Brett Favre: Fantasy Football Impact

Michael WhooleySenior Writer IAugust 18, 2009

EDEN PRAIRIE, MN - AUGUST 18: Brett Favre (C), Mark Wilf (L) and Zygi Wilf show the media Favre's Minnesota Vikings jersey on August 18, 2009 at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

The saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” Sadly, though, it stops there, leaving us in the dark as to who to blame for the majority of us believing that Brett Favre was actually going to stay retired this time around. Do we blame the grizzled vet for yet again playing us, or is our own naivety at fault? Either way, in the end, all that matters is that Favre is yet again unretired, this time joining the Minnesota Vikings.

The question, now, on the minds of all fantasy owners is how this impacts the world of fantasy football – beyond the obvious that Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels now become completely irrelevant.

Ultimately, the Favre factor is a positive one for all those worthy of fantasy consideration from the Vikings, and where better to start to see this, than with the consensus No. 1 pick for the 2009 fantasy season, running back, Adrian Peterson.

If there is one thing Brett Favre does, even as he nears the age of 40, it’s command respect from opposing defenses. 464 career TD passes will do that. That respect means opponents are not as willing to stack the box against teams with Favre under center, something Favre’s running backs have taken full advantage of, especially in recent years.

In 2007, it was Green Bay Packers’ running back, Ryan Grant, who was the beneficiary as he came out of no where to tally 956 rushing yards and 8 rushing scores, while averaging an astounding 5.1 ypc on the season. Thomas Jones of the New York Jets saw similar success last year while playing behind Favre, going for 1,312 rushing yards and a career-high 13 rushing TDs.

Thus, it only makes sense to assume that Peterson, who has averaged 1,550 rushing yards and 11 rushing TDs over the first two years of his career, improves on those numbers. After all, the upgrade from Jackson/Rosenfels to Favre is like going from SPAM to filet mignon.

Favre’s arrival also means good things for the Vikings’ pass catchers; however, perhaps not to the degree that many will assume. The Jets, with Favre at the helm, did post more passing yards than the Vikings last season, but the difference was just 299 yards, or 17.6 more passing yards per game. As for passing TDs, Favre and the Vikings both wound up with 22 on the season last year. The good news, though, is that Favre posted those numbers while in an offense that he was not familiar with. The offense he’ll be a part of in Minnesota is the same offense that he perfected in Green Bay. That distinction should lead Favre to a some what better season than he had in New York, which in turn will translate to better numbers for the likes of wide receivers Bernard Berrian, Sidney Rice, and Bobby Wade along with tight end, Visanthe Shiancoe.

In fact, Shiancoe probably sees the biggest jump in value among the Vikings’ pass catchers with Favre coming to town as Favre has always been privy to throwing to his tight ends – something that Bubba Franks, Donald Lee, and Dustin Keller can all attest to.

In the end, the Minnesota Vikings brought Favre in with the belief that he could make their football team better and in regards to fantasy value, he does just that.