Sit these players:
Marques Colston: The Quiet Storm has long been a favorite target for , and is the most difficult decision to sit this week. Many fantasy teams have been quite successful double dipping on the Brees-Colston tandem in recent years, as have the real New Orleans Saints. However, the Falcons are quite familiar with the threat presented every time #12 takes the field, and won't be giving him much leeway. Usually the added focus might hardly affect his production, but Colston has been dealing with a nagging foot injury which caused him to miss much of the preseason. This weekend, Sean Payton will likely use Colston more to draw attention away from some of Drew's newer toys, like .
Pierre Thomas: Although much beloved in New Orleans, this running back is unlikely to provide many fantasy points this season. He is unable to handle the load of a full-time running back, and not as likely to get targeted by passes as Sproles or (this year) even Ingram. Pierre is a great presence on the New Orleans Saints, but not as a member of your fantasy team. Especially this week against an Atlanta Falcons defense, which will be bringing everything they can against the players that have been beating them more often than not... for as long as any player has been on either team.
Defense: Many Saints fans want to believe that Rob Ryan is the new sheriff in town, if not the second coming of the success the Saints had in 2009. However, most are simply hoping for enough of an improvement (over last year's squad) to allow the high-powered offense to lead the charge deep into the playoffs. Even if you are incredibly optimistic about the performance of this new defense over the course of 2013, don't expect them to be firing on all cylinders this early in the season. Especially against an Atlanta Falcons offense modeled after the success Drew Brees has had running Sean Payton's scheme. The fact that the Special Teams play factors into the Defense production in most Fantasy leagues makes sitting this unit a no-brainer.
Play these players:
Jimmy Graham: Arguably the best tight end in the league, Jimmy Graham had a great season last year even despite an undisclosed wrist injury. Although he has been dropping a number of balls this training camp and preseason, #80 has a competitive fervor that should shine through this coming Sunday when it most matters. With a wingspan and athleticism that take advantage of Drew Brees' indefensible pass placement, Graham should be targeted in the end zone at least twice this Sunday.
Kenny Stills: Kenny Stills is poised to have one of the biggest impacts of any Saints rookie in recent history. Just like some of success his rookie year came from the fact that nobody knew to plan for him, Stills should be one of Drew's secret weapons this weekend. When Colston and Stills are on the field together, look for the rookie to get targeted for big plays more often than Drew's known fallback. Sean Payton will want to pull out a lot of stops to start the year off with a very important win, and #84 can be a big factor. This kid has displayed not only the athleticism to make the most of Drew's pinpoint accuracy, but has already shown the poise and mental acuity of a veteran receiver. Come Monday morning, league owners around the world will likely be trying to grab Kenny Stills. If you were smart enough to grab him out of the gate, you should play him this weekend against the Falcons.
Drew Brees: Anyone who managed to snag Drew Brees on their fantasy league doesn't need to be told to play him. If anything, they will find themselves wondering if there is a better option than Drew even on the Saints' bye week. Yes, sit him on week 7, as much as it hurts. Every other week this year, he should be a top contributor for anyone's team.
Darren Sproles / Mark Ingram: Sean Payton has expressed a renewed dedication to the run game, and is likely to push Mark Ingram hard in a make-or-break year for the Heisman Trophy winner. He and Darren Sproles have both shown an ability to make breakout runs and turn screens from a pressured Drew Brees into positive yardage for the Saints. Particularly in a PPR league, either one of these players should respectably fill a running back slot. In a non-PPR league, however, either could be boon or bust against Atlanta this weekend.