Four Downs: The top fantasy scorer is ... 

December, 30, 2012
12/30/12
11:45
PM ET
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was a fantasy monster this season, while Arian Foster, Doug Martin and Marshawn Lynch certainly produced like champs as well. Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson broke the record for receiving yards in a season. Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady of the New England Patriots scored like the first-round picks they were, and nobody could complain about Denver Broncos veteran Peyton Manning or rookie Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins. However, none of these fellows led all of fantasy in standard scoring for the 2012 season.

Congrats to somewhat overlooked, but incredibly consistent, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees for this first-time honor. He has been a top-10 quarterback for an amazing nine consecutive seasons -- Rodgers, Brady and Manning can't say this -- and there's little reason for concern about falling short of a 10th year in 2013. Back in August, there was mild concern about Brees being able to repeat his monster 2011 campaign due to various factors (age, contract, the bounty mess, loss of coach, change in weapons), and perhaps it factored into him being merely the third quarterback chosen on average in ESPN live drafts . Regardless, with his 29 standard points against Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers in Sunday's Week 17 loss, Brees ended up with 337 points, tops in the game, and one must wonder, is that enough to make him the top quarterback for 2013 drafts?

[+] EnlargeDrew Brees
Josh D. Weiss/USA TODAY SportsDrew Brees had 18-plus fantasy points (ESPN standard scoring) in all but four games this season.
Well, the case can certainly be made. After all, on Sunday Brees completed consecutive seasons with 5,000-plus passing yards and 40-plus touchdown passes, a first for either statistic in NFL history. There have been six individual seasons of 5,000 passing yards, and Brees owns half of them. Neither he nor returning coach Sean Payton are leaving the Saints anytime soon, and while arguably the worst defense ever needs a lot of help, the offense cruised again, even with surrounding injuries and modest change, just like always. Brees closed the season with three consecutive 29-point performances, and his only bad performance was in Week 13, when he threw five interceptions at Atlanta. Other than that, nobody could complain, because no player scored more.

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