Fantasy Evaluations From Super Bowl XLIX: Patriots & Seahawks

By now, you know THE PLAY very well.

Russell INT

And the reactions that followed.

Brady Super Bowl Gif

Sherman...awww man

Patriots fans, Seahawks fans, and the rest of the world helped make Super Bowl 49 the highest rated television program in U.S. History. 114.5 million viewers watched the whole game and 118.5 million were tuned in for Katy Perry and her giant robot lion.

Katy Perry gif

That thing was impressive and terrifying all at once.

In a blink of an eye though, football was over. The 2014-15 season was wrapped up with a championship game that represented it perfectly…INSANE. And one of the best Super Bowls in league history was made so by some of this past Fantasy season’s best.

If you’re like me, you already can’t wait to draft your next Fantasy team. So why not start looking ahead and beginning your draft board? Let’s take a look at the key contributors from last weekend’s game and others with Fantasy value.

Beginning with…

The New England Patriots

Super Bowl Football

Tom Brady

In terms of Fantasy Football, Tom Brady had a bounce back year. While his yardage and record were consistent with last season, Brady threw more touchdowns (33) and less interceptions (9). He threw multiple touchdowns in 10 of his 16 starts in 2014, and at least one in every game other than Week 17 when he left early to rest for Jimmy Garoppolo. (But you shouldn’t be worried about Week 17, if you know what’s good for you.) After a difficult first 4 weeks, Brady tore it up by leading Fantasy owners to the playoffs with 24 touchdowns and just 4 interceptions over 8 weeks.

Where to draft him next season?

At the age of 37, Brady ranked 5th in touchdown passes, 5th in passer rating, and 10th in yardage. He slipped pretty far in drafts last season, but he should be available for you to grab in rounds 4-6 this year. Grab your key position players first and Brady will compliment them greatly.

Brady to Amendola

Julian Edelman

If Tom Brady didn’t win the Super Bowl XLIX MVP, Julian Edelman could have. Was there a gutsier player in the game? Edelman made catch after catch, and was blown up doing so…

Edelman catch and hit

Edelman’s performance was a thing of football folklore, much like his career so far. The former Kent State quarterback has filled in nicely as Tom Brady’s favorite wide receiver target after the departure of Wes Welker. In the past two seasons, Edelman has caught 197 passes in 30 games played. PPR league players have to like the 6.5 catches a game, 2,028 yards receiving in that span, and Edelman’s return ability.

Where to draft him…

There are two concerns with Edelman. #1 is targets in the red zone. In between the 20’s, Edelman is a great possession option for Brady, and his catch totals are evident of that. In the end zone though, Brady likes to spread the wealth (or throw to Gronk). The 2nd concern is the wear and tear Edelman has compiled early in his career. The hit you see above wasn’t his first rodeo (over the middle with a hard hitting safety)…Edelman makes a solid WR2 option, target him in your 5th-7th rounds. He’d be a steal past that. Moves like this on top end defensive backs like the Seahawks have make you optimistic.

Edelman SB touchdown

Rob Gronkowski

The AP “Comeback Player of The Year” was more than deserving of the honor. Like Tom Brady, Gronk’s production skyrocketed after Week 4. Correlation?…While Gronkowski had caught touchdowns in 3 of the first 4 games of the season, his usage increased from 6.5 targets per game to 9.5 (Weeks 5-16) and he finished with a Top 5 total of 12 touchdowns.

Where to draft him…

Gronkowski was a steal for me in two leagues, falling to the 4th round in both. No way he’ll be available there in your next draft. With the uncertainty of what’s next for Julius Thomas and the dip in Jimmy Graham’s production, Gronk becomes the #1 tight end on your draft board. I wouldn’t expect him to escape the 2nd round in anybody’s respectable draft.

Gronk SB TD

Shane Vereen

Bill Belichick’s running backs should always come with a warning label: MAY CAUSE INCREASE IN BLOOD PRESSURE. I couldn’t help but appreciate Shane Vereen’s game during the Super Bowl though. He only had 4 rushes for 13 yards but he led the team in receptions with 11 for 64 yards on 12 targets. The rule with Patriots running backs is when they are trailing, Shane Vereen is their guy. He led all the RBs with 838 yards from scrimmage while Stevan Ridley, LeGarrette Blount, Jonas Gray and Brandon Bolden all combined for 1,175 yards.

Where to draft him…

You’ll likely see Vereen overrated on many draft boards and going way too early in mock drafts. Why? He only scored 5 touchdowns total last season, and that’s not production you want out of a depended RB. Draft Vereen late to have as a fill-in flex option. When the Patriots are leading, Tom Brady is throwing less and handing the ball off to anyone not named Vereen…Keep in mind that Vereen is a free agent this off-season. This advice may change depending if he signs somewhere other than New England.

Vereen Touchdown gif

The Others
Stevan Ridley – Late Round/FA pickup
LeGarrette Blount – FA Pickup
Brandon LaFell – Late Round
Danny Amendola – FA Pickup

Seattle Seahawks

Chris Matthews

Russell Wilson

Despite his final throw of the Super Bowl, Russell Wilson is a winner. Just 3 seasons in the NFL with a 36-12 record, one Super Bowl ring, and 2 trips are more than enough evidence of that. Fantasy wise the season total numbers weren’t eye-popping, but there were individual games that were.

Week 5 @ Washington – 201 pass yards, 2 TDs / 122 rush yards, 1 TD

Week 7 @ St. Louis – 313 pass yards, 2 TDs / 106 rush yards, 1 TD

Week 16 @ Arizona – 339 pass yards, 2 TD / 88 rush yards, 1 TD

Those were games you should have won if you had him. Something Wilson was missing, however, was a true #1 receiver to throw to…preferably a big body receiver who could win jump balls in the end zone. If the Seahawks are able to add one this offseason, “DangerRuss” would be more than deserving of the nickname.

Where to draft him…

Russell Wilson could have been found on the waiver wire for you last season, and rightfully so. The point production wasn’t altogether consistent enough for a dependable Fantasy starter but the floor with Wilson is that of a very good backup. If he gets a big receiver, as noted earlier, he becomes a mid round pick for you. Lowest he should go is in the 10th round. No way should Wilson go undrafted.

Russel Wilson run

Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch was the best Fantasy football player featured in Super Bowl 49. Say what you want about his relationship with the media (this should help change your mind), the man can ball. Lynch led the league in total touchdowns (rush/receiving) with 17, led in rush TDs (13), ranked 4th in rush yards (1,306), and was Top 5 in touches, yards from scrimmage, and rushing yards per game. He turns 29 in April this year and has considerable pay bump awaiting him which suggests he’s capable of producing like that again.

Where to draft him…

The verdict is still out on whether or not Lynch wants to play next season but if he does, you take him in the first round. DeMarco Murray and Le’Veon Bell rank ahead of him, but Lynch is first round material without a doubt.

Marshawn SB TD

Chris Matthews

Had the Seahawks won the game, we’d be using the “folklore” verbiage with Chris Matthews a lot more than we have with Edelman. Matthews was a former junior college and Kentucky player, played in the CFL, worked at Foot Locker at one point, recovered the onside kick that beat the Packers…Then he caught 4 passes for 109 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Where to draft him…

You don’t. Matthews is a cool story. A 6’5 receiver who can make plays, obviously, but hasn’t really done anything to warrant you rolling the dice on him in your Fantasy draft. He doesn’t have much of a Pro Football Reference page to reference to. The Seahawks offense will be one to watch after this past weekend though, Matthews included.

Matthews Gif

The Others
Doug Baldwin – FA
Jermaine Kearse – Late Rounds
Luke Wilson – FA…and because his name is Luke Wilson?

Got thoughts or questions? Let me know on Twitter @Mike_PiFF03.

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