Tom Brady Fantasy Football Outlook & Value 2020

Tom Brady On March 19, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers agreed to a two-year contract with former Patriots quarterback Tom Brady for $50 million fully guaranteed. After two decades of success in New England, including six Super Bowl wins, Brady is taking his talents down to Florida. The Bucs finished 7-9 last season behind an improbable 33-touchdown, 30-interception season. Bruce Arians is widely regarded as one of the best offensive minds in football, and the Tampa offense will provide Brady with plenty of weapons in Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski, among others.

2019 Recap

PASS YDSPASS TDSINTRUSH YDSRUSH TDFPTSFPPG
4,057248343263.6816.48

Bill Belichick showed a clear weakness in his inability to support his franchise quarterback with skill-position talent this past season. Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon were unable to stay on the field, rookie N’Keal Harry was largely ineffective, and a midseason trade for Mohamed Sanu didn’t move the needle as much as the team needed. Beyond Julian Edelman and James White, Brady had almost no reliable receiving weapons. He still put up solid fantasy numbers, finishing as a borderline top-12 guy, which is impressive in this offense and playing with an elite defense, which made the passing game less important.

2020 Projections

PASS YDSPASS TDSINTSRUSH YDSRUSH TDFPTSFPPG
4712.6321185231519.69

I have Brady finishing as my QB8 this season as he’ll have the best receiving duo of his career in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (apologizes to Randy Moss and Wes Welker). Jameis Winston finished as the QB3 in fantasy on this team last season despite needing LASIK surgery after a 30-interception campaign. Brady should produce similar numbers in passing yards and touchdowns with much fewer interceptions, although his lack of rushing potential caps his upside somewhat. He seems like a lock for 4,500+ passing yards and 30+ touchdowns in this offense.

ADP/Auction Value

ADP: 132.8
Auction Price: $14

Our Lineups database has Brady slated with a 13th or 14th round ADP, but I have a hard time believing that’s where he’ll land come draft time. Other sites show an ADP of as high as the 7th round, so there’s a wide range of outcomes here. I would lean towards Brady being selected somewhere between the 8th and 10th rounds, which would be a substantial value for him.

Floor

It has to be at least mentioned that Brady is 42 and entering the 20th season of his career – most quarterbacks don’t continue to play at a high level at this point in their careers. However, Brady is not most quarterbacks. He has built his legacy on the determination to be the best and commitment to his craft. He’s still in incredible physical condition due to the success of his TB12 method. Aside from his the one season, he missed in entirety, he has only missed five games in his entire career and has played a full 16-game slate 16(!!) times. Brady wouldn’t have signed for a new team if he didn’t believe he could still succeed at the highest level. With the elite level of talent surrounding him in Tampa, he should offer a solid baseline for fantasy even if his play starts to decline a tad this season.

Ceiling

The last time Brady had a combination of receivers close to the level of Evans and Godwin was in 2007 when the Pats benefitted from a combined 2,668 yards and 31 touchdowns from Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Brady threw for 50 TDs that year, and while he hasn’t reached that mark since, he’s pushed past 35 passing touchdowns multiple times and can hit that mark again. The presence of an offensive guru in Bruce Arians should help Brady’s transition to Tampa and will make the Bucs an attacking force.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Offense

Tampa Bay BuccaneersOh, baby. You’re talking about Mike Evans (48 career touchdowns and 1,000+ yards each season of his career) and Chris Godwin (1,333 yards and nine touchdowns in 14 games last year) catching passes from the greatest quarterback of all time. Tampa threw the ball the 4th-most out of any team in football last season, and while the defense should be somewhat improved this year, there isn’t a solidified rushing presence on the roster which in the past has meant more short-game passing attempts for Brady offenses. Ronald Jones and Ke’Shawn Vaughn will offer exciting elements to the offense, but neither is a feature guy. Brady could also be utilized in the ground game in short-yardage situations due to the lack of an elite running back on the roster – he has gone for three touchdowns multiple times in his career. Rob Gronkowski recently said he weighs 257 pounds, which is very close to his playing weight, and the time away from football should give him fresh legs to help produce for his new team if he isn’t ready to go, O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate are more than capable of shouldering the load in the passing game.

Strength of Schedule

The Buccaneers play in the NFC South, which should be a division with many good offenses and no good defenses. The Saints and Falcons both ranked outside the top-20 in fantasy points allowed to the quarterback last season, and those matchups should present shootout opportunities as Brady will take on Drew Brees and Matt Ryan each twice. The Panthers ranked 12th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks last year. Still, they lost a handful of defensive starters and are undergoing a massive transition after losing their leader in Luke Kuechly and welcoming in an entirely new coaching staff. Outside of their division, the Bucs, unfortunately, have to face the Packers, Vikings, and Bears, all of whom ranked in the top 8 for fantasy points allowed to QBs. Tampa also plays the Broncos, Chiefs, and Chargers from the AFC West, all of whom were in the top half of the league in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks. There are some gimme matchups on the schedule against the Raiders, Lions, and Giants in addition to the light division slate. This schedule has plenty of highs and lows, but I believe this Bucs offense is going to be one of the best in the league.

Bottom Line

Don’t kid yourself; Tom Brady is going to be elite yet again this season. He went to the Bucs to finish his career out for a reason – they are going to provide him with arguably the best supporting cast of his entire life. Don’t get crazy and draft him before Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson, or even Deshaun Watson. After the first group of elite quarterbacks, though, Brady has as good a case as anyone as finishing as a top-five guy this year.

2020 Fantasy Football Player Outlooks
  
There are few things I love more in this world than the sweet glory of fantasy football. It's a year round sport and championships are won and lost well before the draft. When I was 15 I put together my first fantasy league and I was hooked for life.

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