2012 Fantasy Football: Is Tom Brady Still a Good First Round Pick?

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We all know that New England Patriots QB Tom Brady is amongst the NFL elite at his position, but the question has to be how much longer he can remain there? Even as he ages he still consistently produces great numbers that are worthy of a first round fantasy pick.

Brady should be able to reach the 350 point mark again in the 2012 season, which puts him among the top fantasy draft selections.

Brady will be 35 when the season starts and he has not shown any real significant signs of rust thus far. His 2011 numbers of 39 touchdowns, 12 interceptions and 5,235 yards in the air are impressive to say the least.

We all know that as players play at a peak level well in to the prime of their careers that it is only a matter of time before “father time” regulates everything. Time catches up to all of us in one way or another and even the all time greats have to face the reality of “getting old”.

I am not saying that Brady is on the downside of his career by any measure. I am just reminding everybody that it is around the corner and drawing eerily closer to fruition.

Many players in the NFL currently benefit from rules that protect their safety more than ever before. This is especially evident at the quarterback season. Hence, where the saying comes from that the NFL is a: “quarterback driven league”.

Quarterbacks are protected more by NFL rules more than ever before and it was Brady’s season ending injury in week one of the 2008 season that contributed to the league crafting the so-called “Brady Rules” to protect QB’s.

It certainly does not hurt Brady to have young weapons around him like dual headed TE monster of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. WR’s Wes Welker and the newly acquired Bandon Lloyd could put up good numbers as well. The Patriots new lead RB Stevan Ridley could be a sleeper in terms of production as takes over for the sure handed BenJarvis Green Ellis.

The Pats offense will be potent again this season with the likes of the New Orleans Saints, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers and Philadelphia Eagles to name a few. Brady is projected to produce more than 350 fantasy points this season and if he stays healthy he should have the opportunity to do so.

Besides injury and health, the one thing that could derail Brady as a top fantasy pick is that he will go up against the league’s toughest pass defense schedule this season.

With opponents like the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals, San Francisco 49ers and the New York Jets it is clear that Brady will have some challenges. With all that being said he is still a solid choice to be a first round pick in many leagues, but just proceed with caution as Brady’s window begins to close.