Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is still fighting a looming four-game suspension penalty by the NFL while he awaits a judge’s decision.
This past weekend was the first major draft weekend of the most competitive money Fantasy Football leagues, said Yahoo Sports Fantasy expert Andy Behrens, and the impending suspension has taken a hit on Brady’s Fantasy potential.
“The suspension is definitely built into the price,” Behrens said of Brady’s rank. “I don’t think anybody would have had Tom Brady as his number one quarterback this year.”
Behrens said that in the fantasy sports world, Brady “is ridiculously cheap.” However, Brady’s ranking isn’t completely out of line with how he finished in last season’s rankings.
“Last year, he just had a really slow start for the first few weeks, then he absolutely blew up in the second half,” Behrens said.
The Patriots went on to win the Super Bowl against the Seattle Seahawks.
Under Yahoo’s Fantasy Sports quarterback rankings today, Brady is 11th with the word “Out” next to his name. The Patriots’ first game in the regular season is scheduled against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 10. But federal judge in New York said he will provide a written ruling as late as Wednesday on the lawsuit filed by the NFL Players’ Association and Brady.
Instead, at the top of the quarterback Fantasy rankings is Indianapolis Colts’ Andrew Luck, followed by Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rogers and Seattle Seahawks’ Russell Wilson.
Behrens doesn’t discourage Fantasy players who still want Brady on their team. If you want to include Brady in your trading deck, he just suggests including another four-week quarterback placeholder, in case Brady is indeed suspended for four games. Philadelphia Eagles’ Sam Bradford and Arizona Cardinals’ Carson Palmer come to mind, Behrens said.
Either way, if Brady comes back and you change your mind, “It’s really easy to sell Tom Brady,” Behrens said.
But luckily, the first four weeks of the NFL season are the easiest to manage in Fantasy Football and arguably the least important, Behrens aid.
“I’s good to have a great start to the season, but you can’t win in September or October. You win this thing in December, when your playoffs now,” he said.
Luckily, off-season NFL suspensions typically start in September.
“If the NFL ever starts suspending players in December, than Fantasy players have a problem,” Behrens said.
Brady is fighting his four-game suspension that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell ordered over the “deflate-gate” accusation that stemmed from the last playoff season.
Brady’s suspension was first handed down in May, along with a fine levied on the New England Patriots. The suspension was then upheld by the NFL in July. The punishment revolves around the deflation of footballs used during the AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts on Jan. 18. The Patriots won that game 45-7.
“I did nothing wrong, and no one in the Patriots organization did either,” Brady wrote in a Facebook post last month.
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