Tom Brady returns to top five after ban overturned

It's over. For now.

A federal court judge nullified Tom Brady's four-game suspension for his role in the deflated football incident. That means that, as of now, Brady is eligible to play when the New England Patriots open the regular season on September 10 against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

What it also means is that fantasy drafters who waited until the later rounds to take a chance on the Patriots star quarterback have landed themselves one heck of a bargain. If you haven't yet held your draft ... the price just went up. There was little doubt that if Brady were available for the entirety of the season, he was going to be a top five fantasy quarterback. His previous ranking outside the top 10 was based on the premise of him missing the first four games of the season.

After a poor start to his 2014 season -- Brady averaged just 9.3 fantasy points in his first four contests -- the future Hall of Famer roared back to average better than 20 points per game for the rest of the campaign. In all, Brady would rally to finish the season as the ninth-best player at his position. That made the fifth time in the last six seasons that Brady finished as a top 10 option.

Beyond Brady, this will have a ripple effect on the rest of the Patriots offense. Rob Gronkowski was already the top tight end drafted across the board, but Brady's return could strengthen his value in the latter half of the first round. The bigger uptick comes to the rest of New England's pass-catchers. Julian Edelman once again becomes a PPR darling with the potential to catch 100 passes this season. It also makes Brandon LaFell a mid- to late-round possibility -- once he's healthy and off the PUP, of course.

If there's one group that doesn't necessarily get a bounce from this news, it's New England's mishmash group of running backs. Having Brady under center will give defenses something else to scheme for and prevent the rushers from seeing a lot of stacked fronts. But if you can discern who will be the lead running back from a group that includes Jonas Gray, Brandon Bolden, James White, Dion Lewis and the suspended LeGarrette Blount, then you should be doing something else with your mighty future-telling skills besides fantasy football.

As for Jimmy Garoppolo. Welp. Sorry 'bout your luck. For any of you who took an end-of-draft flier on the Patriots backup, you can feel free to release him back into the wild.

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