Written By: Steve Perez
We all know how great Tom Brady has been as an NFL Quarterback with his 6 Super Bowl's. In talking to some people, I also believe that people think a lot of his greatness has come from Bill Belichick. I can agree that it is a big part of Brady's success, but to say if he had never had Bill, he would not have been what he is. I think that a little overblown. Yes, I agree Bill is the best coach ever and paired with Brady, the six Championships became possible. What I have an issue with is people saying Brady would be nothing without Belichick. So in this article, I will breakdown the greatness of Brady and let you decide.
Since 2001, When becoming the full-time starter. Tom Brady has never thrown for under 60.2% in a season. Comparing that to other great Qb's in history, Joe Montana went under 59.9% completion percentage once in his career, Peyton Manning did it twice, Dan Marino did it 12 times, Drew Brees has done it once, and John Elway has done it 13 times. Those are some of the greatest ever to play the game. I could have kept going by about 15 names the only Quarterback inside my top 10 all-time or anyone else's is Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is the only Qb who has never thrown under 60.2% completions in his career since becoming the starter.
Let's compare Wide receivers for the above Qb's during their lowest completion years to Brady's during his lowest completion seasons.
Joe Montana- Jerry Rice
Peyton Manning- Marshall Faulk, Marvin Harrison
Dan Marino- Mark Clayton (for those of you who don't know Mark Clayton. In his career, he had 5 1000+ yards season's with four double-digit Touchdown season's including an 18 and 14 Touchdown season.)
Drew Brees- LaDainian Thomlinson, David Boston
John Elway- Rod Smith, Ed McCaffery, Terrell Davis, Shannon Sharpe
Tom Brady- Deion Branch (who never made a Pro Bowl)
Now let's look at some of the coaching changes and what Brady produced in those coaching change years. Charlie Weis in 2005- in 2006 Brady had 3529 yards passing 24 TD's 12 Ints. His receivers were Reche Caldwell and Ben Watson. They lost in the AFC championship game to the Super Bowl champion Colts. Josh McDaniels in 2008- 2009 Brady had 4398 passing yards 28 TDs and 13 Ints. His receivers were Wes Welker and Randy Moss.
Bill O'Brien 2011- Brady had his career passing yard year with O'Brien at the helm. He had 5235 passing yards, 39 TDs, and 12 Ints.
Change doesn't seem to hurt Brady's number in any way. Now let's look at some of TB12's career highs:
Passing Yards- 2011- 5235
Passing Touchdown's- 2007- 50
Completion Percentage - 2007- 68.9%
Completions- 2015- 402
Lowest Int Total in 16 games- 2016- 4
QBR- 2007- 88.5%
All of these stats are impressive by themselves together!? They are ridiculous. Brady has proven to be a winner on and off the field, and those who question his greatness I challenge you to find better number over a career from anyone, let alone a guy with six Super Bowls.
Now with all of that being said, what is the upside for Tom Brady as a Buccaneer. We are a fantasy football site, and what would an article be without some fantasy football added into it right. Looking at Jameis Winston's numbers from a year ago. 5109 passing yards 33 touchdowns 30 interceptions 250 rushing yards 1 touchdown 12 fumbles and 5 fumbles lost. The turnovers pop out at you immediately. Let's assume Brady sticks to his career average turnovers and has 9 ints and 6 fumbles and 1.5 fumbles lost per season. So 10 total turnovers is fair. With that amount of turnovers, it will be hard to reproduce 5100 passing yards, and 250 rushing yards is out of the question being Brady had only three, 100 yard rushing seasons in his career. So let's say 60 rushing yards is a good number. Brady's career passing attempts per season is 499, which I think is fair with this offense and defense. 3729 is his career passing yards per season with this offense let's bump that up to 4100. 27 Passing Touchdowns is his career average, let's also bump that to 30 passing and 1 rushing TD in a Bruce Arians system. Those numbers add up to 276 fantasy points. In 2019, that would have had TB12 at Qb 12 exactly where he finished.
In conclusion, I believe Tom will finish inside the Top 12 in 2020 and could finish better than 12, but his upside is more limited than you may think even in this offense. With the rushing ability of many of the up and coming guys, it is hard for Brady to make up those rushing totals. Brady's greatness will not change this season. He will go down as one of the greatest and, in my opinion, the greatest Qb the league has ever seen. Thanks for the read, and if you keep reading them, I'll keep writing them.
Often, we hear fantasy analysts talk about finding breakout players. When I think about the term "breakout," I feel like it refers to a young player coming into his own, exceeding his fantasy draft capital, and being a significant component to a fantasy team's success. These players are usually drafted after round 7 and become consistent starters in lineups.
However, when it comes to the QB position, I don't like the term "breakout" as much as the term "value." "Value," represents a broad category that breakout players ultimately fit into. For example, in 2020, if Kyler Murray finishes as the number one QB, it will be considered a breakout, as he is being drafted as the fourth to sixth QB of the board. However, taking him in round 5, as opposed to getting Drew Brees five rounds later and Brees finishing as, say the 8th QB, doesn't represent great value, in my opinion. Remember, this is just an example.
Waiting on QB has produced fantastic results that have carried fantasy teams throughout seasons. Some people still feel reaching on QB to get the topped rank guys assures you of dominant production at the position. However, the examples are plenty, and I'll list a few just as proof that waiting on QB and finding the better values improve your team's depth at other positions and give you an advantage over those thinking they need the top-ranked QB.
Only Brees, in this group, finished in the top 5 in fantasy points per game (FFPG), and even he fell to 6th in total points playing in only 14 of fifteen games. (I don't count week 17 because most leagues are and should be done in week 16) Meanwhile, Cason Palmer had .58 less FFPG than Brees and finished ahead of him in total points. Palmer was drafted as QB 17, six rounds later than Brees. Blake Bortles had the year of his life, finishing as the 4th QB without even being drafted, averaging .12 more FFPG than Brees. Ryan Fitzpatrick, while a full 2 points lower than Brees per game, still finished 8th, another undrafted value.
Reaching on Rodgers, Brees, and Luck this year proved worth it as they finished as a top-five QB's, however finishing number 2 that year was Matt Ryan, and finishing number 4 was Kirk Cousins. Both of these guys were drafted outside the top 12 in the double-digit rounds, proving that you can find values later on in the draft at the QB position.
Wilson and Brady got you a top 5 finish this year from this group while Rodgers got hurt, and Brees and Ryan didn't reach expectations. Oh, and once again, a double-digit round drafted Carson Wentz was the number 1 QB before his injury, and despite missing the final three games of that fantasy season, he finished number 4. Alex Smith finished number 5 and wasn't drafted at all that year. Oh, and a rookie named Deshaun Watson, undrafted in fantasy circles that year, started off with a 25 fppg clip before his injury, the best that year.
Out of this group, Brady was the only non-top 10 finisher. However, none finished higher than 4. Number 3 was a Matt Ryan, drafted as QB13 in round 9, number 2 was Big Ben, drafted as QB14 in round 10, and of course, number one was Patrick Mahomes, drafted as QB15 in round 10. And as most Mahomie owners that year know, it was a fun ride.
And last year, only Watson finished as a top 5 QB in total points, with Mahomes getting injured. Rodgers, Ryan, and Mayfield came nowhere close to the top 5. Mahomes did finish number 3 in fppg over the 13 games he did play. The other four top 5 finishers were Lamar Jackson, league MVP, and even better draft steal than Mahomes in 2018, Dak Prescott, Jameis Winston, and Russell Wilson. All of these QBs were taken as the 9th QB or later last year, no earlier than round 8.
I hope you catch my drift here. I listed for you the top 5 QBs in the last five years. Of those 25 QBs, only 9 finished as a top 5 QB for that season, meaning you have less than a 40% chance to grab a top 5 QB even if you draft him as such. It's not that these guys don't put up numbers. Its that the NFL is such a passing league now that any given year, a lower echelon QB can catch fire or breakout based on things like his team having a bad defense or his team just being that good and having to play catch up. Or, it could be a good veteran that was injured, and his draft stock reflects that. So, with that being said, here are some of my favorite QBs being drafted this year in the late rounds. I like and believe they all could be values this year.
I've been touting him on the podcast as a QB I like that you can essentially take a last-round flier on. He has an up-and-coming star WR in Sutton, the best receiver in this draft in Jerry Jeudy, a second-year receiving threat at TE in Noah Fant, and KJ Hamler was their second-round pick to step into the slot receiver role. Not to mention, adding Melvin Gordon to Phillip Lindsay in the backfield. They used free agency to upgrade the defense, and now he has insane talent on offense. If Lock puts it together, he could be the steal of this year's draft.
Prior to last year, Big Ben finished in the top 9 for QBs in fppg going back to 2014. While those years were with Antonio Brown, and if Roethlisberger can stay healthy, he remains one of the best veteran gunslingers in the league. Juju should bounce back after a year of disappointment. Dionte Johnson will develop in his second year after showing above-average NFL talent in his rookie year. Adding Chase Claypool to compete with James Washington for the deep ball role and Eric Ebron as a red zone threat round out a good crop of talent. He still has one of the best offensive lines and a workhorse running back in James Connor behind him. All this added up makes him a perfect candidate for a bounce-back season.
Last year, Burrow showed the ability to be great. He put forth the best passing season in college football history while leading LSU to a national championship. His reward was to get drafted to the Bengals after a 2-14 season. However, this Bengals team will return a great group of talent with AJ Green coming back from injury to go with Tyler Boyd, John Ross, and 2nd round pick, Tee Higgins. CJ Uzomah leaves more to be desired at TE, but Joe Mixon is one of the best RBs in the league, giving Burrow a group of talent most rookies aren't accustomed to walking into the NFL. If he brings the same level of play from college into the NFL this year, Burrow could have a dynamic rookie season.
Minshew Mania took over Jacksonville last year. That's' until the London game where he put up a complete dud. The Jags responded by going back to Nick Foles for a few games, which, in my opinion, hurt Minshew's confidence. He was brought back as the starter finishing the year after Foles underwhelmed. This year, Jacksonville is giving him a year to prove himself a franchise-caliber QB, and his team isn't devoid of weapons. DJ Chark was a beast in year two, Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley are capable NFL receivers, plus the team drafted the most athletic receiver in this year's draft, Laviska Shenault. They added Tyler Eifert at TE, who, when healthy, is a top 10 guy at the position. They still have Leonard Fournette as a workhorse RB and brought in Chris Thompson, one of the best pass-catching backs in the game and a Jay Gruden favorite. The thing that hurts Minshew is that he will have to perform with a below-average offensive line. Otherwise, he'd be at the top of my list.
Written By: Steve Perez
There seems to be a lot of people assuming tight end will be deep in 2020. In this article, I will throw my hat into the ring and talk about just how deep the tight end position is in 2020. We hear names like Chris Herndon, Austin Hooper, Blake Jarwin, Jonnu Smith, Dawson Knox, Jared Cook, Rob Gronkowski, Hunter Henry, Mike Gesicki, Dallas Goedert, Jack Doyle, T.J. Hockenson, and Ian Thomas. Lets breakdown all of these names and give some insight into what these guys could be in 2020. This article will be a little longer then my usual articles, and if you read through the entire thing, I think you will have a better understanding of the potential upside and downside for all of these players.
Let's get right into some numbers. Then we will get into what I see on tape with all of these players. So to evaluate such a large group, lets hit the number hard to understand the potential here.
Let's talk about these numbers and go down the list.
To wrap this with a nice bow tie, I will break down the five players based only on film study I like out of this group to have significant impacts in 2020 for your fantasy team. Let's go 5 to 1 to build the excitement.
5.) Blake Jarwin- Blake Jarwin is a 6'5" 260-pound guy who knows how to use his body to get in front of defenders and block them out like a power forward. I like what I see out of Jarwin. Not the fastest guy, but can get open on a consistent enough basis to make some noise this season, and Dak will use him in the passing game.
4.) Jonnu Smith- The stats say he can't excel in this offense. The talent on tape says otherwise. This Man is a freak, plain and simple, while the stats can tell any story they want. I Can't see this guy not having a breakout season eventually and being a guy we draft early in every league over the next six years. I love watching Jonnu on tape. Big, strong, good hands, good route runner, and an athletic freak. Did you guys see the 57 yard run in week 15 against the Texans? I like the talent, and with that alone, he could break out, and I'm patiently waiting.
3.) Mike Gesicki- Talent and situation are lining up nicely for Gesicki to breakout in 2020. I love it when things come together, the way it is for Gesicki in 2020. Gesicki is big, fast, with soft hands, and hard to deal with in the red zone. For those reasons, I like a 2020 break out for the stud young Te. This Dolphins team may be coming from behind a lot in 2020, and Fitz magic has been known to throw a few Ints in his day. So with this combination, all working together with the talent level of Gesicki, this may be the year.
2.) T.J. Hockenson- I see way too many amazing plays from this kid to think any less of him after one bad season. I love what I see on tape out of Hockenson, and he could become a threat this year in a big way. Let's just say the QB play wasn't up to par for NFL standards in 2020 without Stafford handling the Qb position. I will continue to believe in the playmaking ability we saw out of Hockenson in Iowa and hope that he translates a little better in year two. Everything coming out of camp is Hockenson looks like a new player and is dominating the way they expected last season. I usually don't buy into beat writers nonsense, but I know what I saw on tape out of this kid, and I think he is the real deal at the Te position.
1.) Chris Herndon- Yes, Chris Herndon, is my number one on this list, for one simple reason. Though I expect leaps buy all of these guys. Herndon is in a situation with the Jets that he could end up being the number one threat in the passing game. The opportunity for a massive season, because of his playmaking ability, size, strength, hands, and trust from his Qb that we saw playout at the end of 2018. The Jets not having a true number one receiver just yet. Herndon may see the second-most targets on his team along with the most red-zone looks. It isn't hard to imagine a 90+ targets season and 70+ receptions and 7+ touchdowns from a guy who may see a significant workload because of this Jets team not being very good in 2020.
In conclusion, I do believe this year may be the deepest Te class we have had in perhaps ever. The top 12 guys may not look anything like it did last year, after the top 4, that is. If some of these guys progress the way I anticipate, it should be an entertaining year at the Te position, and I can't wait to see it play out. Thank you for the read, and remember you keep reading them, and I'll keep writing them.
Seriously!!!! The title explains a lot. Certain players in fantasy football circles are completely overlooked or undervalued every year. It’s almost crazy to think some of these players I’m about to bring up continue to get drafted later and later every year despite consistently beating out their ADPs.
Anyone who listens to the Cheat Code Sports Fantasy Football Podcast knows my affinity for Mark Ingram. The guy is a beast and is solidified as an RB2 with RB1 upside year in year out. Since 2014, he’s finished as an RB1 three times and an RB2 twice, and the only reason he didn’t finish that high in 2018 was that he was suspended for the first four games. From week five on that year, he was an RB2. Yet, he is drafted as the 23rd Rb. Mainly, because people believe JK Dobbins take his job? Dobbins will take Gus Edward's position and maybe a little more work than that, but this team blew out teams so bad last year that Ingram was sitting in the fourth quarter. He is almost guaranteed for double-digit touchdowns and will indeed outproduce his ADP.
Typically, I have nothing good to say about Patriots running backs, but James White is one guy that has a carved out role and was extremely useful in it. Even with Cam is at QB, I still think White is a lock for 60 catches, and with the RB injury situation in New England currently, he could see the carries that made him RB7 two years ago. White fits in as a solid flex option weekly, and as a great bye week fill in. Yet this year, he is the 33rd RB off the board. For a guy being drafted this late, I think he is a great consistent option.
Over the last five seasons, Jarvis Landry has finished no lower than WR18 for the year. Yet, this year, he is being drafted as WR36. If there were a guarantee on any player to outperform his draft stock, it would be Landry. In the last couple of years, because of the addition of Odell Beckham Jr., his ADP has dropped despite still finishing as WR13 last year. I’m not a believer in OBJ and his chemistry with Baker Mayfield, while Landry has shown great chemistry with his QB in their first couple years playing together.
Lastly, Tyler Boyd has had two consecutive thousand-yard seasons since his breakout season in 2018. Last year, he did it with Ryan Finley playing three full games during the middle of the year and Andy Dalton playing poorly during an abysmal year for the Bengals. Sure, Joe Burrow is a rookie, and we don’t know what we will get from him. But, Burrow has a great connection with his slot receiver, Justin Jefferson, at LSU. A.J. Green is healthy, but who knows how long that lasts, and if you remember, Boyd performed even better with Green taking away attention from defenders two years ago. Boyd has finished as a WR2 both years. However, this year, he is being drafted as WR31, almost surely a guy that will finish higher than where he is being drafted.
Sure, these players lack the excitement that makes you jump out of your chair to draft them. None of these names are guys with an incredible amount of upside that’ll win you a league. All they do is perform week in and week out consistently so that you have a safer player that may have gotten you through a couple of weeks of injuries or the season as a stable option by the end of the year. Either way, you know you can plug them in and have a higher floor than most guys drafted around them.
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