Draft Zone: 5th Ranked Quarterback – Patriots Tom Brady

New England Patriots Tom Brady is the 5th ranked quarterback in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 36, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the third round of most fantasy drafts.

We can’t talk about Brady without mentioning his recent knee-injury scare. He got rolled up on during practice this week but seems to be fine. He’s wearing his protective knee brace in practice, but it does not seem to have limited his mobility.

The ageless Brady is coming off another elite season, throwing for 4,827 yards, 34 passing touchdowns, 4 rushing touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. Brady finished the 2012 fantasy season as the third highest scoring quarterback behind Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers.

Most would expect Brady to be a top-5 quarterback option in fantasy football once again in 2013, but multiple offseason changes have fantasy owners worried. The decimation of his receiving core is one issue. Brady will no longer have Aaron Hernandez, Wes Welker, Danny Woodhead or Brandon Lloyd to throw to. These four players combined for 3,194 of the team’s receiving yards and 18 touchdowns in 2012.

In addition to this, tight end Rob Gronkowski may miss a portion of the season while recovering from back surgery. Brady’s newest weapon, Danny Amendola is also prone to injury issues, playing just 12 total games in his past two NFL seasons. Amendola and Gronkowski are both unique and effective receiving options, and their presence is crucial to Brady’s success.

Luckily for the Patriots, the team has the best run game that they’ve had in years. The Pats led the NFL with 25 rushing touchdowns last season and ranked 7th in league with 2,184 yards. With a unique set of running backs, the team may choose to lean more heavily on the running game this season.

Brady may not have the best year of his career, but it’s hard to imagine him recording less than 4,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.

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