May 29, 2014; Metairie, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) during offseason team activities at the New Orleans Saints Training Facility. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
This post comes from Justin Becker of FantasyFootballOverdose.com. You can follow him on Twitter @NFLRankings or the Fantasy Football Overdose Google+ Page, and for more 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings visit Fantasy Football Overdose, a fantasy football blog.
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Drew Brees 2014 Fantasy Football Outlook
Drew Brees has been a complete revelation since joining the New Orleans Saints back in 2006, when he immediately put up a career-high 4,418 passing yards in head coach Sean Payton’s pass-happy system.
It was clear from the start that Brees simply wasn’t utilized properly in San Diego and that the NFL was being introduced to a special talent. All these years later, Brees is still putting up dream-like fantasy numbers, making sure he’s a top-two option in five of the last six seasons.
However, with Brees aging and the Saints seemingly getting a little more run-based down the stretch and in the playoffs last year, we may have to start thinking about a little less prolific Brees.
After all, if the Saints really do run the ball more, that’s less passing attempts for Brees, which should naturally translate into less yardage and less chances at touchdowns.
But does it, really?
It’s probably a safe bet Brees won’t pass for the 650+ pass attempts we’ve grown accustomed to seeing the past four seasons. Clearly, that’s a tad too pass-happy, and if New Orleans wants to be a more consistent team on the road and in the playoffs, they need to set themselves up to sustain leads and close games better.
Tossing the ball all over the field can get more points and do so faster, but it also can lead to more inefficient play, turnovers, and tire out the defense. It’s entirely possible Payton and Brees are fooling us all and will just pass even more in 2014. The logic says they’re not kidding around, though.
Still, what’s the drop off? The estimated floor has to be what we saw out of Brees in 2009, when he passed for his lowest yardage total as a member of the New Orleans Saints (4,388 yards). That season also saw his lowest pass attempt total (514) and completion total (363) as a Saint.
It also saw him throw for a career low 11 interceptions as a Saint.
First off, the fact that any of these were career lows as a member of the Saints is insane. Those are still high numbers, no matter what offense you’re working out of. And completing 363 passes out of 514 attempts is remarkable – good for a gaudy 70.6 completion percentage.
Oh, and by the way, those stats come from when the Saints got to and won their first ever Super Bowl.
Brees also dropped 34 passing scores on the league that year, and despite “barely passing at all”, finished as fantasy’s number two overall quarterback. In fact, his 292 fantasy points (depending on the league) would have been good for a fourth place tie with Andrew Luck in 2013.
Needless to say, there’s pretty much no reason to hate on Brees. He’s lost very little (if anything) as he’s aged, still has one of the game’s best targets in tight end Jimmy Graham and even got another explosive weapon in rookie wide receiver Brandin Cooks.
There’s nothing that says Brees will even pass as little as he did in that 2009 season, but we have evidence from the past that even if he does, he can still be a highly successful fantasy quarterback. That’s good enough for me to keep him in the top-three consideration.