Earlier today, Drew Brees officially announced his retirement from the NFL in an Instagram post.
The first-ballot Hall of Fame quarterback leaves behind a twenty-year career including 80,358 passing yards and 571 touchdowns. Brees has piled up record after record and is widely considered truly one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever set foot on a football field. It’s safe to say his presence will be missed by fans around the NFL, excluding anyone in the NFC South.
Brees’ retirement also leaves behind a gaping hole in the New Orleans Saints offense. Who will take over the role of quarterback for the Saints? Who will it benefit and whose stock is about to dip?
Assuming the Saints do not land Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson, let’s take a brief dive into the fantasy football realm of possibilities.
Michael Thomas – In this scenario, let’s assume Jameis Winston takes the reigns for New Orleans in 2021. Winston is a competent NFL quarterback who has ball-protection issues. He can throw the ball downfield, which should benefit all receivers for the Saints. However, his interception problem looms large for any fantasy manager trying to eat a W with Winston in their starting lineup.
Realistically, Thomas’s ADP and overall draft stock shouldn’t dip too low. He’s still Michael Thomas and even though Jameis Winston isn’t Drew Brees, he still has a 5,000-passing yard season under his belt.
Alvin Kamara – It showed quite often in 2020 how Brees’ arm strength was diminishing week after week and how Kamara was a huge beneficiary of it. The short passing game was part of the Saints’ bread and butter and now that Brees has retired, that strong foundation should continue well into 2021.
Kamara will see the same amount of targets and his ADP should stay right where it was in the previous year or two. His ability to catch the ball out of the backfield will carry this team forward no matter who takes over at the helm of the Saints’ offense.
How can the Saints have success in 2021? It’ll take some brilliant coaching from Sean Payton. How can they replace one of the best quarterbacks to ever play the game? They can’t.
It will be extremely interesting to follow the Saints throughout the rest of the offseason and into the regular season. Drew Brees is without a doubt a fantastic football player and he will be missed around the NFL. He was always a reliable option in fantasy football and he was a ton of fun to watch. He has done enough in this league and he damn near gave it all. Now it’s time for him to hang it up and admire the game from afar.