As the sports world reacts to the news of Tom Brady's retirement, we asked David Purdum and Tristan H. Cockcroft to put into context what Brady meant to fantasy players and sports bettors over the past two decades. For as many wins as Brady had on the field, and Super Bowl rings on his fingers, he's had a part in countless fantasy football championships while helping those who bet on him at sportsbooks win more often than not.
By the Numbers: Brady's sports betting legacy
• Tom Brady covered the spread in more regular-season games -- 190 -- than any other quarterback in the Super Bowl era. Brady's teams covered the spread in 58.1% of his starts, a cover percentage that ranks third among quarterbacks with at least 100 starts, behind Joe Montana and Joe Theismann. Brady finished 190-136-7 against the spread.
• Including postseason, Brady was 215-158-8 against the spread all-time.
• Brady was the greatest underdog QB ever. He pulled outright upsets in 56.6% of his games as a betting underdog, going 30-23 straight-up. That's the best winning percentage as an underdog of any quarterback with at least 30 starts in the Super Bowl era.
• Brady was a home underdog in a playoff game for the 1st time in his career this season on Wild Card Weekend against the Cowboys. He was 11-2 ATS and 9-4 outright as a home underdog in the regular season.
• Brady's teams covered the spread in 67.3% of regular-season games as an underdog, the 2nd-best covering percentage of any quarterback with a minimum of 40 starts as an underdog in the Super Bowl era.
• Brady authored a 16-3 record against the spread in the 2016 season. That's tied with the 1989 San Francisco 49ers for the best record against the spread in a single season in the Super Bowl era.
• Brady was 7-4 outright as a playoff underdog, tied with Eli Manning for the most such wins by a starting QB in the Super Bowl era
• With Brady starting, the Patriots were favored in a record 67 consecutive games, a streak that stretched from Week 3 of the 2015 season to the divisional round of the 2018 playoffs, when New England was a 3-point underdog at Kansas City. The Patriots beat the Chiefs 37-30 in overtime and went on to defeat the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl.
In fantasy, the best of Brady came with age
Brady retires as fantasy football's all-time leading scorer with 5,944.36 points, more than 750 points ahead of Drew Brees. He first broke the all-time career fantasy record in November 2020, passing Jerry Rice, who now stands third in history.
The top 10 in career PPR fantasy points:
5,944.36-- Tom Brady, QB, 2000-22
5,188.92 -- Drew Brees, QB, 2001-20
5,147.84 -- Jerry Rice, WR, 1985-2005
4,683.10 -- Peyton Manning, QB, 1998-2016
4,574.70 -- Aaron Rodgers, QB, 2005-present
4,389.22 -- Brett Favre, QB, 1991-2010
4,021.62 -- Ben Roethlisberger, QB, 2004-21
3,906.12 -- Larry Fitzgerald, WR, 2004-20
3,835.08 -- Matt Ryan, QB, 2008-present
3,812.80 -- Philip Rivers, QB, 2004-20
• Brady scored 811.80 PPR fantasy points since breaking the all-time record in Week 10 of 2020, the seventh-most by any player during that time span (Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Davante Adams, Justin Jefferson, Justin Herbert and Austin Ekeler are the only players with more). It continued Brady's pattern of scoring prowess even at an advanced age, as he finishes his career with a record 1,825.18 fantasy points since turning 40 years old, which represents 30.7% of his lifetime total and is nearly 700 points more than anyone else scored at that age or older.
• Two of Brady's six seasons worth 300-plus fantasy points came after he turned 40 years old, and in fact were two of his final three seasons, and all six came since he celebrated his 30th birthday in 2007. He owns two of the 17 best single-season fantasy point totals by a quarterback in history, his 390.04 points in 2007 ranking 10th on the list and his 374.74 points this past season ranking 17th.
The top 20 quarterback seasons in terms of PPR fantasy points:
417.40 -- Patrick Mahomes, 2022
417.08 -- Patrick Mahomes, 2018
415.68 -- Lamar Jackson, 2019
409.98 -- Peyton Manning, 2013
402.58 -- Josh Allen, 2021
397.42 -- Aaron Rodgers, 2011
396.06 -- Josh Allen, 2020
395.52 -- Josh Allen, 2022
391.64 -- Drew Brees, 2011
390.04 -- Tom Brady, 2007
389.08 -- Cam Newton, 2015
383.26 -- Aaron Rodgers, 2020
380.76 -- Justin Herbert, 2021
380.02 -- Aaron Rodgers, 2016
378.74 -- Kyler Murray, 2020
378.04 -- Jalen Hurts, 2022
374.74 -- Tom Brady, 2021
374.40 -- Patrick Mahomes, 2020
373.28 -- Daunte Culpepper, 2004
370.34 -- Cam Newton, 2011
• Brady also holds the record for most 25-point fantasy performances with 66. He matched Rice's record of 64 in 2021 and passed him in 2022. (Note: Aaron Rodgers is third on that list with 62.) While Brady never scored as many as 40 points in a game, that track record of solid performances underscores his level of consistent production, which was his greatest impact in fantasy football.
• To put Brady's career fantasy production into perspective, consider that most people's choice if asked to predict the active player with the best chance to catch him would be Patrick Mahomes. Currently, Mahomes has 1,867.94 career points, which is 4,076.42 PPR fantasy points behind Brady. That 4,076.42-point gap alone is larger than the career totals of all but five other players in history (excluding Brady). If we were to assume that Mahomes scores at the 24.55-point-per-game rate that he enjoyed in his record-setting 2022, it would take him 167 more games to surpass Brady's total. That means that if the NFL sticks to the current 17-game schedule, Mahomes would pass Brady as the all-time fantasy points leader 14 games into the 2031 season! If he doesn't miss any games, of course ...
--Tristan H. Cockcroft