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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Tom Brady No. 72

Future Hall-of-Fame QB comes in at 72 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady holds the Vince Lombardi Trophy during a boat parade to celebrate victory in Super Bowl LV against the Kansas City Chiefs.  Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tom Brady needs no introduction, but this is the start of his profile, so we will not dispense with formalities. Brady is coming off his seventh Super Bowl win and fifth Super Bowl MVP award. He’ll now try to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to back-to-back Super Bowls at the age of 44.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official and often updated fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 72, Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, QB

Ranking Brady in fantasy is tough, as his 2020 was inconsistent, but he ended up hitting his upside more often than not toward the end of the season. And when you factor in Covid-19 and Brady changing teams and offensive schemes, the slower development of the passing game makes sense. Brady still finished eighth in total QB fantasy points and tenth in QB fantasy points per game.

Competition for touches

Brady has no competition as far as other quarterbacks, but his competition will come from how many times he hands the ball off instead of throwing it. The good news is that Bruce Arians loves the passing game and the Buccaneers passed the ball at the 10th highest percentage and had the seventh-most pass attempts last season.

Team offensive expectations

Expectations are high for this offense after the front office kept all the same offensive starters and added receiving back Gio Bernard. And unlike last season, they’ll get a full off season together to fine-tune a Super Bowl winning offense.

What’s his upside?

Brady isn’t going to let go of passes with the speed and depth of Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, but surrounded by one of the best offensive lines and group of receivers in the league, his upside remains as high as ever. The addition of Bernard is big, as Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones can’t compare to the ex-Bengal as a receiver. Plus, Brady played with a bad knee all last year and they didn’t truly get fully on track until the last quarter of the season.

What’s his downside?

Brady’s downside is likely tied to injuries, either on his offensive line or for his receivers or for himself. It’s hard to think of a 44-year old quarterback as not being an injury risk, but it’s also hard to think of him getting injured.

Projection

430/650, 4,900 passing yards, 44 touchdowns, 12 interceptions