If you already had your fantasy football draft and took a chance on Tom Brady, congratulations. You’re about to reap the benefits.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman ruled to nullify Brady’s suspension Thursday, making him eligible for every New England Patriots game this season, starting with next week’s opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
To state the obvious, this is good news for Brady’s 2015 fantasy outlook. He had dropped outside the top 10 in some fantasy QB rankings this offseason, but after Thursday’s news, you could make the case for Brady as the fifth- or sixth-best QB on the board.
Why are we so high on Brady? There’s the obvious motivation factor, as all signs point to the four-time Super Bowl champ taking out seven months of pure frustration on opposing defenses. Yet his recent numbers suggest the 38-year-old won’t be slowing down any time soon.
Brady threw for 33 touchdowns last season — tied with Drew Brees for fifth in the NFL — despite a dismal start to the season in which he threw for just four scores in the first four games. Starting in Week 5, Brady ran off a string of 10 consecutive games with two or more TD passes, eclipsing the 300-yard mark in five of those contests.
The impact of Judge Berman’s ruling doesn’t stop with Brady, either. Not that he needed it, but Rob Gronkowski’s stock receives an extra boost with Brady as his Week 1 quarterback. Wide receiver Julian Edelman should move up your draft board as well, especially in PPR leagues, where he stands to make a huge impact right out of the gate as Brady’s favorite target.
Don’t get us wrong: Brady’s days as a top-three fantasy quarterback are ending, and Thursday’s news won’t change that. But with plenty of motivation and 16 games ahead of him, Brady’s status as a solid fantasy QB once again is restored.
Thumbnail photo via David Butler II/USA TODAY Sports Images