, Min – He remains one of the most explosive and physical players in the game and should continue to be a top fantasy point producer. If only Brett Favre could come and help take off some of the load.
2. Matt Forte, RB, Chi – The second year running back will hope that there is no sophomore jinx in the windy city. And in case he needed it, he now has Cutler to take off some of the pressure. He could be ahead of Peterson in some polls.
3. Michael Turner, RB, Atl – The burner was definitely on last year and expect no different this year. Turner has all the intangibles to be a great runner and as a young Falcon team continues to improve, so should he.
4. Tom Brady, QB, NE - Here is where I may deviate from the norm just a bit. Many have Drew Brees slated as the top quarterback after his performance last year, but I will go back with a fully recovered Tom Brady. He should be fine once the season starts, he doesn’t get hit often, and after Matt Cassel’s showing last year, I think even a 90% Brady will be just fine with Bill Belichick looking after him.
5. Drew Brees, QB, NO – After putting up big numbers last year, Drew Brees will look to do that same and avoid another off year, like his 2007 campaign. With Reggie Bush and Marques Colston each gaining another valuable year of experience, expect him to remain a top flight fantasy producer.
6. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jac – Fred Taylor is gone and the Jags used their first two pic of the 2009 entry draft to beef up the offensive line. That all comes as good news to MJD, and I expect this touchdown machine to respond with career high numbers.
7. DeAngelo Williams, RB, Car – One of the most dominant players down the stretch last year, Williams looks to begin where he left off, and with one of the most effective offensive lines in football, that shouldn’t be a problem.
8. Steven Jackson, RB, Stl – The acquisition of Jason Smith with the second overall pick should help create room for Jackson, and if Bulger can spread the ball through the air to take some attention away from him, he may once again find himself on top of the fantasy world.
9. Steve Slaton, RB, Hou – He put up impressive numbers in his rookie season, and should be that much better in 2009. With Matt Shaub and Andre Johnson patroling the other offensive “skilled” positions, Slaton should be able to put up consistent numbers to counter the Texans passing attack.
10. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Ari – I do not like taking wide receivers in the first round, and faced with the opportunity, would likely stick by that rule of thumb, but with Larry Fitzgerald on the board, it could be tough to resist. His ability to make plays and score touchdowns allows him to produce like some RB’s. Will he and his Cards be able to repeat the remarkable season they had on ’08? If so, he’s a steal here.