Why you should draft Drew Brees in fantasy before Ben Roethlisberger

Early drafts have the Pittsburgh quarterback going earlier, but Mike Tagliere says history is on Drew Brees' side.

| 5 months ago
(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

(AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

Why you should draft Drew Brees in fantasy before Ben Roethlisberger

When I was younger, I didn’t care about history. I’d sit in class and think to myself, “Why do I need to know what happened way back then?” I was living in the now, and thought I knew everything.

How dumb I was as a high school student, because now that I’m older, I find myself trying to catch up on everything related to history that I should’ve already known. In fantasy football, as in life, you have to know where you came from to know where you are going.

When deciding between two fantasy players who are relatively new on the scene, history in the league can only tell you so much. But for veterans, history can be everything. The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger have been tooling around this league for longer than we even have PFF data (which goes to 2007). According to current ADP data, Roethlisberger is going off the board fifth among quarterbacks in fantasy drafts, while Brees is going eighth. So today we ask which one fantasy owners should target first in 2016. Whose history gives them the advantage?

Pitch count

Matthew Stafford was a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2012 despite ranking 28th in fantasy points per dropback. He did that because he had 727 pass attempts, most in the league by almost 60.

Attempts matter.

Brees is known to throw a ton of passes, and hasn’t thrown fewer than 627 of them since back in 2009 (he was the guy who finished second to Stafford in 2012). He makes the most of them too, finishing with at least 32 touchdowns in each of the last eight seasons.

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Mike Tagliere is a Lead Writer for PFF Fantasy. He's ranked as a top-six fantasy football expert twice over the last four years by FantasyPros.com.

  • Ben

    Roth has one of the most productive WRs in the game on his team. Interesting in the weapons category, you didn’t mention Antonio Brown.

    • Daniel Kelley

      “Weapons” was more meant to look for what has changed from last year (and has now been edited to “changing weapons”). Roethlisberger has had Antonio Brown for years and it hasn’t helped him outperform Brees yet.

      • Kevin Michael

        Except in Super Bowl Titles.

        • Coronus

          .. and how many SB’s have AB and Ben won together?
          The idiocy of some people is astounding..

          • Kevin Michael

            AB was a rookie in 2010, and the Steelers of course appeared in and lost the Super Bowl that year. He was actually a key contributor in the playoff run leading up to that Super Bowl appearance, making a long catch to set up the go ahead TD in the divisional round playoff game against Baltimore, and a key 3rd down catch to run out the clock against the Jets in the AFC Championship game.

            After that appearance, Pittsburgh went through a few years of purging the aging defenders who helped them win SB 43 and get to SB 45. If the team can avoid the injury bug that plagued them for much of last year, I am expecting them to compete for the title, as are many experts who report on the league.

            Current Vegas odds have the Steelers 10:1 and the 3rd ranked team, while the Saints are 60:1 and the 24th ranked team.

            But yeah, I’m an idiot…………..

          • Coronus

            You sure are

            The point being made is that since they’ve been teammates, AB and Ben, Ben has yet to outperform Brees in fantasy leagues

            You fired back by saying AB has helped Ben capture more SB titles than Brees
            But in reality they both have the same number in that span.. 0

            So yes I stand by my claim that it was an idiotic statement you made, seeing as how it is false

            Comprehension is key

          • Kevin Michael

            Right, I get it. Ben is not a fantasy QB, he’s a QB that wins Super Bowls.

            I stopped playing fantasy long ago, when I realized it was pretty darn silly to root for poor strategic decisions to let my WR or QB score a few more points.

            Brees racks up stats, I get that. And Ben having AB has not helped him rack up more fantasy stats than Brees.

            But Ben does have more rings, with or without AB. In the area of NFL championships, Ben has outperformed Brees.

            You calling me an astounding idiot over one comment made on a fantasy football article is a great example of idiocy itself. You’ve made an entire judgement statement off of one short comment, for which you misunderstood the meaning.

            So yes, the idiocy of some people is astounding, I agree……….

          • Coronus

            At least we agree on something

            Daniel simply stated that having AB has yet to manifest into a more productive season for Ben over Brees. He was OBVIOUSLY referring to statistics seeing how this is an article about FANTASY football

            And then you followed up with that statement that can only imply that AB has helped Ben win SB titles, which again is a false claim.
            How is anyone supposed to “understand” that you meant Ben has won more titles without AB when you delivered that as a direct response to a true statement that even with AB Ben hasn’t outproduced Brees? You completely changed the subject.
            Sounds to me that you’re a hero worshiper coming to Ben’s defense, that only makes you look even dumber.

            And if you wanna take it there, Brees has won a championship more recently..
            Not only that but his SB winning performance was one of the best ever, by comparison Ben’s 1st title is one of if not the worst ever, right down there with Manning’s this past season. To credit him with the win as opposed to the team is pretty idiotic indeed.
            His 2nd title win was more impressive but still not nearly up to Drew’s standard.
            The SB LOSS to GB was another underwhelming performance where he put his defense, and entire team, in a very difficult position and it led to a score difference that proved to be insurmountable.. but I don’t see you mentioning anything about him being a SB loser.. which you can’t say about Brees :)

            So while Ben does have 1 more ring he hasn’t outperformed Brees in any SB game.. only a hero worshiper/idiot would argue against that :)
            Drew is also one of the best playoff performers ever.
            Who else boasts 100.7 QBR 24-6 TD/INT Ratio 65.95 Completion Percentage?
            .. I’ll give you a hint.. it ain’t Ben!
            Not even close!

            You’re implying that Brees is just a fantasy QB that doesn’t win but if he was on a more complete team than the “Aints” I guarantee he would go a long way to making them into a contender.
            I think he’s the most cerebral QB in the league right now and you can make a case that he is also the most accurate.. in league history. Best career completion percentage of all time.. and he’s not doing it in a dink and dunk offense like the Patriots nor does he have the benefit of an AB.

            If you’re gonna get that defensive for being called dumb every time you make a false statement, no matter how much you swear it was misunderstood..
            .. then I would like to welcome you to the internet!
            You’re also too egotistical to admit I was not off base for saying what I said, I would wager.

            Just for good measure
            Not a Saints fan, just someone that understands Football is a team game
            And no one QB has suffered more from the lack of pieces surrounding him than Drew (Save for perhaps Rivers)

            There that was fun :)

          • dustin

            hahaha so glad I read these comments… made my night:) this guy killed it! two thumps up!!! by the way I’m not a saints fan… RAIDER NATION!!!

          • Coronus

            I decided to drop by and see if our friend here wanted to continue his attempt at making a case for his idol..

            A little disappointed to see that he has decided to throw in the towel instead.. not that I blame him, not after that smackdown lol

            Just a typical Steeler fan trying to talk up his QB because he feels he should be mentioned in the same breath as the truly elite passers. I actually don’t disagree with that.. but his argument was just laughable..

            And plus he’s doing it in the wrong forum..
            The bottom line is no QB has ever done it by themselves ESPECIALLY not Ben

            Anyway, I’m glad you enjoyed the show XD
            And thank you for your approval
            I’m no Saints fan either, I am a fan of Brees however.

            Best of luck to you and your team this season

  • Nick Cortez

    Brees has been incredibly consistent. The only reason he isn’t in the top 1-2 QBs category for fantasy is because he doesn’t run the ball. His weapons got better this off season and the offensive line has a chance to be better than it was last season, too. I’m not saying Ben is a bad QB, but I would take Drew over him in fantasy any day.