This is Part II in a two part series. For Part One, click here.
As a reminder, here are the definitions of each group:
Star – The upper echelon of fantasy performers. Elite across all positions.
Stud – A top fantasy performer at his position.
Steal – Undervalued on fantasy ranking boards.
Sleepers – High risk, high reward type player.
Stay the #$%@ Away – Overvalued or high potential to be a dud.
Star – WR Brandin Cooks
Brandin Cooks finished 20th among all non-QB offensive fantasy scorers last year. Not 20th among WRs, which would be impressive in its own right (s/o to T.Y. Hilton for that feat) - 20th among ALL RBs, WRs, and TEs in standard fantasy scoring last year. Cooks will again be QB Drew Brees’s top receiving target in 2016, and look for Brandin to finally crack double digit scores.
Stud – TE Coby Fleener
Look at what 34-year-old Benjamin Watson was able to do in New Orleans last year. Now think about what 27-year-old Coby Fleener will be able to do in his first year in the New Orleans Saints system. The big-bodied Fleener (6’6, 250 lbs) will present a big endzone target for Drew that Drew hasn’t had at his disposal since Jimmy Graham. The TE position is deeper than it has been in years, but Fleener is definitely a TE1 or Flex option.
Steal – RB C.J. Spiller
Mark Ingram hasn’t played a full 16 games in New Orleans since the 2012, when he wasn’t the featured back. Until Ingram shows he can stay healthy for a full 16 games, we almost have to assume he’s going to miss time in 2016. C.J. Spiller would look to step into that role if or when Ingram goes down. Spiller is entering his first healthy offseason as a member of the Saints, and Saints brass have already said we will see the “real C.J. Spiller” this year. Even as just the Saints change-of-pace back, Spiller is worth grabbing late.
Sleeper – RB Travaris Cadet
Spiller is still above Cadet in the pecking order, but even Spiller hasn’t had a full healthy season since 2012 (when he wasn’t the featured back either). Both Spiller and Ingram present injury question marks, and Travaris Cadet is one of the potential backs who can step up and fill that void when it comes.
Stay the #$%@ Away – Ks Connor Barth, Kai Forbath
Another Saints preseason, another Saints kicking competition. This time, the options are two veteran Kickers in Connor Barth and Kai Forbath. You would think the FG kicker in New Orleans would be one to have considering the high-powered Saints offense (and last season’s redzone inefficiency). Unfortunately, I have absolutely zero faith in the Saints to pick the right Kicker to start the season (miss you, Dustin Hopkins!). More importantly, neither of these Kickers has been all that great over their careers of late. That being said, whichever Kicker the Saints don’t pick, make sure to add them if they latch on to another team. They will be almost destined to do well.