2017 Fantasy Report Card: Drew Brees

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For the last 10 plus seasons, the NFL has been ruled by Hall of Fame level QB play.  The likes of Drew Brees, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady have been the springs from which fantasy points flow.  They have provided ample opportunities for their supporting casts to shine.  From the WR and TEs to the RBs out of the backfield.  Unfortunately, this trio’s reign over the NFL is coming to an end.  Let’s take a look at how Drew Brees fared in 2017.

2017: Season Review

From a real-world QB perspective, you can’t do much better than the 39-year old Brees did in 2017.  He set the new all-time record for completion percentage (72%), threw his fewest interceptions since 2004 and took the fewest sacks since 2008.  It was his 12th straight 4,000-yard season and his passer rating (104) was second only to Alex Smith (105).  So why are fantasy owners left with a bad taste in their mouth?

Drew Brees 2017 Stats
Completions Attempts Yards TDs INTs Rush TDs Comp % QB Rating
2017 386 536 4,334 23 8 2 72.01 104
Final Grade: C-

As the saying goes, “C’s get degrees”, but just barely.  That’s Drew Brees’ 2017 campaign in a nutshell.  While he still finished as a QB1, his finish as the 11th best QB was the worst of his career (since becoming a full-time starter in 2004).  He also attempted the fewest number of passes per game since 2005 (Chargers).  This means that Drew Brees woefully underperformed for fantasy purposes.  Drafted as the QB3 at pick 4.02, fantasy owners were banking on Brees marching home with all the fantasy points and leading their #FootClanTitle victory parade.  This disappointment illustrates the lines that separates real football from fantasy.

2018: Outlook

Fantasy owners shouldn’t hold their breath for a 2018 rally from the soon to be 40-year old Drew Brees.  The Saints have found a new formula that works.  Their balanced run-pass game (5th in the league in both rushing and passing yards per game) paired with a young and improving defense led to an 11-5 record.  They will continue to protect their aging QB to preserve him as long as they can, making 2017 the new standard.  Managing his attempts and limiting the hits he takes will ensure success for the Saints and heartbreak for fantasy owners who overdraft Brees as a high-end QB1.