Why Brees is the top fantasy QB

Drew Brees appears poised to succeed Peyton Manning as fantasy's No. 1 QB. Getty Images

Peyton Manning won the NFL MVP award in 2013, and his league-leading 406 points in ESPN.com standard scoring made a strong case for his being the MVP in fantasy football as well.

Those looking for a repeat of that performance have caused Manning to rank fourth overall in average draft position (ADP) in snake drafts and sixth in ADP in auction drafts. Those picks would be recommended if the same factors were in place as last season, but there is a litany of reasons pointing to his fantasy point decline in 2014, as detailed here.

Fortunately, there is a quarterback who has multiple factors indicating he might be able to step up and take Manning's place as the most effective fantasy football quarterback in 2014: Drew Brees.

Brees already has been a dominant QB1 the past three years. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Brees is the most prolific fantasy quarterback in that time frame on a cumulative basis (1,065 points) and is tied with Manning on a per-game basis (22.19). Those figures would give Brees at least second-round caliber value in nearly every draft room, but the high volume of upside factors for the New Orleans Saints' passing attack make Brees likely to repeat Manning's fantasy MVP-caliber 2013 season, and that makes him a first-round draft pick in my book.

The case for this revolves around four elements: