Drew Brees is THE Quarterback to Target

These last two years, I’ve been looking for the perfect fantasy quarterback. Tom Brady isn’t this year, unfortunately, and neither is Peyton Manning, or even Tony Romo. Those guys still cost too much. I’ve been grappling with the notion that it’s important to get a stud QB, yet I’ve long been a guy who advocates holding off on the position.

In Drew Brees in 2008, I think fantasy players can have the best of both worlds. Granted, you can’t hold off too long on Brees, but you can likely get 3-4 studs at RB/WR before pulling the trigger on Brees, and that’s good enough for me, especially now that the Saints have made the trade for Jeremy Shockey.

Brees was very strong for fantasy last year, but it wasn’t pretty. He was putting the ball up 40+ times a lot, 9 times to be exact. We saw in 2006 that if everything is going right around him, Brees is basically indefensible, yet we saw in 2007 that if things aren’t going right, his flaws are exposed and he’s not an elite player. That he was a top-5 fantasy QB last year is really a testament to his savvy – and a seriously pass-happy offense. After all, he really had only one receiver last year in Marques Colston.

I’d rather see more balance, and I think we’ll see it this year. I have no idea what Deuce McAllister will give them, but he’s on the roster and he’s presumably healthy enough to play. I also have confidence in Pierre Thomas, and I’m going to assume for now that we’ll see at least a tiny improvement from Reggie Bush. The running game will be better this year, there is no question because it was a train wreck last year, and that is huge for Brees. With a good running game, he can be the excellent distributor that he is, and it will open up the deep passing game again, something that was non-existent last year (but very prevalent in 2006).

Another missing aspect last year was a viable #2 wideout. David Patten was decent, and he’s back, but if they can get anything out of Robert Meachem that would be a beautiful thing. He’s exactly the player they need: a bigger receiver who can run and make explosive plays. I’m not asking for much this year, but if he can get 40 catches and pose a threat, Brees is going to be that much better. That, in turn, will make a guy like Devery Henderson much more dangerous. Henderson’s a one-trick pony, but he can fly and that one trick (big plays down the field) is key.

Of course, the addition of Shockey is what really puts the Brees plan over the top. Granted, he’s a pain in the ass and he’ll likely get hurt and miss a game or three, plus Shockey within driving distance to Bourbon Street is a concern. But Brees may be the best QB in the league in terms of understanding the voids in coverage underneath, and he was fantastic with Antonio Gates in SD. Shockey will definitely bring an added dimension to this offense, and while his addition may mean fewer catches for Colston, it will be harder for defenses to defend the wideout. Head coach Sean Payton knows Shockey, too, from his days with the Giants, and he should be able to get the most out of him. Keep in mind: Payton’s work running the offense in 2006 was near genius; his hands were basically tied in 2007.

Long story short, the Saint offense has the potential to be one of the deadliest and most versatile offenses in the league, and they have a quarterback pulling the trigger who can be GREAT if things are clicking on all cylinders.

So when it comes to his value and potential production (think 4000+ yards and 30+ TDs), Drew Brees really is the perfect fantasy quarterback in 2008.

Category: Fantasy Football


34 Responses

  1. bjchapin1 says:

    What’s the deal with Meachem? They used a 1st round pick on him, why is he still up in the air? I know he was hurt last year, but it seems like he is awol.

    Brees to Shockey could be a fun combo to watch, I could see this limiting Bush’s catches out of the backfield, as Shockey might turn into the new safety net.

  2. jbeau says:

    My thinking exactly John. Hopefully, guys in my leagues aren’t that sold on him. I may even jump a rouund early to snatch him up. I think Shockey is a huge pickup. Guys is talented, and plays his heart out on the field. Had his best year under Payton as a rookie. Targetting both of these guys now.

  3. tpwaller says:

    JBeau, how could people not be sold in Drew Brees?

    I like Brees and I think he’s better value than Brady or Manning; however, since he’s ranked at about #4 overall as a QB behind Romo and ahead of Palmer, I don’t know how cheap he’ll come.

    He’s a guy I will target.

    Since I consider Shockey to be a poison, I’m not going to overstate his value to the Saints, but he’s probably their 2nd best receiving option. (NY won the Super Bowl without him).

  4. FFRich says:

    Good to see we all have a firm grasp on the obvious. Unfortunately, almost everyone else will have the same grasp. In the couple early drafts I’ve done, Brees went in the 3rd round, a couple picks after Romo. Thought that was a little too expensive. But now, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him creep up draft boards even a little further. In a 12 team league and certainly in a 14 team league, he’s money in the 4th round; but my guess is he won’t make it to the 4th round in most drafts. In fact, in some NFFC drafts, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Brady drafted in the 1st round and Manning, Romo and Brees all be drafted prior to the end of round 2.

  5. CCarter says:

    Like everyone else, I like him even more after hearing about the trade. And like everyone else, would love to steal him. I’m guessing, fat chance of that happening.

    My biggest question is, what does this do to the values of Colston and Shockey??

  6. John Hansen says:

    Colston won’t catch as many passes, but I can’t see dropping him much at all, since he’ll probably get 1-2 more TDs.

    I don’t envision moving Shockey much, but I do think he has more upside now, so he’s more appealing to me than he was before the trade.

    Eli Manning takes a small hit as well since Kevin Boss is still very unproven.

  7. bigdnsa says:

    I agree Brees will do well this year, but I’m really feeling a Delhomme rebound this year in spite of the elbow. And he will come dirt cheap. He even gets Muhammad back along with Smith and a great rookie RB. You can load up with studs in the first 10 rounds, then get Delhomme. And their defense leaves more to be desired. (Guru rank of 29 in fantasy points) Can you say “throw” after they’ve given up points on D and are playing from behind? A championship means you have to take risks once in a while. (but i am still evaluating this risk)

    John (anyone), what are the chances that Delhomme outscores Brees in fantasy points?

    Sorry, didn’t mean to turn this into the Delhomme thread.

  8. John Hansen says:

    I really find that hard to believe because Fox wants to run the ball first and foremost. Steve Smith himself told me two years ago that he’s frustrating to play for because he doesn’t want to throw when they have a lead.

    Delhomme, too, is way more inconsistent than Brees, so it’ll be very hard for him to match Brees’ stats.

    But Delhomme is certainly an enticing backup. I wouldn’t even call drafting him as your backup a risk given the value. It either goes down as a great move or one you don’t care too much about once the season starts and he doesn’t deliver.

  9. John Hansen says:

    In my next post, for you FFRich, I’ll be analyzing the merits of Indy rookie wideout Pierre Garcon, who we like to call Pierre Boy. Hopefully, I’ll come across as a little more observant.

  10. NYBrewCrew says:

    Value, yes before the trade was made. I was able to snag Brees after 3-4 QBs went off the board. Not anymore. He not come cheap in any draft unless he slips through by accedent.

  11. FFRich says:

    Thanks John, looking forward to your thoughts on Pierre. :)

  12. spudballscott says:

    I agree with the assessment of Brees’ talent and potential this year as a possible FFL stud, but think too many people see it and he’ll be drafted at-value if not a shade above. Really no chance of getting him by the 4th round unless you’re in a public league of novices. It gets worse in an auction, where I expect it will be nearly impossible to steal him cheaply no matter when he’s nominated.

    Drew is certainly on my short list (not so with Shockey), but it’ll take perfect timing to snag him in my league. Then again, I do have FantasyGuru on my side.

  13. spudballscott says:

    Hey John, your new article rating QBs raises an interesting question for Brees this year: what are the key changes/improvements which will help Drew avoid the terribly slow start he had last season? Improved receivers, Payton carrying over late-season schemes which worked much better after week six?

    Shockey will help open up the middle game underneath to be sure, but is that enough to avoid the big hole Brees dug for himself (and fantasy owners) in 07?

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