clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

What you can expect from Saints players on your fantasy football team in 2016

A look at some key tendencies from the Saints offense and how that might affect your fantasy football dominance this season.

New Orleans Saints v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Chris Rayborn over at 4for4 Fantasy Football has broken down a few key offensive statistical tendencies for the Saints and how it will affect your 2016 fantasy football team. Some of it is pretty obvious, but some of it is also eye-opening. This information might be handy in determining which players you do or don't want on your team this year.

First and foremost, it looks like Drew Brees and his receivers aren't providing as many scoring opportunities over the past two years:

Payton's offense is pass-heavy with an above-average pace, but they've been throwing less in the red zone as Drew Brees has aged. Their red zone pass percentage dropped from seventh in 2013 to 25th last season.

When they do pass in the red zone, it's not to their wide receivers. Brees and the offense prefer to look for their big tight ends. Which means Coby Fleener might be the most valuable Saints players you can have on your fantasy roster.

Once the team reached the red zone, they targeted wide receivers only 38% of the time. Perhaps that's why they went with 6-foot-3 Michael Thomas out of Ohio State in the second round. They also need to replace Ben Watson’s team-leading 18 red zone targets from a year ago, which was eight more than anyone else on the team. Speaking of tight ends, the Saints traded away Jimmy Graham and still went on to target tight ends at above-league-average rate. Payton relies on Drew Brees to work through his progressions and hit the open man -- Fleener was paid $18 million this offseason to be that open man.

When it comes to Saints running back and their rushing attack, I don't think anyone should be surprised by some of the stats Rayborn has unearthed:

Since 2014, Payton has allowed running backs to reach 20 touches 41% of the time. From 2007 to 2013, it was 28%. However, three Tim Hightower 20-touch games near the end of 2015 (when he was the last man in the backfield standing) may have inflated that total.Mark Ingram balled when healthy last season, but Payton may be reluctant to continue feeding him; Ingram hasn’t played in more than 13 games since 2012.

I have always stayed very far away from Saints running backs on my fantasy football team and I see no reason to break that plan.

What do you guys think? Which Saints players do you plan on drafting for your fantasy team this year? Which ones would you definitely stay away from?