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Who should be drafted higher: Drew Brees or Ben Roethlisberger?

The general consensus of most fantasy experts is that Tom Brady and Payton Manning are the top 2 quarterbacks, with Tony Romo a close 3rd place.

  The question is then who should be taken next.

  Here, I will take a look at 2 great options in Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger, and evaluate which one is more valuable to your team.

 

Drew Brees

 

2007 stats: 440-652, 4,423 YDS, 276.4 YPG, 28 TD, 18 INT

 

Upside:

Throwing for more than 4,400 yards in 2 consecutive seasons shows that he must be doing something right.

  In addition, his touchdowns went up by 2 from 26 to 28, and that was without Joe Horn last season.

  He has a big-time receiver in Marques Colston, who proved that he’s no fluke by posting even bigger number than his rookie year.

  David Patten came out of nowhere to get nearly 800 yards, and Reggie Bush is always a threat for swing passes and screens in order to utilize his speed.

  Plus, playing 8 home games and 2 road games (

Atlanta and

Detroit) in a dome doesn’t hurt.

 

Downside:

Other than Colston, it’s hard to look at any of the other receivers and worry about big production.

  That may be a reason why Brees threw for 18 INT’s, which could be the result of trying to make something out of nothing.

  When Deuce McAllister went down for the year, Bush never really broke out like people were hoping he would.

  Also, an 0-4 start meant that desperate times called for desperate measures, which led to airing the ball out at least 35 times a game, including two 49 attempt games and one 60 attempt game.

  That’s a lot of passes, so mistakes are bound to happen somewhere along the way.

  No big playmakers were brought in during the offseason, so things could look very similar to last season.

 

Ben Roethlisberger

 

2007 stats: 264-404, 3,154 YDS, 210.3 YPG, 32 TD, 11 INT

 

Upside:

While the completions, attempts, and yards went down from 2006, so did the interceptions.

  Most importantly, the touchdowns skyrocketed from 18 to 32.

  All in all, it was another impressive season from the Super Bowl-winning QB.

  He has great options to throw to, with his main target still being Hines Ward, followed by the capable Santonio Holmes and TE Heath Miller.

  Nate Washington is a good 3rd option at WR, and Limas Sweed comes in via the draft.

  The running game is always a threat with Willie Parker and draft pick Rashard Mendenhall, so there will still be plenty of room to chuck it downfield, which is what Big Ben does best.

 

Downside:

It will be interesting to watch which Roethlisberger is more realistic: the one who threw for 17-18 TD’s on average his first 3 years, or the one who lit up the scoreboard with 32 last year.

  He’s turned into a great QB, but counting on 32 TD’s again may be asking too much.

  He complained in the offseason about wanting taller receivers, but will Sweed (6’4”) be the answer?

  Also, if Parker begins to slow down, will the Steelers still have enough of a ground game for defenses to stack the box with?

  Unlike Brees playing in domes, the

Pittsburgh weather can be quite unpredictable as the season goes on, as evidenced by the game against the Dolphins played in the slop and mud last November.

 

Who should be drafted first?

Big Ben may have better weapons, but Brees gets the nod for a few reasons.

  To being with, Brees has shown the ability to post big numbers with or without healthy players around him.

  With Deuce McAllister questionable with knee problems and an unproven Pierre Thomas as the backup RB, we may see more 40+ attempts in many games in order to win.

  While that could lead to high INT’s, it also could mean 25-30 TD’s once again.

 

The final tidbit that cannot be ignored is the dome factor.

  As I stated before, 10 of the 16 games will be played inside of a dome, which is a huge advantage for Brees.

  Roethlisberger will see some tough teams in November and December, like the Chargers, Cowboys, Patriots, and Titans.

  It’s a difficult stretch to end the season.

 

Each man will give you good numbers, but Brees is the one that will make you happier come playoff time.

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FantasySharks.com began in 2003, disseminating fantasy football content on the web for free. It is, or has been, home to some of the most talented and best known fantasy writers on the planet. Owned and operated by Tony Holm (5 time Fantasy Sports Writer Association Hall-of-Fame nominee,) Tony started writing fantasy content in 1993 for the only three fantasy football web sites in existence at the time.