Thursday, July 09, 2009

Coast Guard: Tom Brady v. Peyton Manning

The Coast Guard: policing the police. I judge writers' fantasy football arguments. I am assessing the quality of the argument, not the quality of the player being argued about. I keep my assessments of players closer to the 100% polyester vest, because those lascivious Hazelweirders read this blog.

At Yahoo!, Andy Behrens and Brandon Funston debate whether Tom Brady or Tom Brady is the better 2009 fantasy pick.

I'd call their argument a draw. Each cites very useful numbers, and each cites relevant facts. Behrens' most interesting stat is that even with Matt Cassel last season, the Patriots outscored and outgained the Indianapolis Colts. I personally side with Funston because he cites Manning's incredible year-to-year consistency; when I draft a fantasy quarterback, I like when I just know he's getting 26 TDs and 4,000 yards, which is what I know with Manning.

I'm very interested in where each Brady and Manning get drafted this season. I think it's largely a matter of personal preference which gets taken first. Does anybody have an argument for one over the other than Behrens and Funston didn't use?


  1. Bismuth9:43 AM

    debate whether Tom Brady or Tom Brady is the better 2009 fantast pick

    Sounds like no contest...

  2. "Even with Matt Cassel(notes) at the controls and learning on the job, the Patriots still scored more points per game than the Colts (25.6 to 23.6) and they gained more yards (365.4 to 335.5)."

    Well, that's a horrific argument.

    With Tarvaris Jackson and Gus Frerotte at the helm, the Vikings scored more points per game (23.7 to 23.6) and had nearly the same yards per game (330.5 to 335.5) as the Colts.

    Ergo, Peyton Manning is arguably a worse fantasy pick than Tarvaris Jackson or Gus Frerotte.

    What is this "running game" you speak of?

  3. And my top quarterback pick: probably Drew Brees.

  4. Brady's injury looked a lot like Daunte Culpepper's and even if Brady does twice as well as post-injury Culpepper, that's still not a 1st-round pick.

  5. Bismuth, I see I am lazy about proofreading my own blogs; I'll try do better, even in summer.

    Jason, you're right: on its own, it's a worthless argument. I had found it intriguing in this particular case because 1) Behrens shows that Cassel's fantasy scoring wasn't far behind Mannings, and that means 2) Brady is stepping back into a good situation. I also found it intriguing because I had been under the impression that the '08 Pats did not have a stellar running game; however, I was wrong about that. Despite using several RBs, they ranked 6th in rushing yards and 7th in yards per attempt. The Colts, meanwhile, had a terrible rushing game (31st in yards, 32nd in attempts). The team context, then, probably doesn't give us much in assessing the individual players.

    I also think Drew Brees should be picked before either (though I'm not sure he'll have a better year).

    Samay, the big difference is that while Culpepper relied on his mobility for success, while Brady has always been pretty much a stiff. He's had Marino's mobility: very adept at small movements to avoid sacks, but not really any running ability. Marino had a lot of leg surgeries, and still maintained that ability throughout his career. I'm not too worried about Brady's injuries. But I also don't think he's worth a 1st round pick either (I don't think any QB is this season).

    Long-time readers of this blog will know, of course, that I prefer Manning to everybody else anyway.

  6. Actually, let me add a critique of Funston's argument (I clearly posted this before I was ready last night; I had some other things going on and rushed it. I won't make that mistake again):

    "Well, Moss is two years older (32) than the last time he caught a ball from Brady in a game."

    Here are some stats of recent elite WRs during their 32nd year.

    Jerry Rice: 112-1499-13
    Marvin Harrison: 86-1113-15
    Terrell Owens: 47-763-6 (through 7 games)
    Cris Carter: 89-1069-13

    Being 32 years old is not a negative factor for a WR.

    (all stats from

  7. You're right - Brady's a different QB than Culpepper, but given the speed of DEs now, even a stiff like Brady or Manning needs a decent amount of mobility.

    I think post-injury Brady will be better than post-injury Culpepper, but by how much?

  8. Oh, and one of Culpepper's strengths was that he could take a hard hit, and after the injury he wouldn't do it - will Brady let the injury affect him mentally like that?

  9. I used the Historical Data Dominator on (for some reason, I can't paste links into here, but you can probably figure it out yourself): There are 19 seasons of 1000+ yards from a WR in the last 20 years, led by the Rice season you bring up, as well as Joe Horn (1399, 11 TDs), Jimmy Smith (1373, 8), and Ed McCaffrey (1317, 8). So I'd wager Moss at least has 1200 and 8 in the tank still for next year.