A FANTASY LEGEND PREPARES FOR HIS SWAN SONG

favre-stares

In fantasy football it isn’t what have you done for me lately, it is what did you did for me last year. Fantasy football lives and breaths on the past year’s statistics.

As a result perhaps the greatest quarterback of the fantasy era will nose dive in your draft this year. For the first time since opening day 1992, Brett Favre probably will not be in a fantasy starting lineup this upcoming opening day.

Favre had the worst statistical season of his career in 2005. He threw for 20 touchdowns, but was intercepted a league high 29 times. The Packers record sank to 4-12 and on top of that Favre’s best receiver Javon Walker demanded and was granted a trade to the Broncos during this off season. All does not look well in Packerland for 2006.  The current state of the team along with Favre’s off year last season has sent him plummeting in the rankings to somewhere between 14 and 19 for quarterbacks on most publications’ draft boards.

That’s not starter material even in the deepest of leagues…

And that’s the reality of today.

But as we all know, Favre has been a stud as a NFL quarterback and as a Fantasy quarterback.  Let’s take a moment to reflect upon his accomplishments.

Brett Favre, The NFL Quarterback

Favre was drafted in the 2nd round of the 1991 NFL draft, 33rd overall by the Atlanta Falcons. He appeared in only 2 games and did not complete a pass his rookie season. He clashed with head coach Jerry Glanville while developing quite a reputation as a “party animal.”  He was traded to the Packers before the 1992 season for a first round pick, the 17th overall in the 1992 draft.  The Falcons would later trade that pick to the Cowboys as part of a package of picks.  The Falcons would end up with the No. 19 pick which they used to select RB Troy Smith ironically, from Favre’s alma mater Southern Mississippi.

Favre started 1992 as Don Majkowski’s backup. Favre’s first completion as a Packer was to himself as he caught a deflected pass and lost 7 yards in week 2. In week three Majkowski went down with an injury, Favre took over and he has been the Packers starting quarterback ever since.

He earned his first playoff berth and playoff victory in 1993. From 1995 to 1997 he won the league’s MVP award, the only player to do so three years in a row. During those years he led the Packers to 2 NFC Championships and he won Super Bowl XXXI. He threw for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Packers defeated the Patriots 35-21 to win the title. He has taken the Packers to the playoffs ten times during his 14 years as their starting quarterback, the last being in 2004.

Favre’s most heroic performance took place December 22, 2003, in a Monday night game against Oakland. Favre’s father had passed away suddenly the day before. Favre elected to play and threw for 4 touchdowns and 399 yards in a 41-7 victory over the Raiders. He said he played because his father would have wanted him to play. The following week he led the Packers to a 31-3 win over the Broncos clinching the NFC North.

Favre holds 10 NFL records including:

Most seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes, 8

Most consecutive seasons with 30 or more touchdown passes, 5

Most consecutive seasons with 20 or more touchdown passes, 12

Most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes, 4

Most consecutive 3,000 yard seasons, 14

Most consecutive starts by a quarterback, 221, 241 if you count playoffs

Longest touchdown pass, 99 yards, which he holds with several other quarterbacks…

Brett Favre, The Fantasy Quarterback

For lack of a better word, Favre has been a fantasy monster. First of all he does what you want every one of your players to do – play.  Favre has started every game for the Packers since taking over for Majkowski in 1992. Even a broken thumb could not keep him out of the starting lineup. He has thrown for 396 touchdown passes, 53,615 yards, rushed for twelve touchdowns, and gained 1,745 yards rushing. He has thrown 255 interceptions. Favre has amassed 2,184 fantasy points in 14 seasons. He has started 221 games and has averaged 9.88 points every game he has played in 14 seasons. To equal those statistics, a running back would have to score a touchdown and rush for 100 yards in every game – for 14 years!

There is no comparison to Favre in the world of fantasy.

When considering Favre as a fantasy player, perhaps the greatest accolade one can give him is that he strikes fear in the hearts of fantasy opponents.  No matter what the weather is or who the opponent is or whether it is September or December you know that he can get you for 4 touchdowns and 300 yards any given week. If you have played fantasy football long enough you have lost a game, playoff berth, or championship to an owner who has had Brett Favre.

Running backs and receivers have come and gone since 1992, but no other player has stayed at the top of the fantasy boards for as long or as consistently high as Brett Favre.

In 14 seasons Favre was either first or second in touchdown passes 7 different years.

2006

Mike McCarthy who was once Favre’s quarterbacks coach, moves up the food chain and takes over as head coach.  Favre needs a healthy Ahman Green to help establish the Packer screen pass again. Green’s 2005 season ended with a severe quadriceps injury. Samkon Gado is not the answer at running back for them. Javon Walker was traded, leaving solid starter Donald Driver as the go to receiver. Robert Ferguson should be the other starter but his season ended last year with an injury. The Packers brought in journeyman Rod Gardner, but look for rookie Greg Jennings to make some noise. Bubba Franks returns as the starting TE but he has lost a step to say the least.

When you look at Favre’s age, and the players around him you really cannot expect a lot from them this year. With Green healthy and Favre avoiding turnovers they should be a little better but Favre’s fall to the middle of the fantasy quarterback pack appears justified. The other key factor to keep in mind with Favre is that McCarthy has to look to the future. He will play Favre’s backup and successor Aaron Rodgers this year if the season gets away from them. McCarthy will not hesitate to pull Favre for Rodgers if Favre throws a couple of interception and the game is out of hand. A number of Favre’s touchdowns last year were in garbage time, a situation in which he may not see as much of this year so they can get a look at Rodgers.

While at this point Brett looks like a backup, he will be one of the best backups you can get. His value will come in certain situations against weaker defenses.  Home games the first half of this year for the Packers include the Rams and Cardinals.

Thanks for the memories Brett, the ones where you pulled games out for me and even the one where you beat me in the playoffs with 4 touchdown passes in the semi finals in a game that had no bearing on the standings for you. We hope there are a few more.

This entry was posted in Fantasy Blitz by Kurt Backert. Bookmark the permalink.

About Kurt Backert

Kurt Backert
Kurt's passion for the game began in the 60's watching the Colts on TV and at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. He began following the statistics of not only his beloved Colts but also those of the Colts opponents, with a keen eye on Vince Lombardi's Packers. His thirst for and attention to statistical detail would...more

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