We all have a Fantasy dilemma once in a while, and one of those for this year is would you rather draft Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger?
This is part of a new series we’re starting on SCFE, where we choose two players at one position and debate who’s the better pick, despite their very similar ADP and draft value.
Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger have been two of the best quarterbacks in the NFL since they have come into the league.
Brees controls a high flying attack in New Orleans, while Roethlisberger goes under center for the most explosive offense (when everyone is healthy or not suspended).
Big Ben and Co. once again should easily light up the scoreboards, but in Fantasy Football, Brees still might be the better of the two.
In 2016, Draft Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger?
Let’s first compare what they both did most recently.
Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
- 2015: 15 GP, 4,870 passing yards, 32 touchdowns, 11 interceptions. 306.5 points, 20.4 points per game.
Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
- 2015: 12 GP, 3,938 passing yards, 21 touchdowns, 16 interceptions. 227.6 points, 19 points per game.
Brees, like so many other quarterbacks in 2015, had a slow start to the season before lighting up the stat sheet in the second half of the season. Through his first six games he only had a paltry eight touchdowns against four interceptions.
He would eventually return to form, but his slow start may be trouble to some owners. His slow start can be attributed to the loss of tight end Jimmy Graham, and all the new players at the wide receiver position.
Roethlisberger will have wide receiver Antonio Brown at his disposal once again, although Martavis Bryant will be suspended for the season and running back Le’Veon Bell could be suspended for four games. Expect that suspension to be lowered. Big Ben, given he can stay healthy should have yet another elite season.
While Brees may have had a slow start, he returned to form for the second half of the season and that should help fantasy owners sleep well before draft night. Given the emergence of receiver Willie Snead and the continued growth of Brandin Cooks, Brees will once again have some great weapons.
Sprinkle in tight end Coby Fleener, who if he can live up to his potential will add in yet another elite weapon, and Brees and the Saints will fly high once again. Maybe the most important thing for the Saints, in terms of fantasy, once again will be their defense.
Well their lack of defense. They allowed nearly 30 points per game, and even with the subtraction of Rob Ryan as their coordinator, there will not be a huge improvement in 2016. Brees will need to keep passing the ball just to try to keep his team in the game. Also given the fact that running back Mark Ingram is not the most reliable, the need to air it out is all the more dire.
Roethlisberger will start the season sans Bell and Bryant. The loss of Bell will hurt but it will not kill the offense. Backup running back DeAngelo Williams filled in when Bell was hurt and the offense did not miss a beat.
The loss of Bryant will not hurt the offense as much as people may think as in the nine games he played with Roethlisberger last year he only had two great games, and they were against the cupcake soft defenses of the Cleveland Browns and Indianapolis Colts. Save for those two games, his highest yardage output was 87 yards.
Sammie Coates and Markus Wheaton should fill in for Bryant and make sure the aerial attack is still elite.
Even with all of this said I still give Brees the slight overall advantage due to the fact that the Saints have no consistent ground game, play in what could be another very weak defensive division and will play in the Super Dome.
The Steelers play in the AFC North, which should be more competitive than it was last year with the Baltimore Ravens healthy. The Cleveland Browns will be well the Browns.
Draft Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger: The Verdict
Brees is the choice if you are deciding between him and Big Ben. The loss of Bryant may not hurt the overall team that much but now defenses can bracket Brown even more. This may only hurt Big Ben a little bit but expect 18 points per game this year.
Brees, on the other hand, has been consistently elite. He has no defense or run game and will need to air it out to keep his team in a game. Brees should hover in the 20-21 point per game range.
We currently have both of these players ranked one after another in our “So-Called” Fantasy Experts Quarterback Rankings for 2016!
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