Fantasy Football 2012: Is Drew Brees or Tom Brady the Better Weekly Quarterback?

Jay Clemons@ATL_JayClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterAugust 15, 2012

Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a consensus Round 1 pick in fantasy drafts, threw for an NFL-record 5,476 yards (and 46 touchdowns) last season.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees, a consensus Round 1 pick in fantasy drafts, threw for an NFL-record 5,476 yards (and 46 touchdowns) last season.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Today's superstar edition of "Choose Your Quarterback" pits the Saints' Drew Brees against the Patriots' Tom Brady, the No. 2 and 4 passers in my latest ranking of the 32 presumed starting QBs for Week 1.

The updated QB rankings will be released next week.

In the meantime, here's a week-by-week fantasy breakdown of Brady vs. case you're torn on which 5,000-yard passer to covet in 12-team drafts.

Week 1—Brees (vs. Washington) over Brady (@ Tennessee)
Week 2—Brady (vs. Arizona) over Brees (@ Carolina)
Week 3—Brees (vs. Kansas City) over Brady (@ Baltimore)
Week 4—Brees (@ Green Bay) over Brady (@ Buffalo)
Week 5—Brees (vs. San Diego) over Brady (vs. Denver)
Week 6—Brady (@ Seattle) over Brees (BYE)
Week 7—Brady (vs. N.Y. Jets) over Brees (@ Tampa Bay)
Week 8—Brady (vs. St. Louis in London) over Brees (@ Denver)
Week 9—Brees (vs. Philadelphia) over Brady (BYE)
Week 10—Brady (vs. Buffalo) over Brees (vs. Atlanta)
Week 11—Brady (vs. Indianapolis) over Brees (@ Oakland)
Week 12—Brees (vs. San Francisco) over Brady (@ N.Y. Jets)
Week 13—Brady (@ Miami) over Brees (@ Atlanta)
Week 14—Brees (@ N.Y. Giants) over Brady (vs. Houston)
Week 15—Brees (vs. Tampa Bay) over Brady (vs. San Francisco)
Week 16—Brees (@ Dallas) over Brady (@ Jacksonville)
Week 17—Brady (vs. Miami) over Brees (vs. Carolina)

Final Tally

Brees clips Brady, 9-8


  • We could have flipped a coin to determine the better option for Weeks 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12 and 16, which reiterates just how close Brees (5,476 yards passing, 46 TDs in 2011) and Brady (5,239 yards, 42 total TDs) will be in fantasy drafts, regardless of scoring rules.

  • How close are the passers in the fantasy realm? I only favored a quarterback on the road over a home-standing QB one time (Brees in Week the Giants).
  • In Mock Draft Central's latest Average Draft Position rankings (account required), Brees has an ADP of 10—just two spots ahead of Brady.
  • I expect Brees and Brady to eclipse the elite QB threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns at least 12 times. Last season, Brees (14) and Brady (13) combined to hit that mark in 27 games.
  • For the fantasy playoff period of Weeks 13-16, Brees gets the nod over Brady three times, including a start for the Week 16 title game.
  • Now for the nitpicky portion of today's piece. I'm a little skittish about Brees' passing prospects, in the wake of Sean Payton's season-long suspension from the team. Payton's go-for-broke attitude might be tough to replicate, whether it's Brees or Pete Carmichael establishing the tempo on each play call.
  • Brady may be a first-ballot Hall of Famer in about 11 years, but there are three important things to remember about his fantasy candidacy for 2012:

    1. It took 10 full NFL seasons for Brady to eclipse the 5,000-yard passing mark.
    2. Brady's three greatest outings occurred in Weeks 1-3—and in descending order.
    3. Brady has enjoyed a seasonal improvement in touchdown passes only three times.


Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.