I’ve been questioned about this duo specifically with some regularity @unSOPable23 and I find it a very interesting conundrum. On one hand, you’ve got the folk hero in Tom Brady. He of the perfect jaw line, the super model wife, and … oo yea … three Super Bowl rings. He owns possibly the greatest fantasy football season of all time (2007 – 4,904 yards and 52 touchdowns) and everything he touches seems to turn to gold (with the lone exception being his endorsement of “Muggs”, or “Male Uggs” for those who missed the memo). On the other hand, you’ve got a media punching bag in Tony Romo. The Cowboys’ signal caller has been criticized for untimely vacations, the “Jessica jinx”, and a 1-6 record in win or go home games. After receiving a $119.5 million contract extension, he was essentially told by management to work harder, something we’d never hear said about any of the great quarterbacks in today’s game.
What does all of that do? It skews your perception, even if just a little bit, allowing Romo to constantly be an underrated fantasy weapon. The majority of the negative thoughts that come to your mind when you think of Romo do not impact his fantasy value one iota, and it is time to give him the credit he deserves. For the rest of the 2013-14 regular season, Romo is a better fantasy option than Tommy Terrific (See? Even the nicknaming battle is won by Brady, as Romo lacks a politically correct moniker).
Let’s start with the case for Romo. The Dallas Cowboys simply have superior weapons at this point in time, when compared to the New England Patriots. Dez Bryant has built a decent argument over the last season that he could well be the game’s top wide receiver, and Jason Witten is as consistent a chain mover as you’ll come across in the NFL. While Miles Austin (hamstring) is currently dinged up, he’s played all 16 games in three of his last four seasons, and has delivered “better than you think” statistics over that stretch by averaging 4.5 catches (more than Steve Smith) for 67 yards (more than Mike Wallace) and 0.53 touchdowns (more than Wes Welker). Romo’s ability to spread the ball around has resulted in a 95.9 regular season QB rating, ranking him ahead of Eli Manning (82.4), Joe Flacco (86.0), Matt Ryan (91.3), Ben Roethlisberger (92.4) and even Drew Brees (94.2). I expect that career QB rating to rise this season, as the schedule really appears to open up for Romo and the boys. With the possible exception of the Chicago Bears in Week 14, there isn’t a single pass defense that scares me on their schedule, and facing the Green Bay Packers and Washington Redskins in the final two weeks of the fantasy season isn’t a bad way to go out.
For clarification purposes, I’m not saying that Brady is a poor fantasy option this season. If Danny Amendola and Rob Gronkowski can maintain their health (both are projected to return next week) and the Pats can establish a half way decent ground game, Brady could easily finish this season as a top seven or eight fantasy quarterback. That being said, the fact that his top two pass catchers haven fallen victim of nagging injuries is obviously a big concern. He is currently averaging 5.5 yards per pass attempt, a figure that is 26.7 percent lower than his career average, and highlights New England’s struggles to stretch the field. In fact, Brady has completed only 9-of-31 passes thrown over 10 yards, a tough way to make a living as a fantasy quarterback. The schedule doesn’t do him any favors down the stretch, as the Patriots conclude the fantasy season with four very physical defenses in a five week period.
Rarely are the words “Tony Romo” and “clutch” used in the same sentence, but I expect him to be just that for his fantasy owners this season, even more so than Mr. Gisele Bundchen.
Looking for another big name fantasy player who is set to disappoint? Maybe you play weekly fantasy football and are looking for a bargain option at the quarterback position this week? Or you could be looking for a season long guide as to the best defenses to add/drop and when? Have a question that you think would benefit the masses? Shoot me a message @unSOPable23 and I’ll produce a piece for you with my statistical insight.