By Christian S. Kohl
With fantasy drafts now in full swing, would-be owners are scrambling to unlock the secrets of this year’s draft. Which rookies will emerge as superstars? Which castoffs will find a fresh start in a new organization? And, perhaps, most importantly, which fantasy superstars will continue to produce? To that end, let’s take a closer look at who might be the best QB option this year in fantasy: Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees.
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First, each owner must fully understand the scoring settings of his league. Whether passing touchdowns count for the standard 4 or the unconventional 6 could be enough to tip the scales. Brees’ yardage totals are always off the charts, as are his touchdown totals, even more so than the inhuman Rodgers. The knock on Brees, if there is any, is his higher INT rate relative to ARodg. When the value of a passing at 6 offsets the INT penalty more greatly than 4, the additional TD’s become all the more valuable.
Both of these quarterbacks are absolutely astoundingly good, and to land either one to lead your team is a major win. One of these two will very likely lead all fantasy scorers by year’s end, with the other trailing close behind by a few points. So when hunting for that marginal edge, consider these few things.
The ability of Rodgers to complete passes under fire with effectively no offensive line is amazing and thrilling to watch, but ultimately it boosts his risk of injury. He’s more likely to take the vicious blindside hit and blow out a knee than Brees is, who frequently has all day to hang back there before hucking a 60 yard bomb to Lance Moore. Point Brees.
The running game of New Orleans is a more formidable one than that of Green Bay, which leads to more touches for running backs in red zone situations than the Packers see. Ingram, Sproles, and even Pierre Thomas will vulture TD’s from Brees more often than Lacy likely will from Rodgers. Point Rodgers.
The defense of New Orleans is atrocious, which leads to more passing situations and longer TOP for Brees than Rodgers frequently gets when the fourth quarter is garbage time featuring shutdown running. Point Brees.
Rodgers is a much better scrambler than Brees, and consequently picks up more rushing yards. He is also more likely to score rushing touchdowns, which is a marginal edge in 4 pt TD leagues. Point Rodgers. Rodgers supposedly had a bit of a “down” year last year, which kept Brees right on his heels pointswise. If both quarterbacks play to their full potential and have inspired years, Rodgers will be the highest overall fantasy scorer again. Yet another point Rodgers.
One final consideration: Aaron Rodgers gets drafted far sooner on average than Drew Brees. In many leagues, Rodgers goes as high as mid to high first round, with Brees going somewhere later first to second round. With a middling snake pick, you may be able to pass Rodgers through and try to hang on for Brees in the second. It’s a gamble, but it is a consideration.
There is no wrong answer with these two. The ceiling for Rodgers is a tiny bit higher due to the lower INT’s and the rushing yardage. Don’t reach too high to get him, but the slimmest of edges goes to Rodgers this week. But if you see it differently and snag Brees with ARodg still on the table, enjoy the 5,000 passing yards and 40+ TD’s. Take either of these guys and it’s a win.
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Christian S. Kohl is a sports contributor for CBS Local Digital Media.