How should we value Tom Brady in fantasy drafts?

With the Patriots' quarterback set to miss the season's first four games, Jeff Ratcliffe examines how fantasy drafters should approach Brady.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

(AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

How should we value Tom Brady in fantasy drafts?

Avoiding nightshade vegetables and going to bed at 9 p.m. might help Tom Brady stay in tip-top shape, but neither appears likely to help him dodge his impending four-game suspension stemming from the Deflategate fiasco. With Brady set to be on the shelf for the first four weeks of the season, how should we value him in fantasy drafts?

Fortunately, we’ve been down this road before with Brady last season. His previous four-game suspension was ultimately overturned, but it gave us an opportunity to consider how to value a player who is slated to miss time due to suspension or injury.

Simply going by projected numbers is a flawed method. Our current numbers have Brady projected to score the 29th-most fantasy points among fantasy quarterbacks. By that valuation, Brady wouldn’t be draftable in 12-team leagues, where typically about 16-20 quarterbacks come off the board.

Of course, looking at his projected points ranking assumes that you would have Brady for 12 games, and no other quarterback during his suspension. That obviously isn’t the case, as you’ll be starting a replacement quarterback during the suspension.

So the key to figuring out Brady’s actual value is to first figure out the value of a replacement-level quarterback and then add this value to the projected numbers for Brady over the final 12 games of the season.

To do so, it’s important to know a thing or two about value-based drafting. This is an old concept in fantasy sports that states that a player’s value isn’t based on the points he scores, but rather on the points he scores relative to his position. Therefore, you need to establish baselines at each position in order to figure out a player’s value.

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| Director of Fantasy

Jeff Ratcliffe is the Director of Fantasy at Pro Football Focus. He produces all of our projections and is 2016's second-most-accurate ranker in the fantasy industry. Jeff also is the host of our show on SiriusXM fantasy sports radio and is one of the main hosts of our Fantasy Slant podcast.

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