Fantasy Football 2013: Don’t Bench Drew Brees, But Temper Expectations

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

 

Have you ever seen those NyQuil commercials with Drew Brees? You know, the one where Brees has to battle through a cold to perform at his best on the field, and it shows him taking the NyQuil, ultimately helping him get a good night of sleep? Apparently the medicine doesn’t work when Brees is traveling.

For whatever reason, Brees isn’t the same quarterback when away from home.

There’s no denying that Brees is an elite quarterback in both fantasy and real life. And as a disclaimer, it’s important to note that I am 150 percent not advising anyone to bench him, especially in the fantasy championship. That would be stupid, and we don’t deal with stupid here. However, it isn’t insane to point out the fact that Brees isn’t the QB1 in fantasy when away from the Superdome, and that was pretty evident on Sunday against the Rams. Brees still managed to pass for 393 yards and a score, while also running in for a touchdown, but he also threw two interceptions, lost a fumble and was sacked a handful of times. Next week is a matchup against a very good Carolina defense… in Carolina.

Should fantasy owners be worried? Let’s take a look at Brees’ home/road splits, just so owners can get a feel of exactly what I’m talking about.

Brees At Home

Yards

TD

INT

CMP%

Rating

2,454 23 3 73.2 122.5

 

Outside of Seattle, there may not be a more difficult place for opponents to play than New Orleans, and Brees takes advantage of his stellar crowd. From a fantasy perspective, Brees is averaging 27 standard fantasy points per game when at home, and has posted four games with 30 fantasy points or more. In fact, Brees has also thrown for over 300 yards in every single home game he’s played this season. He’s probably the best quarterback in the league when playing in front of the incredible Saints faithful, and fantasy owners have loved his numbers.

Brees On The Road

Yards

TD

INT

CMP%

Rating

2,046 11 7 63.4 86.4

 

It’s not the Brees has been BAD away from home, but he certainly hasn’t been Drew Brees, to put it simply. His quarterback rating is down 20 points, he’s thrown four more interceptions, as well as 12 less touchdowns. The Saints as a whole haven’t been as strong on the road, and as a result, neither has Brees. He is averaging just 15.9 fantasy points per game when traveling, which, for many fantasy signal callers, is a solid number. But now for a guy like Brees who has finished as a top-seven fantasy passer in every season since way back in 2004. In ESPN standard scoring leagues, Brees hasn’t reached 20 fantasy points in any road game all season long, surprisingly. He’s been serviceable, but that’s about it.

Look, the matchup is tough, as Carolina has only allowed 13.61 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, which is the second-fewest in all of football. Sure, Brees absolutely torched them a few weeks back to the tune of four touchdown strikes. But I can almost guarantee that fantasy owners won’t see the same result come Sunday. In fact, Brees’ monster Week 14 performance was the only time a quarterback finished inside the top-12 against the Panthers all season long.

Having said all of this, Brees is still inside the top-five in my weekly quarterback rankings (4th), and needs to be in all lineups. This is just a message to all Brees’ owners who may be in shock when they see a 16 fantasy points or something along those lines.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.


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