Ed Barkowitz: Brees' generosity hurts Fantasy owners of Saints wideouts

Drew Brees' monster numbers are good for Brees owners.
Drew Brees' monster numbers are good for Brees owners.
Posted: September 18, 2009

DREW BREES DID something last year that no other quarterback has ever done.

He had a monster season and still managed to irk a portion of the fantasy population.

Oh, things were rosy for those who owned Brees. His 5,069 yards nearly broke Dan Marino's NFL record of 5,084, and his 34 touchdowns tied Philip Rivers for most in the league. Brees' only mistake was that he was too generous. He spread the ball around way too much to help anybody in fantasyland. Have a Saints receiver? Good luck.

In the history of the NFL, there have been 42 occurrences when quarterbacks have thrown for at least 4,200 yards in a season. Brees was the only one to do so without a 1,000-yard receiver.

Of the five highest totals, every other quarterback had two 1,000-yard receivers. Brees' top two yardage guys were Lance Moore (928) and Devery Henderson (793). Somebody get to work on those Canton busts, please.

True, top receiver Marques Colston would have hit a thousand if he didn't miss five games because of a thumb injury. But even without Colston for nearly a third of the season, Brees cracked 5,000 yards. Amazing.

"They do a great job spreading the ball around to numerous receivers," Eagles defensive coordinator Sean McDermott said. "He throws the ball to a spot, and whatever body in a black-and-gold jersey is standing there, that's the guy" getting the ball.

The Saints' annoying trend of receiver-by-committee continued Sunday as Brees torched the Lions for 358 yards and six touchdowns. Only Henderson had more than 55 of those yards, and the six scores went to five different Saints. Colston, by far New Orleans' most highly regarded fantasy receiver, had a very pedestrian three catches, 30 yards and a touchdown.

From a fantasy standpoint, Colston and Moore should be in all lineups. Henderson is a decent third wide receiver, and Robert Meachem should be on the radar as a sleeper.

"They have a ton of weapons over there," Eagles safety Quintin Mikell said. "They even use Reggie Bush as a wide receiver, too. It's almost like pick your poison and see what happens. But we have guys in our secondary that can cover, too. We're not scared."

AP watch

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson is off to a good start in his quest to become the sixth player in history to run for 2,000 yards in a season. We'll keep tabs on him each week.

Season total. . . 180

Must average for 2,000. . . 121.3

This week's opponent. . . at Detroit

Detroit rush yds allowed Sunday. . . 157

Three up

* Pierre Garcon, WR, Colts: Getting the start in place of injured Anthony Gonzalez. Deserves a look if only because Peyton Manning is the quarterback. Tight end Dallas Clark's production should rise as well. Hold off on adding Hank Baskett.

* Fred Jackson, RB, Bills: Ran hard against the Patriots and should be in for a big game against the Bucs. Will become trade bait for owners of Marshawn Lynch once Lynch is eligible to return from suspension in Week 4.

* Steve Smith, WR, Giants: Sure had the look of Eli Manning's favorite target Sunday. Shouldn't be on the waiver wire.

Three down

* Thomas Jones, RB, Jets: Rookie running back Shonn Greene's surprise inactivity had a lot to do with Jones wracking up 102 yards and two touchdowns Sunday. If you believe in striking while the iron is hot, now is the time to trade Jones, especially with games coming up against New England and Tennessee.

* LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, Chargers: Give LT and his gimpy ankle the week off against the Ravens. Darren Sproles is the backup everybody knows, but Michael Bennett also will see time if Tomlinson can't go.

* Kurt Warner, QB, Cardinals: Still not fully recovered from hip surgery and had a mediocre opener. The Cardinals threw it 48 times, so it might be wise to see whether Matt Leinart is available, just in case.

Contest winner

Roxborough's Anthony Lanatto won the first contest of the fantasy season. Readers were asked how many rushing yards the Panthers would get against the Eagles, and Lanatto's guess of 95 yards came closest to the actual total of 86. Lanatto will receive a DN Fantasy Football T-shirt. *

Ed Barkowitz, who nearly threw a brick through his TV after Jay Cutler's fourth interception Sunday night, has been writing about fantasy football in the Daily News since 2001. *

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