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New Orleans Saints Fantasy Football Preview

Drew Brees Super Bowl
Can the aging Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints get things rolling in 2020? Craig Forrestal breaks down the Saints Fantasy Football value.

By Craig Forrestal

It seems like some teams are just best suited for fantasy football and the Saints are one of those teams. The NFC South is high-flying, fast-paced and fun to watch. It seems that whenever the NFC South squares off it is the first to 38 wins. Or is it just me? However, don’t forget about the defense. Even though they can find themselves in some high-scoring battles the defense still makes plays and finds itself as a Top 10 Defense option for the 2020 NFL Season.

Schedule

  • Week 1: Buccaneers
  • Week 2: @ Raiders
  • Week 3: Packers
  • Week 4:@ Lions
  • Week 5: Chargers
  • Week 6: Bye
  • Week 7: Panthers
  • Week 8: @ Bears
  • Week 9: @ Buccaneers
  • Week 10: 49ers
  • Week 11: Falcons
  • Week 12: @ Broncos
  • Week 13: @ Falcons
  • Week 14: @ Eagles
  • Week 15: Chiefs
  • Week 16: Vikings
  • Week 17:@ Panthers

Players To Know:

  • Drew Brees-QB: They brought back Drew Brees and signed Jameis Winston and then topped it off by placing a King’s Ransom on Taysom Hill to keep in NOLA as well. What can we expect from a 41-year-old Drew Brees? I’m not sure. Last season he posted 27 TDs to only 4 INTs so his decision making isn’t being questioned. The 27 TDs let you know he has enough in the tank to go out and put up serious points at any given moment. But Father Time remains undefeated. When will Brees drop off? I’m not saying he will drop off I’m saying his opportunities will decrease massively this season because of the Taysom Hill inclusion at QB. I think Brees is a great streaming option this season. I’m a lot lower on Brees than most. If his opportunities stay the same as last season he is good for 4200 yards and 28 TDs but I don’t think they will.
  • Taysom Hill-QB: The ultimate fantasy vulture in every sense, Taysom Hill is once again here to mess your fantasy day up. He has been tabbed ‘The Guy” once Brees retires but the Saints signed Jameis Winston as an extra insurance policy at the QB position. Hill has been rumored to have TE eligibility in some leagues this upcoming season as a way to get him on your fantasy lineup. So what does this all mean? Sean Payton has said Taysom Hill will be more involved this season but what exactly does that mean? Hill has lined up at QB, RB, WR, TE and just about everywhere else you can line up as a non-offensive lineman, so it is very tough to say that he will log a ton of QB snaps. Is Taysom Hill a QB? I’m not sure. Sean Payton has a plan but who knows what it will look like? Hill will be on the field more this season but I’m just not sure how.
  • Alvin Kamara-RB: Kamara is one of the most exciting and dangerous players with the ball in his hands in the NFL. Kamara had a down season in 2019 due to injury; some within the organization estimate he was at about 75% last season. With an offseason to heal, rehab and train I expect Kamara to come out BALLIN! The noise about him not being worthy of a 1st Round fantasy pick is laughable. The versatility that Kamara brings suits the offensive identity whether it is Brees or Hill taking snaps. Kamara has logged 81 receptions in all of his three seasons, so let us mark him down for 81 once again. However, his yardage has decreased every season in the receiving category. Kamara has never rushed for 1000 yards in a season but has put up 728 in 2017, 883 in 2018 and 797 in 2019. Last season was a down year due to injury and I firmly believe he comes back strong in 2020. Kamara is good for 1700 yards ( 900 rushing & 800 receiving) with 15 total TDs.
  • Latavius Murray-RB: Kamara was banged up last season and did not play at 100% and for that reason, it is important to have more than one capable back on the roster. Murray totaled 872 total yards and 6 TDs in his duties for the Saints; including a few weeks where he functioned as ‘the guy’ due to Kamara being banged up. While Murray isn’t a threat to take all the work from Kamara he will be involved and still get some work. Murray should be a player that is targeted once we get into the middle and later rounds of fantasy drafts. And this could be huge as I feel the Saints move back to the run a little more this upcoming season. This won’t be like the Kamara/Ingram combo from a few years ago, but Murray is very enticing. Safe expectations for Murray are about 750 total yards and 6 TDs. Ty Montgomery is also on the roster but he hasn’t been fantasy relevant for a minute and I do not expect that to change now.
  • Michael Thomas-WR: His 2019 was unreal. He logged 185 targets which became 149 catches for 1725 yards. I’ll let you research where that season ranks all-time for WRs in a single-season. Hint, it won’t take long to find the answer. The Saints added Emmanuel Sanders so defenses can’t just focus on Thomas which theoretically creates better scenarios for Thomas. And that is a scary thought. Many people will say building your roster around a WR is a bit risky but with Michael Thomas, that argument goes out the window. He is the WR1 overall in fantasy football and is set to have another big-time season. Even with the offense moving back to the run more, Thomas should be good for 125 catches and 1500 yards and 10 TDs.
  • Emmanuel Sanders-WR: Emmanuel Sanders is on his third team since the 2019 season having played in Denver and San Francisco and now landing in New Orleans. Sanders was brought in to be a threat and take some focus off Michael Thomas by giving the Saints a second legitimate WR on the field. While Sanders can still be effective he is not what he once was. He will be the clear-cut #2 to Thomas so I don’t know what that means in terms of fantasy volume but I would say he is a FLEX play to start the season. And if the volume is there then he could be in the conversation for an every-week play. My prediction for sanders is 60 catches for 770 yards.
  • Jared Cook-TE: Even though Cook was a Pro-Bowl TE in 2018 and 2019 I do not see that happening again. The Saints drafted Adam Trautman in the third round and he is a highly-regarded rookie at the TE position. Emmanuel Sanders will take a portion of his targets away. The Saints are expected to move back to the run more and the presence of Taysom Hill limits Cook. I would not bank a Top 10 TE season from Cook in 2020.

Defense:

Marshon Lattimore is a shining star in the secondary. There are a few other names at CB that are fighting to establish themself as the consistent other CB for this Saints defense. The defense has averaged 3 sacks per game over the last two seasons and that is a nice base to work with. The secondary got a little bit of a facelift this offseason and that should help after a shaky showing at times in 2019. This defense has all the makings to flirt with a Top 5 finish and is a defense I would like to own.

Potential Breakout Player:

  • Latavius Murray-RB

Rookie To Know:

  • Adam Trautman-TE
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