Are Drew Brees’ days as a top 5 fantasy QB over? – K. Atchley

by Kevin Atchley

It seems as if Drew Brees has been playing in the NFL forever. I mean, the dude is legendary. Brees began his future Hall of Fame career with the then San Diego Chargers in 2001. It’s crazy to think Brees is still in the league; let alone the fact we are having fantasy debates over whether he will be a significant fantasy contributor in his 19th (!!!!!) season. You’d think he would either be retired by now or simply playing out his contract and showing up for the paychecks. But Brees has defied father time and is still playing meaningful and impactful football this late into the twilight of his career. And who knows? Brees has previously said he wouldn’t rule out playing until the age of 45. Move over father time; Brees doesn’t give a damn about the fact most NFL quarterbacks don’t see the field after 40. He’s still gonna show up and shred NFL defenses anyways.

Speaking of shredding defenses, Brees has been a human highlight reel for most of his illustrious career. And he’s still producing at his senior age. According to Fantasy Pros, since he arrived in New Orleans in 2006, Brees has been a Top-10 quarterback every year during this time frame. Talk about consistency! Fantasy Pros also points out that Brees finished as QB9 and QB8 during the past two seasons. So Brees isn’t’ merely playing out the string in his tenure in New Orleans. He is playing meaningful football even at his advanced age, father time be damned. Currently, Brees is being drafted as a QB7 in ADP (Average Draft Position), according to Fantasy Pros. And with good reason: Brees has a plethora of offensive weapons at his disposal. Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas, Latavius Murray, and Ted Ginn Jr. are all explosive playmakers that Brees gets the fortune of playing with. These players will help Brees maintain the fantasy success that he has enjoyed for so many years.

But, it begs the question. Can Brees get back into Top 5 Quarterback territory in fantasy football? I highly doubt it, as challenges certainly remain. According to Fantasy Pros, Brees’ number of pass attempts have dropped significantly in recent years; putting a handicap on his potential fantasy success. Fantasy Pros points out that after Brees posted seven straight years of 625+ pass attempts, this number has been in a free-fall ever since. In 2017, Brees attempted 536 pass attempts. And last year, this number dropped ever further to 489 pass attempts. The troubling trend of decreasing pass attempts shows that the Saints want to showcase their dual-threat talent in Alvin Kamara, not to mention fellow running backs in Latavius Murray and Jacquizz Rodgers. More touches in the running game means less pass attempts for Brees. After all, you need to remain balanced to keep NFL defenses on their toes.

When Brees was the black and gold stallion of fantasy dominance with the Saints, he was throwing over 625 times a game. With a significant reduction in pass attempts, it will be near impossible for Brees to maximize his fantasy value in order to reach that elusive Top 5 QB threshold. Brees will certainly be a viable if not elite-starting quarterback for the Saints, but his days of reaching top 5 QB status certainly appears to be over.

Unless the Saints buck their trend in recent years of reducing Brees’ workload, it stands to reason that Brees won’t crack the top 5 spots for fantasy quarterbacks. There’s nothing wrong with this as Brees can still be a significant contributor for your fantasy team.

But to expect him to be in the top 5 of fantasy quarterbacks seems to be a stretch. Those days for Brees realistically appear to be over.

But hey, enjoy watching Drew Brees play while he’s still around. There’s nothing wrong with having a future Hall of Famer on your fantasy team, and a sure bet to be amongst the top fantasy options at this position year in and year out.

Enjoy the ride of consistency while it still lasts.

After all, all good things eventually come to an end.


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