Patriots Quarterback in 2020: Who Is the Best Fantasy Option?
The time has finally come.
For the 2020 NFL season, Tom Brady will no longer be on the New England Patriots. By now, we all know he has decided to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but what does this mean for the Patriots? Who takes over under center, and what will their production look like? Can you trust that quarterback in season-long fantasy football?
Moving On Without Brady
Tom Brady is an average fantasy quarterback -- at least in recent years. We're not here to discuss Brady and real-life football, that is not the point. His production on the field -- as it relates to fantasy football -- is what's important for this piece, and whether or not the Patriots will be able to replicate it this season with a new quarterback.
Over the last eight seasons, Brady has finished as a top-three quarterback three times, but two of them were from 2012 to 2015. In the last four years, he has finished between 12th and 15th three times -- again, a pretty average fantasy quarterback.
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As things stand now, the offensive weapons on the Patriots won't change too much for the upcoming season compared to what they were in 2019, and it begs the question -- does it matter who have they have as their quarterback?
If Brady was producing average fantasy numbers, will their new signal caller be able to do the same?
Options Moving Forward
As of now, the quarterbacks on the Patriots roster are Brian Hoyer, Cody Kessler, and Jarrett Stidham. Hoyer has the most experience out of those three -- by a wide margin -- and there is some speculation the Patriots could opt to bring in another quarterback. Both Cam Newton and Jameis Winston are free agents, while Andy Dalton's name has popped up in rumors but is not in the Patriots' immediate plans per reports.
As it stands, the quarterback competition will likely come down to Hoyer and Stidham, so that's where we'll focus our efforts.
Stidham was a rookie last season and attempted only four passes, throwing for a total of 14 yards. There's not much we can draw from that, but we can look to draw conclusions from elsewhere.
Last preseason, Stidham played in all four games and finished with the following stats -- 61-of-90 passing, four touchdowns, one interception, and a surprising 88 rushing yards. The rushing potential brings extra fantasy value to Stidham, something that shouldn't be overlooked.
Stidham has spent one season with the Patriots, and if we judge his preseason results, he likely has a decent grasp on the offense. Stidham was scouted as a dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in 2015 and was listed as the second-best in that category behind Kyler Murray. Stidham was also listed higher than Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow. I'm not kidding, here's the link.
As for Hoyer, this is his third stint with the Patriots, and he should be able to pick up the offense quickly -- presenting a level of safety. The last time Hoyer saw extended playing time was in 2014 and 2015, when he played 14 and 11 games, respectively. Hoyer ended as the season-long QB25 in both campaigns.
The decision at quarterback for the Patriots is going to be an interesting one for fans around the league. Hoyer has more experience and may know the offense better, but Stidham has a higher potential fantasy ceiling due to his rushing production. Stidham is the one fantasy owners should want to see as the starter.