Player Points - Drew Brees
By Chase Stuart
May 25th, 2010

I thought about not even writing a mini-article for Brees, because I couldn't even think of a topic. Brees' outlook is something like this:

  • He's an elite NFL QB
  • He's in an elite situation, with terrific skill position players surrounding him
  • He plays in a fantastic offensive scheme
  • He plays in a dome
  • He has been an elite fantasy QB for years
  • He's still in the prime of his career

Brees is about as safe as it gets in fantasy football, but he also has a huge ceiling. So, is there even anything remotely interesting to say about Drew Brees, the fantasy player? Since coming to New Orleans in 2006, Brees has ranked in the top five in fantasy points and fantasy points per game in each season. But Brees isn't the first quarterback to have four straight top-five seasons in fantasy points per game; it's been done by Roger Staubach, Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Dan Marino, Randall Cunningham, Warren Moon, Steve Young, Brett Favre, Daunte Culpepper and Peyton Manning. They did it a total of 19 times. Roger Staubach retired after his great string; how did the other 18 players do the following year?

Player
Years
Ages
Tms
Yr1
Yr2
Yr3
Yr4
Yr5 G
Yr5 Rk
Yr5 FP/G
Drew Brees
2006-2009
27-30
NOR
3
5
1
2
??
??
??
Peyton Manning
2004-2007
28-31
IND
2
5
2
4
16
6
8
Peyton Manning
2003-2006
27-30
IND
3
2
5
2
16
3
4
Peyton Manning
2002-2005
26-29
IND
5
3
2
5
16
1
2
Daunte Culpepper
2001-2004
24-27
MIN
3
4
1
1
7
35
--
Daunte Culpepper
2000-2003
23-26
MIN
1
3
4
1
16
1
1
Brett Favre
1995-1998
26-29
GNB
1
1
1
4
16
6
10
Brett Favre
1994-1997
25-28
GNB
2
1
1
1
16
3
4
Steve Young
1992-1995
31-34
SFO
1
1
1
2
12
8
7
Steve Young
1991-1994
30-33
SFO
1
1
1
1
11
10
2
Warren Moon
1990-1993
34-37
HOU
1
3
4
4
15
7
8
Randall Cunningham
1987-1990
24-27
PHI
1
1
5
2
1
62
--
Dan Marino
1985-1988
24-27
MIA
4
1
5
5
16
7
9
Dan Marino
1984-1987
23-26
MIA
1
4
1
5
16
4
5
Joe Montana
1982-1985
26-29
SFO
2
4
4
1
8
24
9
Dan Fouts
1980-1983
29-32
SDG
1
1
1
1
13
11
6
Dan Fouts
1979-1982
28-31
SDG
4
1
1
1
10
12
1
Dan Fouts
1978-1981
27-30
SDG
3
4
1
1
9
1
1
Roger Staubach
1976-1979
34-37
DAL
5
1
1
2
--
--
--
Roger Staubach
1975-1978
33-36
DAL
3
5
1
1
16
2
2

Half of them, unsurprisingly, continued to play very well. Seven of them ranked in the top five in FP and FP/G, with another two ranking in the top two in FP/G but missed games due to injury. Another seven took small steps backwards, but still ranked in the top ten in fantasy points per game. One of them, Randall Cunningham, suffered a season-ending injury in the season opener in year five. That leaves only one unmitigated failure -- Daunte Culpepper in 2005. Culpepper can also blame injury -- He tore his ACL in game 7, so he had an incomplete season. But with Randy Moss having just been traded to Oakland, Culpepper struggled significantly early in the season; he had 6 touchdowns and 12 interceptions after seven weeks, and ranked as just the 18th best quarterback.

A Culpepper-like collapse seems impossible to fathom for a player like Brees. Based off some historical comparisons, it appears that a healthy Brees has a fantasy floor that's extremely high (top 10 in fantasy points per game) and a good chance to boast elite fantasy numbers (three players finished as QB1 in their 5th season).

So I guess I still don't have a good topic for a Drew Brees article.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to stuart@footballguys.com.