By Adam Harris-
(CBS) I have a dilemma that I think speaks to many fantasy teams out there.
Should I trade Drew Brees?
Right off the bat you may answer a big fat “NO” to that question. I mean, why would anyone want to trade the second best fantasy quarterback in the game? He’s the reason you are currently very close to, if not in, first place in your league, and his potential for blow up games can carry you the rest of the year.
While all of that is true, there is still one major thing looming in my head. His extremely tough playoff schedule. In Week 14, Brees and the Saints are at home against Carolina, who give up the least points to fantasy quarterbacks per week at just over 10 points.
In Week 15, the Saints visit the Rams who rank 10th in fantasy points given up to QB’s, and Brees and the Saints struggle to put up the anticipated, astronomical numbers away from the Superdome. In Week 16, CHAMPIONSHIP WEEK, Brees goes to Carolina and the Panthers give up an average of just eight points per week to opposing teams at home.
I must point out, however, that the best quarterback the Panthers defense has seen is Matt Ryan (ATL) and that was after the Falcons lost Julio Jones (WR) and were without Roddy White (WR). This Monday night is a huge test for that Carolina Panthers defense as they face their first stud quarterback in Tom Brady (NE).
For Brees owners, that was a very scary paragraph to read, and it makes you ponder if trading Brees would be the right move for your team. Let’s say you are securely in the playoffs, and own Brees. You are happy with your team, except you want to improve at a particular position to perfect your team. If you were able to get a quarterback with a very nice fantasy playoff schedule like Tony Romo (DAL) or Philip Rivers (SD) AND a stud at the WR, RB, or FLEX position, wouldn’t you consider dealing Brees?
Before going any further, let’s set up a few hard and fast rules to live by if you are a Brees owner and debating a trade. Answering YES to any of the following rules means you should shy away from dealing Brees.
1) If you are in a six point per passing TD league, I would advise against dealing Brees. His value is so high in those leagues because of the Saints willingness to throw the ball from inside the 10 yard line, rather than run in a score.
2) If you are in question of making the playoffs, do not trade Brees. He has an iffy schedule upcoming, as he sees the 49ers this week and the Seahawks in Week 13, but at least the 49ers are in the Superdome. In Week 12 Brees sees the leaky Falcons secondary, so he and the Saints should have enough fire power to get you in to the playoffs.
3) If you are on the verge of getting a bye, do not deal Brees. A bye in the fantasy playoffs is a priceless thing, and for the same reasons as rule No. 2, you should keep Brees to ensure the bye and leave yourself just one playoff win from entering the championship.
OK, now let’s get back to the idea of trading Brees, a move I have pondered for a week or so in one of my leagues. I will solve this internal debate rationally, by looking at the potential numbers of all players involved in a potential trade, and go by that.
Let’s roll with an example I listed a few paragraphs ago where I will deal Drew Brees and receive Tony Romo, who has very favorable fantasy playoff schedule, and A.J. Green (WR-CIN).
Romo has been very inconsistent, but sees the Bears, Packers and Redskins respectively in the fantasy playoffs. Even Romo cannot miss on those match ups, thus he would put up numbers close to what Brees will do when playing the Panthers, Rams and Panthers in the same fantasy playoffs.
A.J. Green is a great fantasy wide receiver, and would be quite an addition to any already successful roster. This two for one is very fair and could end up winning the former Brees fantasy owner a championship.
I think I just talked myself into shopping Brees, however it must be done right. Below is a formula I created for players looking to deal or wind up with Brees. Do not take anything less than what is in my formula if you decide to shop Brees. Remember, you have all of the leverage.
I have assigned a point value to each of the following tiers of players. Do not accept anything below a “4.” A Bold player indicates my preference in the group. If you pick two Bold players, you add a point to the total at the end. BEGIN with the quarterbacks and move on. You cannot do this trade without a quarterback on this list.
3 POINT VALUE – Peyton Manning (DEN)
2 POINT VALUE – Tony Romo (DAL), Philip Rivers (SD), Tom Brady (NE), Cam Newton (CAR), Matt Stafford (DET)
1 POINT VALUE – Matt Ryan (ATL), Russell Wilson (SEA), Robert Griffin III (WAS)
3 POINT VALUE – NONE because I would not trade any RB straight up for Brees. You need at least one of the above QB’s in the trade to do it.
2 POINT VALUE – Jamaal Charles (KC), Marshawn Lynch (SEA), Reggie Bush (DET), Matt Forte (CHI), Adrian Peterson (MIN), LeSean McCowy (PHI), Knowshon Moreno (DEN), Frank Gore (SF), Stevan Ridley (NE)
1 POINT VALUE – Alfred Morris (WAS), DeMarco Murray (DAL), Le’veon Bell (PIT), Zach Stacy (STL), Eddie Lacy (GB)
3 POINT VALUE – Calvin Johnson (DET)
2 POINT VALUE – Percy Harvin (SEA), Brandon Marshall (CHI), DeSsan Jackson (PHI), Dez Bryant (DAL), Demaryius Thomas (DEN), Andre Johnson (HOU), A.J. Green (CIN)
1 POINT VALUE – Larry Fitzgerald (AZ), Vincent Jackson (TB), Pierre Garcon (WAS), Keenan Allen (SD), Eric Decker (DEN), Wes Welker (DEN), Antonio Brown (PIT), Josh Gordon (CLE), Danny Amendola (NE)
3 POINT VALUE – Jimmy Graham (NO), Rob Gronkowski (NE)
2 POINT VALUE – Julius Thomas (DEN)
1 POINT VALUE – Vernon Davis (SF), Jordan Reed (WAS), Jason Witten (DAL), Tony Gonzalez (ATL)
There you have it – a guide to trading Drew Brees. If you are interested in acquiring Brees you can also use this chart and this article. Remember, do not stretch your budget to trade or acquire Brees. Deciding to hang on to Brees is also a very commendable decision.
You cannot second guess yourself for doing so, but look at the rest of your roster and determine if it is a championship type team. If not, I hope I gave you something to think about, and a nice guide to possibly trading Drew Brees.
Follow Adam Harris on Twitter @AHarris670 and ask him Fantasy Football questions. Also, listen to the Friday Fantasy Nerd Herd Hour on Friday nights/Saturday mornings with Joe Ostrowski.