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Fantasy Football: Bench Tom Brady, Grab Brian Hoyer

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(February 6, 2009 - Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)
(February 6, 2009 – Source: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images North America)

Forgive me, my fellow readers, for I have committed the ultimate and unthinkable sin in fantasy football in benching Tom Brady for Brian Hoyer.

Before you decide to question my proverbial and football sanity, demand my resignation as Founder and CEO of this website and my Pro Football Writers Association membership revoked, hear this writer out in the fact that Brady just isn’t the SAME Tom Brady that we are used to seeing.

(September 28, 2014 - Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)
(September 28, 2014 – Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America)

Yes, this Brady, the one with three Super Bowl rings, two NFL MVP awards and a Victoria Secret’s supermodel on his arm and considered a practical demi-god amongst fans—with the Giants, Jets—being the notable exceptions, looked terrifically mortal in a 41-14 thrashing in the heartland inside the loud sea of red known as Arrowhead against the fired-up Kansas City Chiefs.

In getting yanked for rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, the “greatest living American” looked anything but great in passing for 159 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

In standard FFL leagues, Brady tallied about ten points, much to the dismay of FFL owners everywhere, and real-life Pats fans seeing their All-American golden boy be slaughtered by the relentless Chiefs pass rush.

Currently, Brady has four passing touchdowns, two picks and 197.7 yards passing per game. According to ESPN Stats & information, Brady has the lowest completion percentage (31.8) of passes greater than ten yards.

Now while one can agree that this is due to a struggling offensive line and sub-par wide receiver corps,  Brady should be able to overcome that, as he took the same group—minus Logan Mankins and Brandon LaFell—to the AFC Championship Game, right?

Clearly, a football demi-god such as Brady can be humbled by the higher powers above, and it hasn’t been pretty.

Currently owned in 96.6 percent of fantasy football leagues, Brady’s days of being an elite fantasy football quarterback are coming to an end. Despite having other FFL studs such as Shane Vareen, Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski—when healthy—Brady looks and just seems different.

The rest of the New England Patriots schedule does him and FFL owners no favors as the Pats face the stingy Bengals (Week 5), feisty Bills (Weeks 6 and 17), revamped Broncos (Week 9), Lions (Week 12), Chargers (Week 14) and the always-tough Dolphins (Week 15).

Maybe he will regain his mojo a some point, we don’t know yet, but Brady isn’t Brady now, and if you’re looking for a low-risk, high-reward quarterback with a more favorable schedule, look no further than former understudy—and current Cleveland Browns quarterback, Brian Hoyer.

Again, fellow readers, please give me a chance to make my point, before sending that hate mail.

Hoyer, currently owned in 2.7 percent of standard leagues, has averaged 22.7 points thru three games, and while he is a game manager, he threw for 290 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions against the Baltimore Ravens for 26 points.

Mind you, Brady has not even gone over 25 points once.  Also, Hoyer has gone 156 pass attempts without an interception and has a higher QB rating than his one-time mentor, 97.5 to Brady’s 79.1

Hoyer also has a better running game to complement the quick, up-tempo offense that he runs in Ben Tate, Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West. While Brady has Gronk, Hoyer has Jordan Cameron, who—like Gronk—is very talented and a bit injury-prone, a better wide receiver corps in Andrew Hawkins, Miles Austin, Taylor Gabriel and some guy named Josh Gordon.

In addition to a soft schedule that includes the Titans (Week 5), arch-nemesis Steelers (Week 6), Jaguars (Week 7) , Raiders (Week 8), Hoyer could be either an excellent fill-in or a possible starter before facing the Bengals in Week 10, with a returning Gordon on the road.

Hoyer gets to face J.J. Watt and the Texans at home in week 11, three suspect defenses in weeks 12, 13 and 14 in the Falcons, Bills and Colts before going thru a final three-game brutal gauntlet of the Bengals and Ravens again with the Panthers sandwiched in-between.  At this point, the Browns could be in the middle of playoff contention, with Hoyer having to play at an optimal level, to hold off the calls for Johnny Manziel.

I’m not saying to completely toss aside a first-ballot future Hall-of-Famer in Brady now, but if your team is struggling and in need of a concise play-maker that doesn’t make mistakes, it might be worth taking a flier on Hoyer.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]

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