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Be Ready to Stream if Drew Brees is Your Quarterback!
There are a ton of reasons to be incredibly excited about Drew Brees entering the 2016 fantasy football season. The Saints added Coby Fleener and Michael Thomas to compliment Brandin Cooks, who became a bonafide fantasy stud over the second half of the 2015 season. New Orleans brought in Fleener to fill the role vacated by Ben Watson who was the 8th best fantasy tight end a season ago. While some question Fleeners talent, most assume it is still better than Watson. Thomas was drafted in the second round, 47th overall by the Saints to be the play opposite Cook. Willie Snead is still in town as well and should very much be apart of this offense. Not to mention that Mark Ingram should see plenty of work in the passing game. He saw 60 targets a season ago, catching 50 of them. He enters 2016 as my sixth ranked quarterback.
All that said, fantasy football owners should be ready to stream a second QB if you want to avoid some bumps in the road. There is one sizeable concern with Brees that can’t be overlooked, his play at home versus on the road. In 2015 home games, Brees averaged 31.5 points per game which would have been good enough for QB1 last season. However in road games, his 15.7 points per game would have only been good for QB31 among quarterbacks that played 7 or more games. This is more than a one season trend for Brees. Over the past five seasons Brees has averaged 8.76 more fantasy points per game when he has played in the comfort of the Superdome. In two of the past three seasons Brees has averaged over 15 more fantasy points per game in home games.
|Season||Home Game||Road Game||Point Difference|
Brees is currently coming off of the board as QB6 and the 54th player off the board per Fantasypros. I don’t love him as the 54th overall pick but where he is going among QBs is the right range. I would gladly take Brees before Ben Roethlisberger who is currently the QB5 and one spot ahead of Brees in the overall rankings. If you take Brees at this price taking another quarterback late or claiming one off of waivers could make a ton of sense.
The New Orleans Saints schedule in the early part of the season sets up nicely for Brees to have another fantasy stud type season. It also looks great in the second part of the season including two matches during the fantasy playoffs with Buccaneers, who allowed the eighth most fantasy points to quarterbacks a season ago.
Unfortunately the middle of the Saints schedule is less than ideal. It starts to become dicey for fantasy owners starting with a Week 5 bye. The land mines come in Week 6, 8, and 10 when the Panthers, Seahawks and Broncos all come to town. These teams should be among the NFL’s elite defenses once again and pose real problems for Brees. Luckily for fantasy owners, the quarterback position is deep and there should be some names floating on the waiver wire to stream when a matchup is less than appealing.
Stop me if you have heard this before, but Kirk Cousins is a fantastic option. He is currently QB14 and may be my favorite QB to target for Weeks 5 and 6. He faces two teams that were in the top 10 for fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs. He faces the Ravens (9th) on the road and the Eagles (3rd) at home. Cousins has a fantastic array of weapons including Jordan Reed, DeSean Jackson, and Josh Doctson. He should do really well in the early part of his schedule proving last season was not a fluke.
If Cousins is not available then Joe Flacco would be my guy. He is currently QB29 of Fantasypros and is someone that has a fantastic schedule for Week 5 and 6. The Ravens will be home to face the Redskins and then go on the road to face the New York Giants. Both defenses were poor against the pass a season ago, with the Giants allowing the second most fantasy points to opposing QBs and the Redskins sitting at 11th. While there are questions about who will be the guys catching Flacco’s passes, there are plenty of options that should be able to step up including Kamar Aiken, Mike Wallace, and Ben Watson.
For the second set of games, Week 8 and 10, Tony Romo QB11 and Jameis Winston QB16 are two names that pop off the page for me. Both have terrific matchups and could floating around waiver wires around the time owners are looking for help.
In shallower leagues Tony Romo is a name that could make a ton of sense. An don’t fret if he is drafted in your league, when the waiver wire gets cooking often times other owners will drop their second QB. In Week 8 the Cowboys welcome the Philadelphia Eagles to town for Sunday Night football. Romo faces that Eagles pass defense that allowed the 3rd most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Two weeks later he faces the Steelers in a game that should be a shootout. A healthy Dez Bryant should help Romo remind fantasy owners how great of play he can be.
Jameis Winston is a fantastic option for fantasy owners to target to pair with Drew Brees especially for Week 8 and 10. The first five weeks of the Buccaneers schedule is rough with match-ups against the Cardinals, Rams, Broncos, and Panthers. There is a great chance after that stretch that Winston could be floating around on a ton of waiver wires. Winston will get two home games against the Raiders and the Bears. Both teams were in top 10 in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. I expect Winston to hit his stride in the second half of the season and be someone that helps fantasy owners win leagues down the stretch.