Dynasty League Football


A Case for Drew Brees


I’m afraid our obsession with age has knocked Drew Brees too far down the dynasty positional rankings. Brees will be 35 for the entire 2014 season – this is three years younger than Peyton Manning, who has a history of neck surgery and threw 55 touchdowns at age 37. Since 2011, Drew Brees has finished with an overall rank of second, first and second in most scoring settings. I currently rank him as the third dynasty quarterback, but I may consider Cam Newton over him. However, I don’t think he should be lower than QB4.

Here are my reasons why.

Why we avoid him?

[inlinead]At age 35, most people would think he might only be their starting quarterback for just two or three years.  This might be true. It also feels kind of weird to have Drew Brees on the same take as your young 24-year old studs. However, if you think you can predict which running backs are going to be your starters in four years, you are probably wrong. Would you be shocked if Drew Brees was a top ten quarterback for longer than rushing quarterbacks like Robert Griffin, Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson?

Do you really think you can’t find a replacement for Drew Brees in the next three or four seasons?  Own Drew Brees now and I promise you can find his replacement easily before the end of his career. Most of the top 12 quarterbacks haven’t even been in the league for four years. If you don’t want to find a young stud to replace him with in the future, top twelve scorers like Ben Roethlisberger, Jay Cutler, Andy Dalton and Philip Rivers are practically free in trades or startup ADP. If you don’t find a future stud, you can at a minimum find a stop-gap veteran replacement.

Comparison to players often ranked ahead of Drew Brees

Notice the more points per passing TD, the more you want Drew Brees.  Of course you should you should never start a league and not know what the points per passing TDs are.


NOTE:  These stats do not include yardage bonuses for passing yards over 300 yards, or yardage premium leagues of 1 point per 20 yards passing. Drew Brees has an even bigger positional advantage in those settings.

So here is the question: When are Wilson, Kaepernick or Stafford going to outscore Drew Brees?

It could happen at any point, but it might not be until 2017 or later. Why would you think you can’t find a player as good as Russell Wilson, Nick Foles or Colin Kaepernick in the next four years? Six of the current top 12 dynasty quarterbacks: Andrew Luck; Robert Griffin; Russell Wilson; Colin Kaepernick; Cam Newton and Nick Foles were not even in the league four years ago. There is plenty time to get your future quarterback. I prefer to take all those points now and make finding a future quarterback a priority later.

In a start one quarterback league, you can get a rookie quarterback like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel or Blake Bortles for a second round rookie pick or even beyond. Also, most teams are going to have a good quarterback in standard leagues, so you may be the only team with a need at quarterback in your rookie drafts.  You could easily get a top rookie quarterback in 2015, 2016 or later.

While people are enjoying bragging about how young their starting quarterback is, you can enjoy your extra five to seven points per week (or more) for years and then just draft the next Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson later. We play to win championships, not to create the youngest team possible.

Positional Advantage

We love Jimmy Graham and Rob Gronkowski because they can get 18-19 PPR Points per game (PPG) whereas other starting tight ends may be in the 12-14 PPG range.  This positional advantage is why Graham and Gronkowski have become almost untradeable and are drafted in the first two rounds. Drew Brees can provide the same statistical advantage in standard leagues and even greater if you have six points per passing touchdown, passing yardage bonuses, or one point per twenty yards passing.

Quarterback Parity

The quarterback position has changed and there is not much separating a top five quarterback from a top fifteen quarterback.  Players like Andy Dalton, Philip Rivers and Ben Roethlisberger can put up top ten finishes. So if Russell Wilson and Matt Ryan don’t give you an advantage over any other teams, why draft them high?

Superflex Differences

Admittedly, I mainly play in Superflex Leagues in which you can (and should) start two quarterbacks. In this setting, strength at quarterback gives you a big advantage over a team with two weaker ones. However, in this setting, it is harder to carry a strong third quarterback. You might need to think about your Drew Brees replacement earlier than in a standard one quarterback league.

The Records

Drew Brees likely will get to see what Peyton Manning’s career totals will be and see if they are attainable. If he aspires to break the all-time NFL records in passing touchdowns and yards, he just needs to keep playing a high level longer than Manning does. Playing for three years is a possibility because he is signed until 2017, but playing until he is 40 is a possibility as well. He has had an excellent track record of health and he may be the type of player who can last longer than players that take more hits.

In conclusion  

Don’t let Drew Brees’ age deter you from taking him.  He can give you a positional advantage similar to what Graham and Gronk give at tight end, possibly more depending on your league format and scoring bonuses. Remember, backup quarterbacks and rookie quarterbacks are very cheap. Take the points now and get your replacement later. Let other’s brag about their young talented quarterbacks, while you can brag about your name on the trophy.

Hit me up on twitter anytime @BeckleyNFL for dynasty chat.

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  1. Paul T

    July 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

    Great article, my feelings exactly. I acquired Brees at the trade deadline in my league last year. My thinking was that of positional advantage… as you said, he scores high and likely will all the way to the end of his career.

    I gave up Brady, Crabtree and Decker to get Brees – which sounds like a lot. But Decker and Brady were both on the last year of their contracts and I wasn’t going to be able to keep them in the offseason anyways, so it was basically Crabtree for Brees which I can live with in any format. The guy I acquired him from paid a late 1st round pick for him the year prior, so his acquiring price is really not that steep to get a guy who is going to outscore everyone but Peyton F. Manning.

    • Mike Beckley

      July 18, 2014 at 8:35 am

      Thanks man. It’s so cheap to back him up in 1QB leagues if you are concerned about it. Dalton, Tannehill, Bradford can be had for a bench flier if you need a young guy. The late round QB movement due to positional parity has devalued them. Might as well take the guys who separate from the pack.

  2. Seth Gordon

    July 18, 2014 at 8:34 am

    I totally agree with this. How many QBs can legitimately give you 2 or more 40 point weeks (6pt/TD)? Not many.

  3. Sam T

    July 18, 2014 at 8:50 am

    I was all set to trade Brees, but this article is making me leary of trading him. In a 4pt/TD league, I have to trade one of Brees, Gio Bernard , alshon or Andre Ellington, whom I love this year. Your 2 cents?

    • Mike Beckley

      July 18, 2014 at 10:25 am

      Sam. Depends on who my QB becomes and how many points per week I’m giving up. I’m not trading Alshon for anything less than other top 6 WRs. Between Gio and Ellington, I think Gio has more trade value but both should have similar PPR numbers.

  4. Joe

    July 18, 2014 at 9:32 am

    I play in a double superflex league and Brees used to be my only QB. When injuries plagued my team last season, I sold Brees to a playoff contender for Julio Jones, Alshon Jeffery, and Sam Bradford. Though I miss this consistency of Brees, my WR corps are so loaded now that I can play 2 WRs at the superflex and still hopefully muscle my way into the playoffs this year

  5. Ninjason

    July 18, 2014 at 9:32 am

    He’s signed for 3 more years and will play at least that, very likely longer than that.

    I took him in the 2nd round of a Superflex league startup after taking Cam with my first selection, couldn’t be happier to roll those guys out together on a weekly basis.

  6. Mike

    July 18, 2014 at 10:10 am

    DLF’s ADP has had Brees as at least the #4 QB off the board since January. This is a well-written article, but I don’t think this is really a case that needs to be made.

    • Mike Beckley

      July 18, 2014 at 10:33 am

      Mike, look at the positional rankings of all but 1 of the DLF writers listed on the site. Only 2/8 have him in their top 5. (Jeff B-2) (Jeff M-4) and Ryan, Karl and Eric all have him as QB9. I’m making that argument that he should be top 4.

      • Mike

        July 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

        Fair point, I hadn’t looked at the DLF rankings.

    • Jacob Feldman

      July 18, 2014 at 11:35 am

      He’s my #1 QB for all but a true rebuilding team. Luck is a close second just because of age, but I fully expect Brees to be a top 3 QB for at least 3 more years. You can’t say that about anyone else except for maybe Rodgers, but then you have concussion concerns.

      • Slick

        July 18, 2014 at 2:51 pm

        Great article Mike! In terms of ADP, I think your point is accurate when you look at DLF Dynasty QB Rankings vs ADP. They are both good tools, but Dynasty Rankings reflecting DLF guys is probably more in line for this article. So basically it is semantics.

        Back to the article..great points made throughout and I think you can sub Peyton for Brees with alot of the reasons why he is still worth having (granted he expected to play less years). I own Peyton and have decided the points now and worth more and I can always get a young QB at some point or resort to streaming if need be.

        article is important for strategy as I think the average dynasty owner is biased toward the Andrew Lucks of the world not realizing for QBs it is not that much of an advantage to possess the #1 youngest stud QB. It is the exact opposite of RB and WR.

  7. Vince Fan

    July 18, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    I am in a super flex league and have been offered Cam Newton and Kyle Rudolf for Bree’s. My other QB is Rodgers, and I have lower tiered TEs- but only need to start one! I was thinking exactly what your article points put- and since my team has a legitimate chance of winning it all this year, I figure Brees’ output this year should be much higher compared to a gimpy, wide receiver less Cam, even if he is 10 yrs younger! I would however, like your thoughts since I can still go thru with the trade!
    Thanks for your time!

    • Mike Beckley

      July 19, 2014 at 8:39 am

      How many points per passing TD, any yardage bonus?

      • Vince fan

        July 19, 2014 at 7:45 pm

        4 per passing td, 6 for rushing or receiving -1 point 10 yards rushing, 1 pt 20 yards passing- no passing or rushing yrd bonus
        Also what is your take on James Jones- is he worth keeping with limited roster spots- he’d be my second wr? My TE is Olsen and Cook, so Rudolf is an upgrade!
        Once again, thanks for your time

        • Mike

          July 20, 2014 at 6:30 am

          I think I’d make that deal in 4 points per passing TD. Cam closes the gap on Drew Brees in that setting. I really like Kyle Rudolph who is just 8 months older than Jordan Reed.
          As far as James Jones, he is not someone I hope to be counting on. Depends more on the rest of the team and settings to know if I’d keep him

  8. Chuck

    July 20, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Brees isn’t a spring chicken, but I wouldn’t let 35 years of age deter me from having him on my team. He has great skills, a ton experience, plays in a good system, and has a strong supporting cast…even without Sproles.

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