Dynasty League Football


Instant Analysis: Tom Brady Suspended Four Games


Although many have suspected a suspension was coming for Tom Brady after the Ted Wells report was released last week, most considered a punishment of one to two games to be on the way. Count me as one of the surprised when a four game ban for the golden armed quarterback was handed down earlier this evening. After all, the report did say in part, “It is more probable than not that Tom Brady (the quarterback for the Patriots) was at least generally aware of the … release of air from Patriots game balls.”

“More probable than not” is hardly a claim of guilt but you’re likely not here to read anybody’s thoughts on how appropriate the length of the suspension is and you’ve probably heard enough jokes about deflated balls so let’s cover something worthwhile – the dynasty ramifications of today’s suspension.

Tom Brady, QB NE

Many dynasty owners may think getting through a four game suspension to their top quarterback at the beginning of a season shouldn’t be a big deal. Losing a top-10 fantasy quarterback for the first five weeks (including the Patriots’ bye), which equals 38% of the fantasy season’s 13 game schedule, is a pretty big deal however – especially in super-flex or 2QB leagues.

If you happen to be a Brady owner in such league, the best advice I can give you is to be patient. Because things were so murky in the Wells report, it’s very unlikely he’ll take this punishment without a fight so there’s still a very real possibility that the suspension could be lessened by a game or two. Until that all happens, dynasty owners without a quality replacement should take time to weigh their options and look for reasonable priced replacements for the first month of the season rather than overreacting and taking the first lopsided offer that comes their way.

All things considered, the thing that may be the most relevant to Brady’s dynasty value is the motivation this suspension has undoubtedly given him. Fueled by competitiveness and the drive to prove naysayers wrong for his entire career, it’d be incredibly surprising if he didn’t come back with a vengeance starting week six against the Colts.

Particularly in super-flex and 2QB leagues, contending teams with a need under center that can get him at even a slight discount should consider adding Brady. With his weapons and certain hell-bent attitude to stick it to everybody that doubts him, it could be an unbelievable 10 game ride to close out the 2015 fantasy schedule.

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB NE

Picked late in the second round of last year’s draft, many figured Garoppolo wouldn’t get meaningful snaps for at least a few years but at least right now, it looks like he’ll get a four-game audition to start the Patriots’ title defense in 2015.

[inlinead]A pre-season darling a year ago, Garoppolo completed 46-of-79 passes (58.2%) for 618 yards and five touchdowns in four pre-season games but due to Brady’s presence on the depth chart in front of him, he was never looked at as anything more than a long-term stash. Despite following that up by completing 19-of-27 passes (70.4%) for 182 yards and a score in limited regular season snaps, the prevailing opinion was that he remained a prospect with little immediate value.

Fast forward a couple months and the glowing reports coming out of Foxboro throughout the off-season as well as the news he’ll be under center to start the season have put Garoppolo’s trade value higher than ever.

Overall, deciding what to do with Garoppolo is extremely dependent on league settings and team makeup. Despite some suggesting Brady’s situation could point to a changing of the guard at quarterback if Garoppolo plays well, owners should keep in mind that we’re still at least a couple years away from Brady being out of his way. With that in mind, it’d be irresponsible for any Garoppolo owner –especially those rebuilding – not to at least test the trade market in the coming weeks. The first call or email should go out to the Brady owner and probably should have already been made.

LeGarrette Blount, RB NE

If there’s a player (or group of players) who could perhaps benefit most from this suspension, it’s whoever is running the ball in New England. Although it’s impossible to tell which runner Bill Belichick will prefer on a week to week basis, it’s relatively safe to assume that the loss of Brady will take the air out of the ball (I couldn’t help myself) to some extent.

At this point the most logical benefactor of what is sure to be an increased workload for the running game over the first month of the season is Blount. With 704 career carries and averaging 4.6 yards per carry with 25 career touchdowns, he’s easily the most experienced tailback on the Patriots’ roster and seems to have the trust of Belichick and the New England coaching staff.

While Belichick’s history would suggest that Brandon Bolden, James White, Jonas Gray or Travaris Cadet are equally as likely be the one benefiting from what should be a commitment to the ground game early in the season, the safe money at this point is Blount. Any owner looking for some relatively cheap early season production with upside (perhaps as a replacement for LeVeon Bell) could do worse than inquiring about Blount.

Julian Edelman, WR NE

Although the loss of Brady will be felt throughout the New England pass catching corps due to what is sure to be more conservative play calling, Edelman may not feel the effects as much as others. Primarily running short, quick routes close to the line of scrimmage, it’s reasonable to expect Edelman to play the role of security blanket for Garoppolo early in the season.

Coming out of college, scouts and coaches raved about Garoppolo’s quick release and speedy decision making skills. Most likely, the New England coaching staff will attempt to get the young signal caller in a rhythm early in games with quick timing throws which plays right into the wheelhouse of Edelman.

Although there are never any guarantees with a young passer under center and Edelman’s upside is certainly limited until Brady returns, it’s reasonable to expect that his dynasty value in both the short and long-term shouldn’t be affected very much by the suspension.

Brandon Lafell, WR NE

Unlike Edelman, Lafell did a majority of his damage on the outside last year and depended often on Brady’s strong arm which isn’t a strength of Garopollo’s. Lafell runs good routes but doesn’t get a lot of separation which means his quarterback needs a bit of a gunslinger’s mentality to fit the ball into small windows. Having a young quarterback afraid to make mistakes will likely limit Lafell’s upside in the early part of the season. But if he does have a slow start, it could present a buying opportunity once Brady returns.

Rob Gronkowski, TE NE

While the loss of Brady is sure to affect most receivers at least a little bit, it’s difficult to believe it will do anything to Gronk’s dynasty value.

A mismatch no matter who’s lined up across from him, Gronkowski is open so often that even the worst NFL quarterbacks should be able to get him the ball. Considering his massive size, incredible hands and outstanding catch radius, it’d be surprising if the Patriots didn’t force feed him the ball while Brady is away from the team.

Because the offense may be dulled down a bit, Gronk may have less opportunities to find the end zone but dynasty owners shouldn’t worry about it. He’ll still get a majority of red zone targets and should have plenty more shots once Brady returns. If for some unknown reason his owner is concerned about the effect of Brady’s suspension on Gronkowski, be happy to pay full price for the best tight end in football – regardless of who’s throwing him the ball.


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7 years ago

I’ve got a borderline contending team (I dont have much depth behind my starters) by Brady. My back up qb is Bridgewater. I’ve already been on the fence whether my team could win it all this year, or if I should take my chance to sell Foster and Andre Johnson to a true contender. Right now, this news makes me think I should the trio. Thoughts on Bridgewater carrying the load early in the year?

Dan Meylor
Reply to  Scott
7 years ago

If you’re truly a contender, I wouldn’t have any hesitations on trying to get through the first handful of weeks with Teddy. It sounds like you’re doubting whether you have a shot however, so if that’s your gut feeling it would probably be better to shop your vets now rather than later. You know your league and roster better than anyone. Follow your instincts but if they’re telling you to go for, you should be optimistic about Bridgewater holding the fort.

Gus Bazan
7 years ago

so just as I’m reading your article i get GUESS WHAT? yes trade offer from a Tom Brady owner wanting my Garropolo for a 3.05 pick. Im thinking this is too low but I could be wrong given circumstances. Thoughts? BTW thats his highest pick he also has 3.12,4.03, 4.12. The only player on his roster that would interest me is justin Forsett or Maitavius Bryant but that is prob asking too much

Reply to  Gus Bazan
7 years ago

I think that picks is definitely too low of an offer.

7 years ago

So I thought that I was all set up to make a serious title run this year but think this latest Brady suspension paired with the L. Bell suspension could be cause for concern. Non PPR league that awards 6 point passing TD’s. Looking for suggestions on move to consider?

Brady. Palmer
Bell. Randle
Lacy. Michael
Jeffery. Watkins
Cameron. Hopkins
Kicker. Reed
Defense. #4 overall rookie draft pick

I think Palmer can float me for the first few games but I am concerned about my backup RB situations. Doubtful that either Gordon or Gurley fall to me at #4

Reply to  Matt
7 years ago

Sorry also have Dez as my other starting wide receiver paired with Alshon

7 years ago

Yo, what’s your opinion on a trade offer. I get b cooks and the 1.02 I give up ODB. I have tre mason. Would hope to get gurley or Gordon. My only other worthwhile rbs are j hill and l Murray. Should I do?

Reply to  Buck
7 years ago

My reaction is that the offer is short by a Martavis Bryant- upside type player; the offer is clever and enticing, but the 1.02 owner is asking you to give up many experts’ overall#1 player at a 10% (personal guesstimation) discount AND to take all the risk.

The offer brings up other interesting questions for me:
-Is Odell Beckham worth more than Amari Cooper plus Cooks?
-Would I accept Gurley plus Cooks for Beckham?
-Can I recoup my perceived difference in lost value by trading out of the 1.02 after I make the deal?
-Do the answers to any of these questions justify taking the deal in spite of my perceived loss of value in the trade?

I think this is a compelling issue, and I’d love to see the thought processes the DLF staffers would use to develop their own responses to this offer.

Reply to  Buck
7 years ago

Nice offer but i just dont think I would give up ODB

Reply to  SJ
7 years ago

Would you decline to Cooks + 1.02 + Martavis Bryant?

Reply to  fffool
7 years ago

I’m still pondering. Thanks for input. ODB is real tough to lose..I near he is gonna be on cover of madden, so the curse may push me to hit the accept button!! Cooks and gurley or Gordon tough to turn down. I think th can be foundation backs for 5-7 yrs.

Reply to  Buck
7 years ago

Yeah, I was hoping some of the staff would weigh in here…

I’d ask the experts in the forum before considering MY “valuation”, but I DO think you’d be taking the worst of it by accepting the deal.

I would think HE should be the one paying the premium. After all, it’s YOU that’s giving up one of THE top assets in all ffb, right?

Reply to  Buck
7 years ago

Then again, Cooper&Cooks, Gordon&Cooks, or Gurley&Cooks for Beckham is tough to turn down.

This stuff has GOT to be my favorite part of ffb! LOVE it!

Tod Radmaker
7 years ago

If I’m not mistaken Blount has a suspension to deal with himself for the first game or two.

Reply to  Tod Radmaker
7 years ago

Yeah, I was thinking the same thing as I was reading it. It’s a one game suspension.

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