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Jacoby Brissett

Veteran has early lead in New England

The Patriots drafted Drake Maye No. 3 overall, and he'll probably find his way into the starting lineup before long. But New England also has a viable veteran option in Jacoby Brissett, and it isn't surprising to hear he's operating as the starter for now.

Brissett has bounced around since originally being drafted by the Patriots, but he's been better than you might think. Back in 2019, when Andrew Luck retired on the eve of the season, Brissett took over and had an 18-6 touchdown to interception ratio for the Colts. Those modest totals highlight why he's never stuck around anywhere for long, but he's been better than that the last three years (while replacing Deshaun Watson in Cleveland and then Sam Howell in Washington).

Among quarterbacks to start at least a season's worth of games the past three years -- there are 41 such players -- Brissett comes in 18th in terms of total yards per game (231 passing, 18 rushing), so slightly above average. Respectable for a journeyman backup. And he's done that while doing things coaches love, including taking care of the football. Only five of those 41 have averaged fewer interceptions per start. That's not everything (Daniel Jones and Kenny Pickett also graded out well in that metric), but those guys were doing it while also doing a lot less as a passer, so simply throwing the ball a lot less and taking fewer chances.

Table is sorted by quarterback yards. Other guys like Brissett who grade out well in terms of both generating yards and not throwing interceptions include Jared Goff and Geno Smith. Those guys have both emerged as very solid starters with second or third teams. Perhaps Brissett will do so this year.

QBS WITH 16-PLUS STARTS, 2021-2023
Patrick Mahomes50285.422.6308.02.20.8
Josh Allen50259.941.0300.92.60.9
Tom Brady34294.42.4296.82.10.6
Justin Herbert47274.214.4288.61.90.7
Joe Burrow42271.311.0282.32.20.8
Lamar Jackson40220.158.8278.91.70.7
Kirk Cousins41270.75.8276.52.00.6
Dak Prescott45262.812.7275.42.20.8
Kyler Murray33241.032.9273.91.80.7
Jalen Hurts47227.745.7273.42.10.6
Matthew Stafford41266.82.9269.61.90.9
Brock Purdy21256.17.4263.52.10.6
Tua Tagovailoa42254.06.5260.51.70.8
Jared Goff48255.43.8259.11.70.6
Geno Smith35242.215.4257.61.60.6
Jordan Love18241.615.0256.62.10.7
Trevor Lawrence50235.419.3254.71.40.8
Derek Carr49249.15.1254.21.50.7
Jacoby Brissett16231.118.4249.41.30.6
Matt Ryan29242.25.2247.51.20.9
Sam Howell18228.616.6245.21.61.2
Gardner Minshew17237.47.2244.61.50.8
Jimmy Garoppolo31235.43.8239.21.50.8
Russell Wilson44220.618.2238.81.70.6
Aaron Rodgers34229.75.7235.42.00.5
Daniel Jones33198.236.7235.01.10.5
Ben Roethlisberger16233.80.3234.11.40.6
Justin Fields38173.857.5231.31.40.8
Carson Wentz25214.314.3228.61.70.7
Taylor Heinicke28209.717.9227.61.40.9
Baker Mayfield41215.49.2224.61.30.8
Andy Dalton21216.16.7222.81.20.9
Sam Darnold18203.818.7222.51.40.9
Davis Mills26216.65.5222.01.30.9
Ryan Tannehill37208.611.9220.51.30.7
Mac Jones42212.37.8220.11.10.9
Desmond Ridder17205.214.5219.61.10.6
Teddy Bridgewater16200.87.0207.81.30.5
Zach Wilson33186.514.9201.40.80.7
Bryce Young16179.815.8195.60.70.6
Kenny Pickett24181.411.5192.90.60.4

To be clear, Brissett's not a guy anyone need think about drafting, except for perhaps in SuperFlex formats. Eventually, it's going to be Maye in the lineup, probably as a rookie, too.

But this is a Patriots team that's probably going to want to run the ball, play defense, and protect the football. They can be competitive with Brissett at quarterback doing his thing, and I think they'll be trying that for a good portion of the season. Nobody should be selecting Maye with much optimism of him making early starts or helping fantasy teams. Brissett is the better bet.

--Andy Richardson

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