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Drew Brees takes snaps at practice, could be game-time decision in Week 8

The Saints had Drew Brees back on the practice field on Wednesday to start Week 8. We break down the fantasy implications of his improving status.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees looks at a tablet on the bench in the second half during their game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The New Orleans Saints are expecting back Drew Brees sooner rather than later from his thumb injury. Now they are willing to leave the door open for a return this Sunday against the Arizona Cardinals.

The team wrapped up its first practice of Week 8, and head coach Sean Payton said Brees was on the practice field, according to PFT’s Charean Williams. Payton said he would take his time through Sunday deciding on Brees, but if Brees does not have a setback in his recovery, it sounds like we should expect him to play.

Update: Brees acknowledged taking snaps, and said the plan is for him to play on Sunday, per Garland Gillen.

Fantasy football analysis, Saints QB Drew Brees

This certainly makes our spidey senses tingle. Teddy Bridgewater has been a solid fantasy addition off the waiver wire, but this raises a big question heading into the 1:00 p.m. hour on Sunday. If Brees is ready, he’ll play, but it sounds like this could come down to the wire.

If you are counting on Bridgewater this week because of byes or other injuries, you’ll want to be prepared to add a second option if Brees returns on Sunday. We’ll need to see how the practice reports look, but Payton seems to be making it sound like there is a greater than 50 percent chance Brees plays on Sunday.

If Brees returns, I see no reason not to start him in all traditional leagues. It’s best to hold off in DFS since there will likely be better values, but season-long, it makes sense to start him unless you’ve got a clear top five type of option to start.

Betting implications

The Westgate Superbook offers a lookahead line for each game midway through the prior week. This week, they did not include the Cardinals-Saints line due to the uncertainty at quarterback. The line is now set at Saints -10 at DraftKings Sportsbook. That likely bakes in Brees playing, but we’ll see what kind of movement happens in the coming days.