You may be avoiding Tom Brady in your 2014 fantasy football draft, but Las Vegas would call you a fool.
One of the simplest, but best pieces of advice that I have retained during my wait for football action to return, is to look at the odds that the sports betting industry places for NFL games. This is so simple, yet I feel that there is still a large amount of people in the fantasy football community who completely overlook this.
Vegas is not in the business to lose money, so whenever we see the spread, we should take it into consideration for our matchups. While most of this data will be used in daily fantasy games, you can still use the early lines as a guide before you start your season. One wager that has really peaked my interest, is the list of quarterbacks who will finish the 2014 NFL season with the most passing yards. According to those lines, Tom Brady has the fourth-best chance.
While he only scored 16 or more points once during Weeks 1-8. Brady was a new player in Weeks 9-15. The 37-year old quarterback recorded 5 games with 344 or more passing yards in that time frame, and he averaged 2.3 touchdown passes per game. Coincidentally, wide receiver Danny Amendola was able to stay on the field more consistently from Weeks 8-15, and tight end Rob Gronkowski played consecutively in Weeks 7-14.
The odds for Brady to finish as a top passer in 2014 revolve heavily around the involvement of Gronk and Amendola in the offense. Receiver Julian Edelman provided Brady with a reliable option, but he needs more than just Edelman to find success. The hype machine was building around Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson last season, but the rookies gave Brady more frustration than help. Thompkins finished the year with a 10% drop rate when he got his hands on the ball, and Dobson wasn’t far behind with a 9.7% rate. When you compare that to Edelman’s 5.3%, you can see why Brady looked like he wanted the rookies to be locked away in Belichick’s doghouse.
According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Brady is going at the beginning of the sixth round in a 12-man league. He was a third-round pick in one of my buddies’ leagues over the weekend, but the player drafting him did just return from a bachelor party in Atlantic City the night before. Aside from very competitive leagues and hung-over players returning from bachelor parties, you should be able to find Brady still available in the seventh and eighth rounds.
Things could go downhill quickly if the veteran quarterback loses Amendola, and especially Gronkowski. but the upside is too good to pass up if you are waiting on your quarterback.
With the sports betting industry providing him favorable odds, Brady could be in the company of Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning by the end of the season.
Categories: Fantasy Football