After publishing my first post on Razzball, I wanted to also offer my selection for the most overrated player in upcoming fantasy football drafts as Drew Brees. While Brees has been the model of excellence while quarterbacking the New Orleans Saints by averaging between 21 and 24 standard fantasy points per game since 2012, he is entering his 17th year in the NFL at age 38. For over a decade, Brees has had the pleasure of playing in a division with historically weak defenses while playing 10+ games per year in temperature controlled domes with an offensive mastermind calling the shots and incredibly talented weapons catching his touchdown passes. However, in the past 3 seasons, Brees has lost favorite targets such as Jimmy Graham, Brandin Cooks, and Marques Colston. Down the stretch of 2016, Brees only had a 7-to-7 TD:INT ratio in the final 5 games of the season, which was a main reason that the New Orleans Saints barely missed the playoffs with a 7-9 record. While the addition of Adrian Peterson to team up with Mark Ingram in the running game should take some of the onus off of Brees to carry the team on his back for another season, a stronger commitment to the running game would also limit red-zone touchdown and overall yardage production for the prolific quarterback.
As of July 25, 2017, Brees is the 3rd ranked quarterback on FantasyPros with an ADP of 40, which equates to a draft pick in the 3rd or 4th round in most standard leagues. FantasyPros experts ranked Drew Brees slightly below ultra consistent and elite quarterbacks Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady, who have an ADP of 30 and 32 respectively. If a fantasy football drafter is going to be taking a quarterback somewhere between pick 30 and 40, which I personally cannot recommend, there is a huge drop-off between Rodgers and Brady to Brees. Additionally, the opportunity cost of taking Drew Brees in the 3rd or 4th round means that a drafter is consciously forgoing the chance to snag a target monster in wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, a potential workhorse running back in Marshawn Lynch or a touchdown machine at a very top-heavy position in tight end Travis Kelce when the production of lower tiered quarterbacks selected 2 to 4 rounds later can offer similar upside and consistency at a fraction of the cost. To strengthen my claim that Drew Brees is being overrated, Brees does not deserve to be drafted over quarterbacks such as Matt Ryan with Julio Jones as his alpha receiver, youngster Jameis Winston with Mike Evans and DeSean Jackson catching bombs and uber upside dual threat QBs such as Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota and Russell Wilson that have a high floor and ceiling due to rushing statistics and big-play ability on every snap.
Experts project Michael Thomas, Brees’ 2nd year top target, to catch 90+ receptions for 1,100+ yards and 8+ touchdowns, but there really isn’t a secondary or tertiary complimentary threat in the Saints offense. Coby Fleener is more of a safety blanket when the play breaks down Willie Snead is an above average slot receiver and Ted Ginn Jr. is almost exclusively a boom-or-bust deep threat. Brees’ lack of passing weapons are certainly not on par with Aaron Rodgers’ and Tom Brady’s receivers, but they might even be the worst trio of pass-catchers for any quarterback ranked in the top 12 and an ADP in the top 100. When diving deeper down into the ranking list of potentially less consistent and productive quarterbacks that can be selected in round 8 and beyond such as Ben Roethlisberger and Derek Carr, drafters can select a quarterback with weapons such as the consensus wide receiver #1 and running back #2 in Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell to pair with rising star Martavis Bryant from the Pittsburgh Steelers or highly drafted and insanely talented Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree from the Oakland Raiders.
BenK’s Razzball Ruling: Overrated! I certainly do not recommend drafting a quarterback in the early-to-mid rounds and suggest streaming quarterbacks weekly to exploit positive match-ups. I would not advise drafting Brees, especially before the more valuable candidates in and below his ADP tier.
If you don’t believe me, check out Razzball.com’s own rankings expert Jay and his 2017 Quarterback Ranking Rankings where he has Drew Brees as his fifth rated quarterback, a full two slots below the consensus value on FantasyPros…
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