This is going to be hard to do. Drew Brees has been a stalwart for fantasy enthusiasts for years. A player you could count on every year. But damn, it might be time to start looking at other options.
I know he won you a fantasy league title last year. But that was last year. Father Time is coming for everybody. He hasn't quite entered the same restaurant as Peyton Manning and Kobe Bryant, but he's got reservations for the near future.
It's like one of those WWE legends you see on your television set. You pop when you hear their music, but at some point you just get sad at seeing them try to wrestle. (And I'm not going to say who that is. All right, it's Sting. And the Undertaker. But that's it. All right, maybe Chris Jericho.) But that's what Brees has become. He's almost a nostalgia act at this point and he deserves to be on your bench.
And really, it goes beyond the matchup against the Carolina Panthers this week. Though I'm totally benching him for the guy I find on the wire this week. Brees has three touchdown passes and four interceptions in his last three against the Panthers. I understand the Saints are at home, but I'm going to pass on this one.
But there are other terrible matchups for the Saints in the fantasy playoffs. I know, a lot of you look at the matchup with the Jaguars in Week 16 and think, "That's the one!" Well that's great. But when Brees gives you 213 yards and a pair of touchdowns with two picks against the Lions in Week 15, you might not even be in a position to get to that game.
So it's time to hit the wire. Truth be told, if Matthew Stafford were available in your league, he would be worth a grab for that Week 15 game. Though he's probably long gone in your leagues; but it warrants a mention.
My dream scenario would be for Matt Hasselbeck, Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jay Cutler to be available because all of them have good matchups. Hell, if we're going to play the dream of dreams game, I would like it if Tom Brady were available this week, too. But I've given you a number of other suggestions down below you can pick up this week. My top recommendation would be Marcus Mariota.
And if you want to start with the planning ahead for the playoffs, here's a handy guide for you to follow.
For the record, Stafford is owned in 77 percent of NFL.com leagues. But I do play in one competitive 10-team league where he is available and I've made a bid for him. I'm in first place, so I've resigned myself to the fact I won't get him, but it is fun to think about. I put in eight waiver claims for a QB this week in that league (And in all of them I'm dropping Carlos Hyde in the process. I have Chris Ivory and Doug Martin as my starters. Bilal Powell as my handcuff to Ivory, and Ameer Abdullah.) This league is mostly folks who play one QB and then roll with it. I like this a lot better.
I did check my league of record (the league you love and care about the most), and Stafford was long gone. And that's my most competitive league because unlike the NFL Fantasy Live league, everybody tries in that one. So that was a lot of words about Stafford. But (expletive), it's always worth it to take a look.
All right here are Rank's 11 for the coming week.
He's had three touchdowns in a game three times this season. That's tied for the second-most for a rookie since 1970. The Jaguars have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
The team promoted the quarterback coach to offensive coordinator this week after Bill Lazor was fired. The Ravens have allowed the second-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year.
I was surprised he was as effective as he was on Monday night, given the limitations at quarterback. But the Dolphins have allowed the second-most fantasy points to running backs this year.
He's had a receiving touchdown in two of his last three. The Jets are winning. But they have allowed 13 touchdown receptions over the last five weeks.
He's tied for second on the team with four touchdown receptions this year. The Chiefs have played much better this year. But they have still allowed the most receiving yards to wide receivers this year.
He's had touchdowns in back-to-back games, with at least 12 fantasy points. And really, we can't have him in "That Helps No One" again.