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Tom Brady: Biggest Loss Is Fantasy Value

Monday, 8 Sep 2008 | 11:20 AM ET
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is helped off the field by medical personnel after being hit during play.
AP
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is helped off the field by medical personnel after being hit during play.

Tom Brady will still make his 2008 salary. The Patriots will still sell out. So who's the most hurt in the most immediate future by the New England Patriots quarterback and his potential season ending knee injury? Average Joes, who happened to draft Brady in their fantasy football league this year.

Brady's loss to those fantasy owners could shift about $150 million in fantasy league winnings from those who had Brady to those that didn't, according to Jeff Thomas, CEO of SportsBuff.com, a fantasy sports site.

Here's how the math is done.

Brady's incredible year last year, which included a record 50 touchdown passes, meant that about 50 percent of the people who drafted Brady last year won their leagues, Thomas said. With the Brady hype not bought by all, Thomas said that it was believed that about 30 percent of leagues this year would be won because of Brady.

With about $500 million in fantasy prizes on the line, that's a $150 million shift in dollars. And some think that's at the low end of the spectrum since the total value of office pools is tough to ascertain.

I asked Brady on Friday (see video clip) in our interview on "Squawk Box" what he thought about fantasy football.

The Brady-Moss Connection
All fired up and getting ready for gameday, with Tom Brady, New England Patriots quarterback; Randy Moss, New England Patriots wide receiver and Robert Kraft, Patriots owner

"I have Jets and Giants fans come up to me and say, 'Hey, I'm a Jet fan, but you're my fantasy quarterback," Brady said. "They'll give me hugs. It makes people watch the game."

It's not lost money--it's just a momentary shift. It's possible that in a couple weeks we could be talking about the fact that 30 percent of owners who drafted Michael Turner could wind up in the winner's circle.

This coming week will likely be the highest trafficked week in fantasy football history as players look to modify their rosters, said Chris Russo, CEO of Fantasy Sports Ventures, which operates fantasy sports marketing and media businesses. The increase could be north of 100 percent of what otherwise would have occurred, Russo noted.

The Shot Heard Around the NFL
The business perspective of the knee injury that ended Tom Brady's season, with CNBC's Darren Rovell

Video: The business perspective of Tom Brady's knee injury that could end his season.

Update: Greg Bebezas of The Fantasy Football Times thinks Brady's impact is likely closer to $1.5 billion. "His injury will reverberate much deeper than it initially appears," Bebezas told me. He points out that Brady's absence also affects the value of Randy Moss.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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