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Why you should draft Drew Brees in fantasy before Ben Roethlisberger

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) reacts in the second half of an NFL football game against the New York Giants in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015. The Saints won 52-49. (AP Photo/Jonathan Bachman)

When I was younger, I didn’t care about history. I’d sit in class and think to myself, “Why do I need to know what happened way back then?” I was living in the now, and thought I knew everything.

How dumb I was as a high school student, because now that I’m older, I find myself trying to catch up on everything related to history that I should’ve already known. In fantasy football, as in life, you have to know where you came from to know where you are going.

When deciding between two fantasy players who are relatively new on the scene, history in the league can only tell you so much. But for veterans, history can be everything. The New Orleans Saints’ Drew Brees and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger have been tooling around this league for longer than we even have PFF data (which goes to 2007). According to current ADP data, Roethlisberger is going off the board fifth among quarterbacks in fantasy drafts, while Brees is going eighth. So today we ask which one fantasy owners should target first in 2016. Whose history gives them the advantage?

Pitch count

Matthew Stafford was a top-10 fantasy quarterback in 2012 despite ranking 28th in fantasy points per dropback. He did that because he had 727 pass attempts, most in the league by almost 60.

Attempts matter.

Brees is known to throw a ton of passes, and hasn’t thrown fewer than 627 of them since back in 2009 (he was the guy who finished second to Stafford in 2012). He makes the most of them too, finishing with at least 32 touchdowns in each of the last eight seasons.

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