While Tom Brady’s stock will likely push him out of the top five (possibly top ten for some) on many fantasy owners' draft boards, don’t expect their offense to all of a sudden fall apart. We’ve seen Brady deal with patch-work receiving cores in the past—the 2006 season comes to mind right away.
Before the season began, the Patriots moved Deion Branch to the Seahawks as he was looking for a big pay day and Brady was forced to work with a below-average-at-best receiving corps. New England did have running back Corey Dillon as the front-line runner on the ground and the team won 12 games while finishing as the seventh highest-scoring team in the league.
As it turns out, that was Stephen Gostkowski’s first year with the Patriots as a rookie and he only converted 20 of his 26 attempts.
Going as the top kicker in ADP results, Gostkowski may be a little high but I believe he will be just fine as a top-five fantasy option at this position. Now a veteran, Gostkowski has earned the trust of the coaching staff, something that isn’t easy for rookies.
Walsh Primed For Another Top-Five Performance
Speaking of rookies, Vikings kicker Blair Walsh lit it up in his rookie season and I believe he will be the most valuable option in the kicking game for fantasy owners this year. Christian Ponder will move the offense with the weapons he has, but don’t be surprised if they stall out around the 30-yard line with regularity.
That’s not to say Minnesota won’t find the end zone with Adrian Peterson on the field, but we should expect over 35 field-goal attempts from Walsh, especially when you consider his coaches are confident in allowing him to use his big leg on field-goal attempts over 50 yards.
Both Gostkowski and Walsh are at the top of ADP trends as July winds down, and we should expect them to remain as top-five options throughout summer drafts. Going around the 13th round of ten-team mock drafts, both have fair value and I would take a chance on them over others as they are matchup-proof weekly starters.
Matt Bryant, ATL
Greg Zuerlein, STL
Matt Prater, DEN
Sebastian Janikowski, OAK
Phil Dawson, SF
Justin Tucker BAL
Mason Crosby, GB
Garrett Hartley, NO
Randy Bullock, HOU
David Akers, DET
Dan Bailey, DAL