2019 New Orleans Saints Team Outlook
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Saints Offense Outlook
The Saints won a lot of games last year, which helped their rushing attempts and rushing TDs. At the same time, they regressed for the second straight year in passing yards and passing attempts. Their defense is improved, and they did a pass catching TE of value. A Fantasy owner can expect a dynamic run game with plenty of production in TDs.
QB Drew Brees, NO - Quality Backup
Update 12/29/19Over his past three games, Brees has been a beast (935 passing yards with 13 TDs and no Ints) edging out Lamar Jackson (33.62 to 31.55 FPPG) in scoring in four-point TD leagues. Brees has three TDs or more in six of his eight starts since returning from his thumb injury. Four of his top games (373/3, 311/3, 349/6, and 307/4) came at home over this span. He passed for 311 yards and three TDs in Week 12 vs. the Panthers. Carolina ranks 11th in QB defense (18.15 FPPG) with no QB scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. The Panthers continue to struggle vs. the run (5.3 yards per rush) with ball carriers scoring 29 rushing TDs while also pressuring the QB (52 sacks). Brees will move the ball, but New Orleans should score a couple of TDs on the ground. A winnable matchup, but I expect a step back in production.
QB Teddy Bridgewater, CAR - Solid/Safe Pick
Update 10/26/19Over the last five weeks, Teddy Bridgewater saved the Saints’ season by going 5-0 with strength in his completion rate (69.7). His best asset was minimizing mistakes (two interceptions). Over his five starts, he passed for 1,205 yards with nine TDs while only being viable in the Fantasy market in one game (314/4) at home. Drew Brees has a chance to start this week, which would end a great run by a backup QB. If he does play, the Cardinals rank 29th defending QBs with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (DET – 385/3, BAL – 393/2,and ATL – 356/4). New Orleans would like to run the ball, and the Cardinals also have weakness defending the run game (193/904) despite allowing only three rushing TDs. Viable option at this level with a chance at 300-plus yards with three TDs.
RB Alvin Kamara, NO - Stud (low risk)
Update 12/29/19With one week to go in the season, Kamara ranks 11th in RB scoring (15.33 FPPG) after a plus game vs. the Titans (110 combined yards with two TDs and six catches on 17 touches). He ended his nine-game scoreless streak, but he entended his run of fewer than 100 yards rushing to 13 games. Kamara gains only 6.5 yards per catch with 50 receiving yards or fewer in his last ten games. In Week 12, he finished with 102 combined yards with nine catches vs. the Panthers. On the year, Kamara has 1,273 combined yards with four TDs and 79 catches. Carolina remains last in the NFL defending RBs (31.20 FPPG) with eight of their previous nine opponents scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points. The Panthers allow 5.3 yards per rush with RBs scoring 31 TDs. Kamara averages 18.6 touches per game, which does limit his upside unless he scores a couple of TDs.
RB Latavius Murray, NO - Sleeper (undervalued)
Update 11/16/19The excitement of possible follow-through by Murray after two great games (307 combined yards with four TDs and 14 catches with 62 touches) was short-lived once Alvin Kamara returned to the starting lineup. Last week he gained only 19 yards with two catches on seven touches while being on the field for 25 percent of the RB plays run by the Saints.
WR Michael Thomas, NO - Stud (low risk)
Update 12/29/19Last week Thomas set the NFL record for receptions (145) after his third straight impact game (11/134/1, 12/128/1, and 12/136/1). Over his previous 11 games, he gained over 100 yards in nine games and eight contests with ten catches or more. His catch rate (82.4) is elite while averaging 11.7 targets per game. Thomas beat the Panthers for ten catches for 101 yards and one TD on 11 targets in Week 12. Carolina fell to 24th in WR defense (37.61 FPPG – 218/2703/12 on 335 targets). Seven WRs gained over 100 yards against the Panthers (Chris Godwin – 8/121/1, D.J. Chark – 8/164/2, Chris Godwin – 10/51, Davante Adams – 7/118, Calvin Ridley – 8/143/1, Michael Thomas – 10/101/1, and Tyler Lockett – 8/120/1). CB James Bradberry will give up plenty of yards with only one TD allowed. The Saints will move Thomas around in formation, and he will get open while catching almost everything thrown his way. His only negative in Week 17 is hand issue that limited his practice time this week. Exceptional floor with an explosive ceiling if the Saints need to throw.
WR Ted Ginn Jr., NO - Low Potential
Ginn struggled to stay healthy in 2018 due to right knee injury that required surgery in mid-October. His season started with three steady games (5/68/1, 4/55, and 3/12/1). After returning from a ten-game injury vacation, Ted caught 11 passes for 176 yards on 21 targets in his three games late in the year. Over the two previous years, Ginn had serviceable value (54/752/4 and 53/787/4). At age 34, his days of improvement look to be over, especially while adding in his knee issue. Pretty much a similar player as Tre'Quan Smith with his experience and speed giving him the early track to prove his worth.