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The Blue & Gray Press | October 20, 2017

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First Round Pick of the Year

BY JOEY MERKEL

By now there is no doubt that approximately 10 percent of all fantasy football players in the world have used more swear words since Sunday then they can recall in recent memory.

Most of America knows that New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is to undergo season-ending knee surgery after being injured in the Patriots game this past Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
For those that have watched Sportscenter in the last 4 days, you undoubtedly have seen the ultra slow-motion replay of when Brady’s knee bent…the wrong way, and he went down.

In the first quarter of Sunday’s game, Kansas City defensive back Bernard Pollard went helmet-to-knee with Brady on a second effort to tackle the quarterback from the ground.

According to Yahoo Sports, Brady averaged a first round selection of 6.5. After throwing an NFL record 50 touchdowns and only eight interceptions, many fantasy owners neglected the running back position and took a chance on lightning striking twice.

Instead they got one major headache.

Drafting two elite quarterbacks early is frowned upon in many drafts because in most leagues. Sadly, unless you were on autodraft and it happened to get you another good quarterback, you’re most likely stuck with a Joe Flacco/Kyle Orton/J.T. O’Sullivan type player.
If your team sadly is mourning the loss of your quarterback after this week, now is the time pick up guys like Kerry Collins who will be playing with the Titans for the next few weeks.

Either that or take your running back or wide receiver surplus and try to turn it into someone like Jay Cutler, who is going to have a monster year. If a Cutler-type trade is not feasible, Brady’s back-up will do.

Former University of Southern California quarterback, Matt Cassel, will make his first start of the year this Sunday against the New York Jets.

A seventh-round draft pick in 2005, Cassel was the back-up to both Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart. The last game Cassel started in was a high-school playoff game.

No one can replace a Tom Brady in fantasy football but giving up after the first week of the season is not the way to go.

Every year there are a few top fantasy sleepers who emerge and have amazing seasons. Last year it was Packer’s running back Ryan Grant and Buccaneers running back Earnest Graham. This year Bronco’s wide reciever Eddie Royal is making a run at top fantasy sleeper of the year. The point is to watch the games, check the waiver wire and always be on top of the players available in your league.

Do not, I repeat, do not simply go to the available players list and sort them my current rank. After week four, a guy that just broke out in week three won’t be at the top of that list.

The easiest way to win your league is to know the players that the rest of the league doesn’t know about. So Tom Brady is out for the year, if you’re that bummed out about it and you’re not a Patriots fan, it’s time to move on. Hey, you can always blame it on autodraft.