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Sean Payton on Drew Brees’ stats: ‘Not in the business of playing fantasy football’

Drew Brees may be putting up one of his more underwhelming seasons statistically speaking, but Sean Payton dismissed the notion it’s any cause for concern. In fact, the New Orleans Saints head coach took a shot at the obsession over fantasy football while pointing out that the only thing that matters is winning.

The evolution of a dangerous running game, led by the two-head monster backfield of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, has created a markedly different look on offense for the Saints than what has been the standard during the Brees-Payton Era.

“We’re not in the business of playing fantasy football,” Payton said Wednesday, via the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “We really aren’t. We’re in the business of winning.

“So, if that upsets all the people that have a player on our offense or defense or somewhere in the fantasy games of the world, then that’s tough. But our job is to win, and that’s probably one of the first criteria that you’re graded at as quarterback. And he knows that.”

Brees, with 4,089 yards in 15 games, is on pace to have his lowest yardage output of his Saints career. A 300-yard passing game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday is all that stands in the way, however, to Brees surpassing his lowest yardage total with the Saints ever, when he passed for 4,388 yards in 2009.

Brees nevertheless boasts the third-ranked passer rating in the league at 103.6. He’s also thrown 22 touchdown passes to only eight interceptions while leading the Saints (12-4) to their first postseason berth since 2013.

The Saints’ much more balanced approach on offense ought to pay dividends in the postseason where a premium is placed on being able to run the ball effectively.

In other words, Payton, Brees and the Saints couldn’t care less if some fantasy football owners are miffed over the lack of gaudy passing stats. It’s all about winning. And rightfully so.