Fantasy Football 2013: Reevaluating Tom Brady After Preseason Success

Nick Caron@@nicholascaronAnalyst IAugust 17, 2013

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 16: Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium on August 16, 2013 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

First it was the disappointing playoff run a season ago. Then it was the loss of almost his entire wide receiver and tight end group from a year ago. Then it was the knee injury in practice...

And through it all, Tom Brady remained Tom Brady. Just look at his stat line from Friday night's second preseason game: 11-of-12 passing, 107 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.

It's hard to blame those who question Brady's fantasy value going into the 2013 season. He currently sits as the seventh-ranked quarterback as ranked by Yahoo! Sports, behind Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, Colin Kaepernick and Matt Ryan, in that order. 

The questions about Brady's offensive weapons continue to mount, as Rob Gronkowski has still been unable to get on the practice field. But based on what we've seen from the New England offense so far this preseason, that might not even matter.

It's becoming very clear that Brady is a serious threat to push for a third straight season of over 4,800 yards passing and 30-plus touchdowns. 

Without Gronkowski, Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker and Brandon Lloyd, Brady and the New England offense haven't missed a beat this preseason. In two games, he's completed 18 of his 20 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns, zero interceptions and a quarterback rating of 135.8. 

Sure, it's only the preseason, and stats only tell so much of the story at this point, but what is encouraging is that he has had no problems utilizing the plethora of new receivers at his disposal.

Against the Eagles, it was the two rookies, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins, who stepped up. Each made a nice catch on a pass from the future Hall of Fame quarterback. Then Brady made the defense pay when he saw a mismatch in coverage on running back Shane Vereen, who he hit for a 13-yard score. 

Vereen was at it again on Friday night, catching two passes on the opening drive. But it was Brady's new favorite weapon, Danny Amendola, who made the comparisons to Wes Welker look justifiable. He caught six passes on seven targets from Brady on the night, including a 26-yard touchdown.

Concerns will still remain about the New England offense until we actually see it out there in Week 1, but the worry that we all had about Brady being able to connect with his new receivers seems to already be a thing of the past. 

With Brady going at an average draft position of 39.4 on Yahoo!, there is serious value to be had with the New England quarterback. Even if he doesn't reach the monumental numbers that he has put up in recent seasons, Brady could still be a top-five quarterback by the end of the season.

When you add in the fact that he might be the most reliable quarterback in the entire league on a week-to-week basis, it starts to look even more obvious that he's being far too underrated by fantasy owners at the moment.

Brady poses little risk considering where you can draft him, and there's a real chance that he will again compete for being the best fantasy quarterback in the entire league.

Don't be the person who passes on Brady to take an unproven, unreliable quarterback. Bill Belichick always finds ways to get the most out of his players, and 2013 will be no different.

Draft Tom Brady with confidence.