Fantasy Football 2020: Potential landing spots and replacement options for Tom Brady

On Thursday morning all of the buzz coming out of the NFL Combine was about a 42-year-old quarterback. Yes, that 42-year-old quarterback. Jeff Darlington said he’d be “stunned” if Brady returned to New England, and Vic Tafur tweeted similarly about the “buzz in Indy.”

Now before we get too far into the Fantasy implications of this speculation, it’s worth recognizing who we’re talking about. This is nowhere close to the first time we’ve heard speculation about a possible rift between the Patriots and Brady. Once upon a time many were convinced they’d let Brady go and turn to Jimmy Garoppolo. So don’t be too surprised if Brady returns. 

But what if he doesn’t?

Brady will be 43 before the season starts and has one top-10 Fantasy season since 2015. So there aren’t a lot of places that would make him someone we’d be excited about in 2020 (though there may be one exception). Here are my top three landing spots from a Fantasy perspective as well as three quarterbacks who could replace him if he indeed moves on:

Best Fantasy landing spots

  1. Carolina Panthers — I don’t believe this is realistic, but what if the Panthers find a way to move Cam Newton and sign Brady? Can you imagine him with Christian McCaffrey and D.J. Moore? Again, it’s very unlikely, but still …
  2. Los Angeles Chargers — Brady has thrived throwing to his slot receiver, tight end, and running backs over the past decade. The Chargers may currently have better options at all three positions if they franchise Hunter Henry. The combination of Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler, and Henry could vault Brady into the top 10 Fantasy quarterbacks. 
  3. Indianapolis Colts — You could argue for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers here, but I’m not sure Brady can make the throws down the field any more. In Indianapolis he’d get to play most of his games indoors or in warm weather. He’d also have T.Y. Hilton and presumably more help from the draft or free agency. 

Honorable Mention — Tampa Bay for sure, especially if I’m wrong about the arm strength. The Raiders could be OK if they were able to add a true No. 1 receiver. The Titans make a ton of sense from an NFL perspective, but they’re a low-volume offense and no one is going to match Ryan Tannehill’s efficiency from last year. 

Best Fantasy Replacement Options

  1. Philip Rivers — Could we see a swap of veterans? I doubt it, but Rivers would at least preserve the value of Julian Edelman and James White. He’d also probably score more Fantasy points in New England than Brady would.
  2. Teddy Bridgewater — Bridgewater looked very comfortable filling in for Drew Brees and was very accurate making the types of short, on-time throws the Patriots offense requires.
  3. Ryan Tannehill — I don’t expect the Titans to let Tannehill go, but if they sign Brady they will. 

Honorable Mention — Andy Dalton. Don’t laugh.

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