I have a feeling Brees improves in the yardage department but takes a step back in TD/INT ratio.
Last year he was one of the most efficient QBs in the league and he had a long stretch of games where he wasn't throwing any INTs at all. Gotta look at the INTs like a fluke, CBs dropping INTs, not forced into tough passing situations, that sort of thing that can really chance season to season. No QB can consistently go long periods of time without an INT.
And Look at his overall passing stats, he really didn't attempt that many passes last season and he had low yardage totals as a result. I expect Brees to be passing a lot more this year, and subsequently his interceptions should easily reach double digits, probably up into the teens.
Regarding the TDs, I have reservation about those improving as well. Gates broke the record for TE touchdowns and I consider that stat extremely doubtful to repeat in 2005. Instead I see Brees shifting more of the passing game to the WRs as McCardell has a full year in the offense and Parker/Caldwell combine for a solid #2 WRBC. Gates is still a very good TE, but nowhere near the game-breaker he was in 2004.
Also, Brees had a stretch last year where he threw something like 10 TDs in two games... against very poor opponents. Now I'm not saying that Brees won't face bad teams again in 2005, but what are the chances he has two games like that? That's like expecting Drew Bennett to repeat his 200 yard/3 TD games, it's just not gonna happen. Instead I see a more 2 TD games and less of the 1 TD efforts, without the huge gamebreakers.
Ultimately, I think the Chargers take a small step backwards as a team and probably don't win the division this year. This contributes to their throwing the ball significantly more. Still they are going to score a lot of points and amass a lot of yards in the AFC West, but Brees is not going to be quite so efficient.
End result: Brees is a borderline starter in a 12-team league.
Brees - 315/500/3700/25/16
McCardell - 65/800/5
Parker - 45/700/4
Caldwell - 40/500/5
Other - 15/200/1
Gates - 80/900/8
Other - 5/50/0
Tomlinson - 60/500/2
Other - 10/50/0