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It is that time of the year where everyone is craving football, trying to figure out how their team will do this upcoming season and who they will populate their fantasy football roster with. I wouldn’t advise anyone to draft all out Saints players because of the putting too many eggs in one basket factor. If Drew Brees has a rare down game then the receivers, tight ends, and sometimes running backs can all suffer statistically. Fantasy owners are all about players that fabricate statistics as oppose to reality where you want players that make the team as a whole better.
This one is obvious with Drew Brees. He has top five quarterback potential like he has had his entire time in New Orleans. Be cautious though, because he is aging like wine- or at least that’s what we think, kind of like Peyton Manning fans in his final year (wood knocked on). Drew has plenty of weapons at his disposal and a quality offensive line, so I think he will be fine.
This was was a surprise last year, but a lot of pieces are in place to produce good numbers. Mark Ingram will be suspended the first four games, so I would not make him an early choice when drafting. Alvin Kamara on the other hand is in position to accumulate yards by means of running and receiving. When Sean Payton compared him to Marshall Faulk; I knew he would have a good year. He will be the primary back used for the first four weeks, and should keep an active role once Ingram returns. His value only increases in PPR formats as well. He will be a mid to late first round draft pick in drafts; don’t wait too late to snag him.
Michael Thomas headlines the Saints wide receivers. Don’t confuse him with Michael Thomas of the Rams or anyone else with that ultra-common name. He is getting better every year, and appears to be packing on extra muscle in a recent photo that has surfaced, that my wife doesn’t need to see. The Saints usually are good at spreading the ball around when it comes to the other wide receivers. It is hard to know what to expect this year with multiple new options in the receiving corps but Thomas did receive just under 28% of Drew’s targets last year, up from 18% in 2016. Ted Ginn Jr. still has speed; so he may get you a deep ball touchdown from time to time, but I would not bet on consistency. Cam Meredith is a mystery since he is a newcomer that is coming back from a serious knee injury while on the Bears last year. Tre’Quan Smith was acquired in the draft this year, so he may have to go through the rookie adjustment period. Tommylee Lewis and Brandon Coleman are familiar faces that get good reviews in training camp, and show flashes here and there. Maybe one will be more consistent and breakout.
After the brief excitement of the potential return of Mr. Goal Post Bender aka Jimmy Graham who ended up going to Green Bay; Ben Watson came through on the reunion. He was a good fantasy option a few years back. He was considered older back then and still is now. He still finds a way, he may be a quality draft pick that can be selected later in the draft so that you can concentrate on other positions first. Josh Hill was a solid option catching the ball last year during the end of the season going into the playoffs. Seeing how the Saints didn’t draft a tight end, I would keep an eye on him in training camp.
Except for last year the words “Saints” and “defense” were not favorably mentioned in discussion of fantasy football defense and special teams. They did a spectacular job transitioning into a group that tallied sacks and turnovers, while minimizing points in some games. The standards and expectations have been raised with new faces showing up, and the want to redeem themselves after the Vikings playoff game. They can be a late round value since they are not at the top of the rankings. I would recommend them to start, or as a strong backup defense. This year’s special teams unit is loaded with playmakers, too. Keep an eye on whether or not they retain ST coach Mike Westhoff. Only negative I can give is they have three good offenses to face in their division six times throughout the season.
Whether you are seasoned vet or first time fantasy football participant; the Saints have some quality players that could help you take home the championship. Like I said, don’t draft an all Saints roster, do some research and mix your team up. It is all calculated luck, so draft wisely.
*Under the radar players to watch for in training camp: Boston Scott, Austin Carr, Terence West, and Deon Yelder