The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is upon us, which means only a handful of games remain in the season. That leaves us limited time to find value in fantasy football and NFL betting. As we continue our tour around the Divisional Round while examining individual player values for prop bets and DFS, let’s see if Tom Brady helps our case.
Tom Brady’ DFS value vs. Rams
Death. Taxes. Tom Brady playing in the playoffs. Some things in life are inevitable. Trying to bet against or fade Brady is an exercise in futility. While he might run hot in the regular season, his competitiveness and greatness are dialed to 11 when the game matters the most.
I mean, he nearly has as many passing yards in the playoffs (12,720) as the quarterbacks in second and third place (Peyton Manning and Ben Roethlisberger combined for 13,311). The same goes for touchdowns (85), as Aaron Rodgers and Joe Montana are tied at 45. Then comes the all-important wins. Brady has 35 of those. Montana is second with 16.
Brady led the league in attempts (719), completions (485), passing yards (5,316), and TD passes (43) during the regular season. Not bad, considering Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, and Rob Gronkowski missed a combined 18 games.
When Brady last faced the Rams in Week 3, he threw for a season-high 432 yards with 1 TD and attempted a season-high 55 passes. Godwin was available that week, but Brown was on the reserve/COVID-19 list. As we know, neither will be available in the Divisional Round.
Brady is a viable QB option in DFS for the Divisional Round
At $6,800 on DraftKings, Brady will be in consideration for DFS lineups. The lack of options hurts, but when you consider some of the teams he’s dragged to glory, that shouldn’t worry us too much. It’s the matchup that gives us pause. The Rams are No. 6 in Football Outsiders’ passing DVOA and are 12th in expected points added (EPA) per dropback.
Even more so than Jalen Ramsey, the concerns for me are Aaron Donald, Leonard Floyd, and Von Miller. Bucs center Ryan Jensen is banged up, while RT Tristan Wirfs will be inactive. The frustration will eventually get to Brady if the Rams can generate pressure, muddy the pocket, and get hands on the veteran QB. It’s not like he has the wheels of Josh Allen to escape a collapsing pocket.
Where Brady makes the most sense to me is in a GPP. The matchup and missing receivers will likely push his rostership down and create a bit of leverage. The Rams are going to throw the ball — we all know that. Also, the Buccaneers have struggled at times to stop opposing aerial attacks. This should result in a pass-heavy script from Tampa Bay, which will boost Brady’s floor.
While Brady does not have the ceiling of Allen or perhaps even Patrick Mahomes in DFS, the pendulum has swung a bit too far on the fade-Brady side of things. Putting together a Buccaneers DFS stack, especially as a late swap if you’re behind in tournaments, is a very viable DFS strategy.
Tom Brady prop bets this weekend
Sitting at 291.5 (-115) on DraftKings Sportsbook and 289.5 (-110) on FanDuel Sportsbook, Brady has the highest passing yardage prop bet of the Sunday slate of games. In his last 10 starts, it’s an even split, with Brady’s over/under passing yardage prop bet going 5-5.
Brady has thrown for 290 yards or more in 10 games this season, including two of his last three without Brown and Godwin. I would feel more comfortable if the line was around 280, as I feel the pressure the Rams can generate will affect Brady. Also, remember that sacks count against passing yardage totals in the NFL, not rushing.
We could see a lower completion percentage than usual out of Brady. If he is forced to rely on a quick-hitting passing game, that makes me more included to go with the under on Brady’s passing yardage prop bet.
I will also be on the 1.5 (-110) rushing prop bet for Brady, which is almost tradition at this point. As long as Brady doesn’t knee it out and lose this again as he did a few weeks ago, this always has a shot.