We know what the return of Brett Favre means to the Minnesota Vikings, but what does it mean for fantasy football? Last year Brett Favre finished the season with 33 touchdowns, number two in the NFL. Can he do it again and should you draft Brett Favre on your fantasy team?
The fantasy resurgence of Brett Favre in 2009 was a remarkable story. Favre had a mediocre 2008 season with the New York Jets throwing for 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Favre showed up late in pre season for the Vikings and was unimpressive in pre season games. Nobody had any reason to believe that Brett Favre had anything left in the tank once it counted, yet he did.
Brett Favre was drafted late in most fantasy football drafts in 2009 and for good reason. Nobody with half a fantasy brain was going to hitch their playoffs hopes on a 39-year old quarterback who admitted to hiding injuries the year before. Even with a hot start, Brett Favre was an afterthought until mid-season in most fantasy leagues.
There is just as much temptation to draft Brett Favre as a top five quarterback this season as there is to not pick him up at all. Drafting Brett Favre early is high fantasy stakes. With a similar supporting cast and his line in tact, why wouldn’t Favre repeat his success of 2009? He absolutely could, but are you asking for trouble if you are going to risk your starting quarterback pick on a guy who may not be physically or mentally over the drubbing he received in New Orleans, and a quarterback who will be 41 by the end of the season? Going from 40 to 41 is a very big deal for an NFL quarterback and 41 could be the year that Favre just can’t physically do it anymore.
Let’s take a look at Brett Favre’s situation this season as compared to last season. A huge factor in Favre’s success last season was the Vikings’ running game. Teams were more willing to stick eight in the box and give up some passes than be run all over by Adrian Peterson. Peterson’s backup Chester Taylor left in the offseason for Chicago. Even though Chester Taylor was only a third down running back on most days, his loss could be a big factor. I am still waiting for brittle back from Oklahoma to break down in the NFL and having most of the workload could do that for Adrian Peterson. If Peterson breaks down, defenses will be faced with Albert Young and Toby Gerhart which means the days of eight in the box are over.
Brett Favre made Sidney Rice a star last season. In addition to Rice, Percy Harvin proved himself to be every bit as special as most college football analysts said he would be in the NFL. Visanthe Shiancoe was also a go-to for Favre and the combination only got better as the season progressed. Shiancoe turned out to be another waiver wire steal for fantasy owners. These Vikings along with a running back tandem of Peterson and Taylor were just too much for average defenses in the NFL last season.
Fast forward to 2010 and so far things are not looking too good in the Vikings’ preseason. Percy Harvin continues to be bothered by migraine headaches which seem to have only gotten worse in the offseason. Sidney Rice is bothered by a hip injury and the jury is still out on how much pain he is willing to play with. I already expressed my concerns with Adrian Peterson and the running game. Rumors continue of a Favre-Chldress rift. Even the biggest Vikings’ fans have to be concerned going into this season.
After carefully looking at the Minnesota Vikings schedule as well as other quarterback schedules in that second tier, I like Brett Favre in the 7th or 8th round if you don’t have a quarterback. I think he is a steal anywhere past the 9th round. I really like the idea of taking Favre in the 7th and Ben Roethlisberger at around 12 or 13. This way if Favre gets hurt, you have a starting QB who loves to pass ready to go in Week 5 (as long as he behaves). If Brett Favre stays healthy and Ben Roethlisberger has a few good weeks, you are in a fantastic position to trade one of your quarterbacks for a quality starter at another position.
I think Favre is definitely worth a second tier slot this season. The key here to remember is to have some insurance for Favre. Granted, you really need to have insurance for any of your starting quarterbacks but you may want to take a second QB higher than usual if you have Favre. Relying Matt Leinart or Jason Campbell as your insurance policy is just asking for trouble.
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