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Tom Brady starting preseason finale, won’t help fantasy owners until Week 5

Brady will see some more preseason action before he serves his DeflateGate suspension. We look at the fantasy implications.

The New England Patriots won’t have quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games of the regular season, but that doesn’t mean he’ll completely sit out the preseason. Brady is expected to start in Thursday’s final exhibition game against the New York Giants.

Brady has seen just light work this August — the Patriots are preparing Jimmy Garoppolo to start in place of the 39-year-old, whose DeflateGate suspension was reinstated this offseason. Brady had a small cameo in the third preseason game, coming in with the second team and finishing with 76 yards and a touchdown on 3-of-9 passing.

Fantasy impact: Still at the top of his game, Brady would be a top-five fantasy quarterback if he was available for the entire season. Unfortunately, fantasy owners won’t have him for a quarter of the season, so they have to make contingency plans. You could either take a cheap stopgap (Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton) in the late rounds of your draft, or just go with streaming options for those four weeks.

Either way, Brady will be an easy QB1 when he comes back in Week 5. Just make sure you’re comfortable burning a bench spot before you consider him at his sixth-round ADP.