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A funny thing happened to me while working out this week. I work out with a trainer named Al, a New Orleans native who lives and dies with the Saints. He would never, ever say anything bad about his team but in the wake of a meandering season for Drew Brees, Al thinks he knows why the quarterback is struggling.
"He had a baby," Al said. "Every time that guy has a baby he stinks."
Quick fact check: Brees and his wife indeed had a baby girl in August. The little lady is the youngest of four as she inherited three brothers, born in January 2009, October 2010 and August 2012. I'm pretty sure Brees won the Super Bowl in 2009 but came way back down to earth in 2010. Then in 2011 he threw for over 5,400 yards and 46 touchdowns -- and then dipped a little bit off of those numbers (but was still really awesome) in 2012.
So maybe it's not the baby. Maybe it's the offensive line not being as effective or his receiving corps not quite delivering like it used to or his team running a little bit more. Maybe he misses Darren Sproles. Whatever it is, it's making us cry like babies.
Statistically speaking, Brees is still a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback, but he hasn't had that big blowout game yet. His last three have been 20 or more points in a standard league but no more than 23. He needed overtime last week to get to 20 points in a home game against the Buccaneers. He's been more like Russell Wilson than Russell Wilson.
Is it time to move on from Brees? If you can make the right deal, you should. He's still a capable Fantasy starter that owners of Nick Foles, Colin Kaepernick and Tom Brady would be happy to have. And he still might carry more clout in your leagues than Philip Rivers, Russell Wilson, Jay Cutler, Tony Romo and Eli Manning.
There are two types of deals that Brees should be involved in. One is by owners who drafted one of the "less clout" quarterbacks along with Brees and can afford to dump Brees for a quality starter while still going with someone like Rivers or Wilson or Eli. The other is by owners who only drafted Brees but can spin him off for Cutler, Romo or Eli along with another low-end player, maybe even someone not listed on the trade chart but a player who can help. Trades involving Brees for, say, Ben Roethlisberger and the aforementioned low-end player shouldn't be considered. In other words, don't deal Brees just to do it since he still represents a reliable starting option -- you'll still need one if you let him go.
Besides the current track record through five games and the timing of his bye week, the biggest factor in dealing off Brees is his remaining schedule. The Top 3 teams currently listed in Fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks (the Lions, Bengals and Packers) are all in his future. So are the 49ers, Ravens and Steelers, all Top 10 units. The Saints have four outdoor games left this season, all against suspect defenses: Carolina, Baltimore, Chicago and Tampa Bay in Week 17. Those matchups represent nine of his remaining 12 games! It doesn't mean he'll flop in all nine of them, but if he couldn't find more than 20 Fantasy points in an overtime game against the Buccaneers (ranked 27th in Fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks) then maybe expectations shouldn't be so high.
Here are some actual trades involving Brees made on CBSSports.com since Week 5 concluded:
Drew Brees and Roy Helu for Brandon Marshall and Nick Foles: This is the kind of trade you should look for if you have Brees and are sick of looking at him. Marshall has been disappointing but should rebound -- and an especially rich player to get in a deal if you're downgrading from Brees to Foles.
Drew Brees and Matt Asiata for Jamaal Charles and Cam Newton: Don't ask me what the Charles owner was thinking here. Charles is the best player in the deal and a no-brainer to take in exchange for moving down from Brees to Cam every week.
Drew Brees and Julio Jones for Michael Crabtree and Aaron Rodgers: The Brees/Jones side is too much to give here. Sure, Rodgers is on fire and Crabtree has No. 1 receiver potential, but with Brees still considered a Top 10 passer and Jones among the elite receivers in Fantasy, it's just too rich. Rodgers is definitely better than Brees, but not enough to downgrade from Julio to Crab. Julio to Marshall or Emmanuel Sanders would be a different story.
Drew Brees and Giovani Bernard for Peyton Manning: Again, an owner is severely underestimating Brees here. It should take a lot to land Peyton in a trade, but Gio isn't a slouch and Brees isn't either. I'd deal Peyton for this duo in any league.
Drew Brees for Julius Thomas and Cam Newton: Here's an example of someone overestimating Brees. Thomas is one of the safest bets in Fantasy -- he alone is too valuable to give up for Brees. Throw in Cam and it's even more of a gimme for the owner looking to ship Brees.
Drew Brees and Larry Donnell for Le'Veon Bell: This trade's not too far off from even, though it still favors the Brees and Donnell side. This is also the kind of swap you'll want to pull off if you have Brees and another quarterback like Eli, willing to ride with the other guy for the rest of the year. In those circumstances Brees is expendable, so getting rid of him for less than what his value is this week isn't so bad.
Our Trade Value Chart is designed to help you in making fair trades in your standard-scoring or PPR league. The values assigned to the players below are a long-term measurement of their Fantasy value. By adding two players' values you could determine what one player you might be able to get in return. This list should also work as a "Rest of Season" Rankings.
|DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL||35||38||Keenan Allen, WR, SD||18||20||Tom Brady, QB, NE||10||10|
|Marshawn Lynch, RB, SEA||35||37||Reggie Wayne, WR, IND||17||20||Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT||10||10|
|Antonio Brown, WR, PIT||34||38||Steve Smith, WR, BAL||17||19||Seahawks DST||10||10|
|Peyton Manning, QB, DEN||34||34||DeAndre Hopkins, WR, HOU||17||19||Brandin Cooks, WR, NO||9||12|
|Julio Jones, WR, ATL||33||38||Percy Harvin, WR, SEA||17||19||Shane Vereen, RB, NE||9||11|
|Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN||33||37||Ahmad Bradshaw, RB, IND||17||19||Fred Jackson, RB, BUF||9||11|
|A.J. Green, WR, CIN||32||36||Sammy Watkins, WR, BUF||16||18||Branden Oliver, RB, SD||9||11|
|Jordy Nelson, WR, GB||32||36||Lamar Miller, RB, MIA||16||17||Bishop Sankey, RB, TEN||9||10|
|Dez Bryant, WR, DAL||32||36||Matthew Stafford, QB, DET||16||16||Knile Davis, RB, KC||9||10|
|Le'Veon Bell, RB, PIT||32||35||Michael Floyd, WR, ARI||15||18||Ryan Mathews, RB, SD||9||10|
|Jamaal Charles, RB, KC||31||34||Antonio Gates, TE, SD||15||17||Lorenzo Taliaferro, RB, BAL||9||9|
|Matt Forte, RB, CHI||31||33||Zac Stacy, RB, STL||15||16||Mark Ingram, RB, NO||9||9|
|Aaron Rodgers, QB, GB||31||31||Joique Bell, RB, DET||15||16||Cam Newton, QB, CAR||9||9|
|Calvin Johnson, WR, DET||30||33||Brian Quick, WR, STL||14||17||Josh Gordon, WR, CLE||8||11|
|Eddie Lacy, RB, GB||30||32||T.Y. Hilton, WR, IND||14||17||Jordan Cameron, TE, CLE||8||10|
|Andrew Luck, QB, IND||30||30||Martellus Bennett, TE, CHI||14||17||Pierre Thomas, RB, NO||8||10|
|Randall Cobb, WR, GB||29||33||Rashad Jennings, RB, NYG||14||17||Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, MIN||8||9|
|Jimmy Graham, TE, NO||29||33||Travis Kelce, TE, KC||14||16||Torrey Smith, WR, BAL||8||9|
|Julius Thomas, TE, DEN||28||31||Ben Tate, RB, CLE||14||15||Carlos Hyde, RB, SF||8||9|
|Giovani Bernard, RB, CIN||28||31||Pierre Garcon, WR, WAS||13||16||Knowshon Moreno, RB, MIA||8||9|
|Emmanuel Sanders, WR, DEN||27||31||Larry Donnell, TE, NYG||13||16||Terrance West, RB, CLE||8||9|
|Arian Foster, RB, HOU||27||30||Golden Tate, WR, DET||13||15||Steven Jackson, RB, ATL||8||9|
|Matt Ryan, QB, ATL||26||26||Montee Ball, RB, DEN||13||15||Kendall Wright, WR, TEN||7||10|
|Brandon Marshall, WR, CHI||25||28||Justin Forsett, RB, BAL||13||15||Eddie Royal, WR, SD||7||9|
|Russell Wilson, QB, SEA||25||25||Stevan Ridley, RB, NE||13||13||Allen Robinson, WR, JAC||7||9|
|LeSean McCoy, RB, PHI||24||27||Colin Kaepernick, QB, SF||13||13||Heath Miller, TE, PIT||7||9|
|Jeremy Maclin, WR, PHI||23||26||Wes Welker, WR, DEN||12||15||Darren Sproles, RB, PHI||7||9|
|Rob Gronkowski, TE, NE||23||26||Rueben Randle, WR, NYG||12||14||Jeremy Hill, RB, CIN||7||8|
|Drew Brees, QB, NO||23||23||DeSean Jackson, WR, WAS||12||14||Jerick McKinnon, RB, MIN||7||8|
|Jay Cutler, QB, CHI||23||23||Greg Olsen, TE, CAR||12||14||Ronnie Hillman, RB, DEN||7||8|
|Victor Cruz, WR, NYG||22||25||Reggie Bush, RB, DET||12||14||Andy Dalton, QB, CIN||7||7|
|Alfred Morris, RB, WAS||22||22||Matt Asiata, RB, MIN||12||12||Andrew Hawkins, WR, CLE||6||9|
|Philip Rivers, QB, SD||22||22||Eric Decker, WR, NYJ||11||14||John Brown, WR, ARI||6||8|
|Alshon Jeffery, WR, CHI||21||24||Marques Colston, WR, NO||11||13||Jordan Matthews, WR, PHI||6||8|
|Kelvin Benjamin, WR, CAR||20||23||Vernon Davis, TE, SF||11||13||Malcom Floyd, WR, SD||6||8|
|Tony Romo, QB, DAL||20||20||Doug Martin, RB, TB||11||13||Mohamed Sanu, WR, CIN||6||8|
|Mike Wallace, WR, MIA||19||22||C.J. Spiller, RB, BUF||11||13||Zach Ertz, TE, PHI||6||8|
|Frank Gore, RB, SF||19||20||Nick Foles, QB, PHI||11||11||Jason Witten, TE, DAL||6||8|
|Eli Manning, QB, NYG||19||19||Larry Fitzgerald, WR, ARI||10||13||Chris Johnson, RB, NYJ||6||8|
|Julian Edelman, WR, NE||18||22||Andre Johnson, WR, HOU||10||13||Niles Paul, TE, WAS||6||7|
|Roddy White, WR, ATL||18||21||Delanie Walker, TE, TEN||10||12||Owen Daniels, TE, BAL||6||7|
|Terrance Williams, WR, DAL||18||20||Dwayne Allen, TE, IND||10||12||Eric Ebron, TE, DET||6||7|
|Vincent Jackson, WR, TB||18||20||Khiry Robinson, RB, NO||10||11||Bobby Rainey, RB, TB||6||7|
|Andre Ellington, RB, ARI||18||20||Andre Williams, RB, NYG||10||11||Darren McFadden, RB, OAK||5||6|
|Michael Crabtree, WR, SF||18||20||Chris Ivory, RB, NYJ||10||10||Alfred Blue, RB, HOU||5||5|