What do Geno Smith, Andy Dalton, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer, Ryan Tannehill, and Joe Flacco have in common? Aside from being starting NFL quarterbacks, all have accumulated more fantasy points than Tom Brady.
That’s right, folks. Geno Smith of the Jets, a rookie who didn’t win the job in training camp but began the season as New York’s starting quarterback after Mark Sanchez was injured, has 31 more fantasy points than Brady.
Reasons exist for New England’s offensive decline. Brady is getting older and throwing to unproven receivers. Aaron Hernandez is in jail. Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola, and Shane Vereen have been hurt. Wes Welker left as a free agent.
I’m not here to break down game film, but I am here to analyze fantasy numbers, and for the first time, I’ve heard frustration from Brady’s owners.
With Gronkowski back and Amendola and Vereen on the way, now is the time to cash in on Brady’s name. Between Sunday and the fantasy playoffs (a total of six weeks), Brady will face the NFL’s top-ranked, third-ranked, and sixth-ranked pass defenses (Houston, Carolina, and Pittsburgh) and be on a bye (Week 11).
Keeping Brady is understandable — he’ll likely figure things out. But for the first time ever, it makes sense to unload him.
Terrell Pryor, QB, Oakland: Pryor has played two fewer games than Brady and has 7 fewer fantasy points. He has become a borderline fantasy starter who enhances his value by running the ball.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle: Wilson hasn’t thrown for a lot of yards, and his 11 touchdown passes are pedestrian, but his matchup against St. Louis is terrific. He’ll be able to carry your fantasy team on Sunday.
Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona: Palmer has thrown the second-most interceptions in the NFL, but he’s a solid bye-week replacement matched up against an Atlanta defense that has allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.
Andy Dalton, QB, Cincinnati: Dalton has six touchdown passes in his last two games, but the Bengals will need to play ball-control against the rugged Jets.
Geno Smith, QB, New York Jets: See above. With the Jets in Cincinnati, Smith should not be in your lineup.
Ryan Tannehill, QB, Miami: Miami’s running game is weak, and Tannehill is turnover-prone. He’s a risky fill-in this weekend and every weekend.Ed Ryan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @EdzoRyan