Much of Drew Brees' and Eli Manning's 2015 fantasy value came from one game
(Editor’s note: Our Crazy Fantasy Stat of the Day is an occasional free PFF Fantasy offering, highlighting something that catches our eye and helps us learn something for fantasy for 2016.)
We sent out a tweet recently (follow us at @PFF_Fantasy!) about quarterbacks. And while what we said was accurate, some readers thought it was misleading. So here we will expand on what we said. For reference, here’s the tweet:
Brees & Eli were 6th and 7th in fantasy scoring last year. Remove Week 8 (13 TDs combined), they were 12th and 13th. pic.twitter.com/3gMqGhHgEI
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) July 2, 2016
Drew Brees of the Saints and the Giants’ Eli Manning faced off in Week 8 last season. The final score was 52-49 in favor of the Saints. Brees went 39-of-50 passing, with 505 yards, seven touchdowns and two interceptions. That was good for 46 fantasy points in standard scoring. Manning, on the losing end, went 30-of-41 passing for 350 yards and six scores, producing 38 fantasy points. Brees’ game was the single biggest fantasy performance of the season, while Manning’s was fourth, behind Brees and Cam Newton’s 41 and David Johnson’s 40, both in Week 14. That’s why those two were highlighted in the tweet — when that much of a player’s scoring is tied up in one game, it can color the whole season all by itself.
That brings us to the Fantasy Stat of the Day: If you remove every quarterback’s single best game from 2015, Drew Brees and Eli Manning are the only two who drop by more than two ranking spots. Brees and Manning were sixth and seventh on the year; take our Week 8 (and every other quarterback’s top game), and they were ninth and 10th. Of the top 25 quarterbacks last year, 14 stayed in the same position in this exercise. The rest moved by only one or two slots, save Brees, Manning and the Jets’ Ryan Fitzpatrick, who actually climbed from 11th to a tie for sixth.
This is not to say to shy away from Brees and Manning, necessarily. Those points did happen, and if you had either of those guys, you likely won your week (unless you were one of the poor souls who happened to have one and go against the other). But calling a quarterback sixth overall when he spent the majority of the season more like ninth is misleading, and it’s beneficial to be aware of outlier games when preparing.
[Should you dive on a quarterback like Brees early in drafts, or wait longer and take a Manning type? Check our new fantasy draft tool and see what kind of draft you can put together.]
Our rankers still really believe in Brees for 2016; he’s the No. 5 quarterback in our staff consensus rankings right now, and our Mike Tagliere recently made the case for why Brees should go over Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger despite popular average draft position indicating otherwise. Manning, meanwhile, is ninth in those same quarterback rankings; with some intriguing new additions to go with star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., Manning has plenty of weapons. In any format, these two are likely to be helpful. In best-ball, though — like MFL10 games — big games like their Week 8 are season-makers.