Is Tom Brady's absence a fantasy concern? | Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, Matt Harmon and Frank Schwab discuss the 45-year-old quarterback's leave from training camp and if that's a risk for fantasy managers.

Video Transcript

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MATT HARMON: I think there's a chance he's just back, and it's whatever. But they are breaking in a lot of new pieces here on this Bucs team. Right? They're breaking in Russell Gage, who's been in and out in training camp. Mike Evans's been in and out in training camp, not that that connection needs any juicing. But they just brought in Julio Jones. It'd be great if him and Brady were getting reps together. Should we be talking about this Brady absence? Or should we just not care about it?

FRANK SCHWAB: For one, it's very weird. Let's put it out there. Anybody who thinks, ah, this is no big deal, it's kind of a big deal, just because it's so strange. Nobody's questioning Tom Brady. He's one of the most respected guys in the NFL.

Nobody on that Bucs team is like, where's Tom Brady? Screw that. No, they know he's going to be ready. But I'll say something, and I've used this term before, that once you start thinking about retiring from the NFL, you're already retired.

MATT HARMON: Right.

FRANK SCHWAB: And it's not fully true. Gronk came back. It was great. I get it. But I think it speaks to you-- a lot of times, you need to be all in if you're an NFL player. If you start-- your mind starts wandering-- it's usually not a good thing. And so I've just wondered, look, 45 years of age.

The only player in NFL history who's thrown any passes at age 45 or older is George Blanda. He completed, I believe, 7 out of 17 passes after his age 45 birthday. We are in totally new ground with Tom Brady. And I think he's a freak and the greatest, quote, unquote, "old athlete" of all time, all that kind of stuff.

But you get the combination of that, the combination of I'm leaving in the middle of camp for two weeks for whatever reason. I'm sure it's a good reason. I'm not trying to question that. But I'm not saying he's not even dedicated to this. But once you go from 100 on the competitiveness scale, as Tom Brady does, to 90, does that affect him? I don't know. I just-- it's worrisome to me. I'll say that.

And look, I've been fading Tom Brady for the last five years based on this age model. And I've been losing a lot of money on it. And I get it, Tom. You're going to have 45 touchdowns again. Great. But I don't know. It's troubling to me a little bit in that maybe it's just-- it's hard. It's what does Tom Brady have to prove?

I've said often, as weird as this sounds on the surface, winning an eighth Super Bowl does nothing for his legacy. Either you think he's the greatest quarterback of all time right now, or you never will, one of the two. And nobody is sitting there, saying, I really need to see an eighth title out of Tom Brady to move him up to my number one. He's already set that way. So I know he wants to win again, and it'd be great.

But what's he playing for? He's the greatest of all time, or some people who just hate on him for no reason never think he will be. So I don't know. I do worry about that edge being lost just enough that combine that with the age, and all of a sudden, he's kind of not the same guy. And that would bump everybody in that Buccaneers offense down. It would bump them down as a team as far as Super Bowl futures, team win totals, all that kind of stuff. Look, I've already bet the Dallas Cowboys, week one. When I heard about this, I'm like--

MATT HARMON: Yeah.

FRANK SCHWAB: Just in case, because if he doesn't come back, the Dallas Cowboys are 8-point favorites on opening day, whatever they're going to be. I've already bet the Cowboys because I liked them anyway. And this absence-- it's a little alarming. Let's put it that way.

MATT HARMON: Here's the thing though, Frank. The Bucs probably could sit there and say, you know what, Brady? Take a couple weeks off. Come back a little rusty. We could probably still moonwalk to a division title. I think they might bet that.

And I think they might win that bet. But you're right from a fantasy angle. I mean, shoot, I got Mike Evans. I finally moved CeeDee Lamb ahead of Mike Evans at my fifth wide receiver spot. But I had Mike-- I've got Mike Evans as a clear go as a second-round pick.

FRANK SCHWAB: A favorite second-round pick of mine, too. Yup.

MATT HARMON: And Leonard Fournette, second-round pick, one of my favorites. I like drafting Brady when he falls below the mobile quarterback type guys because I think he could still throw a ton of touchdowns here. But, man, I mean, it's just they could get off to a slow start. It could affect these players from a statistical perspective.

They could go under their projected win total if Brady comes back, and he takes a little bit of time to click with all of these guys. Chris Godwin's gonna probably not be ready to rock right at week one. So Bucs just feel like a weird team to me. I still haven't decided if I want to move anybody in fantasy because of this. I don't even know if I-- it might not matter at all. He might come back at the 10 days and--

FRANK SCHWAB: Yeah. I think that there's an absolute possibility where we're sitting here in December, saying, wait, Tom Brady was gone during training camp? Oh, I forgot that. He's you got 40 touchdowns right now.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, exactly.

FRANK SCHWAB: That's what I'd guess. If you ask me, what do you think is going to happen, Tom Brady has a normal season, or Tom Brady has some weird, like I'm not going to be there in September? He's going to have a normal season. He's gonna be Tom Brady. He's gonna be great. But it's not a 0% chance anymore that all this weirdness is-- we're not taking-- we're not looking enough into it. Let's put it that way.