NumberFire is a Sports Analytics site that uses a system of advanced metrics to project statistics across all sports. Since its inception in 2010, it’s gained traction and credit for being one of the better fantasy football sites out there. Per their website, this is a brief snippet on how they employ their system:
The first step of our process involves digging into the box score. We know that it means a lot more to throw for 300 yards against the Steelers than it does against the Browns, so why simply use yards as an indicator for how good a quarterback is? Using a series of mathematical models, we break down the action in order to have a better and more accurate understanding of what teams and players are performing well and which are paper champions.
The next step of process involves using the power of predictive and regressive modeling to more accurately project future performance. Using our advanced metrics combined with state-of-the-art predictive algorithms, we leverage the power of science to come up with the most accurate, data-driven projections around.
So, why bring this up? Simply because it has New Orleans Saints projected stats for 2017 that you may or may not agree with.
From the initial look, it’s easy to point out some potential areas where the stats may come up short. Here’s an overview and comparison of the big players stacked up to numberFire’s projections.
Drew Brees - The 38-year-old quarterback figures to have a relative season in 2017, according to the projections. Brees could rely more on the run game for the new season, but his quest for another 5,000-yard season would be on par with many expectations.
2017 projected: 420/651, 4,970 yards, 37 TD, 14 INT
2016 actual: 471/673, 5,208 yards, 37 TD, 10 INT
Mark Ingram - Ingram is coming off his first 1,000-yard career rushing season, and with the additions of Adrian Peterson and Alvin Kamara, it’s not completely off base to suggest his production won’t take a hit. Still, Ingram is an integral part of the Saints rushing attack and pass game, and could very well deliver again.
2017 projected: 161 rushes, 797 yards, 6 TD, 39 receptions, 341 yards, 2 TD (54 TGT)
2016 actual: 205 rushes, 1,043 yards, 6 TD, 46 receptions, 319 yards, 4 TD (57 TGT)
Adrian Peterson - After sustaining a torn meniscus in his right knee during Week 2, Peterson would spend the majority of his season on injured reserve until he was reactivated in mid-December to make his third and final appearance of 2016. The Vikings didn’t pick up his option, and Peterson tested free agency to land with the Saints. He certainly looks the part of a player seeking to prove he has a lot left in the tank, but realistic expectations of his usage in the Saints offense is anyone’s guess.
2017 projected: 139 rushes, 555 yards, 7 TD, 18 receptions, 98 yards, 25 targets
2016 actual: 37 rushes, 72 yards, 3 receptions, 8 yards, 6 targets
Michael Thomas - After an incredible rookie campaign, setting franchise records in the process, Thomas is the undisputed top option for Brees. The departure of Brandin Cooks could place more of an emphasis on covering Thomas in the new season, as teams will surely look to double-team him. The Saints need Thomas to have a strong season for their potent offense to succeed, so his projection is fairly realistic.
2017 projected: 91 receptions, 1,082 yards, 8 TD, 136 targets
2016 actual: 92 receptions, 1,137 yards, 9 TD, 122 targets
Willie Snead - Snead moved up the ranks to claim the No. 2 receiver spot, and he’s totally focused on eclipsing the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the first time in his career. Snead, along with the other Saints receivers, should benefit tremendously from the addition of wide receivers coach Curtis Johnson. Playing in a contract year, so to speak (he is a restricted free agent in 2018), Snead looks to cash in on a bigger deal by showing his value on the field.
2017 projected: 72 receptions, 952 yards, 5 TD, 108 targets
2016 actual: 72 receptions, 895 yards, 4 TD, 104 targets
Ted Ginn Jr. - The veteran receiver looks to be a match made in heaven for the Saints offense, but many are quick to point out his repeated issues with dropped passes over his career. His speed is showing no signs of regression, so he should be able to stretch the field for Drew Brees. I could see Ginn’s targets and production being higher for 2017.
2017 projected: 50 receptions, 712 yards, 4 TD, 89 targets
2016 actual: 54 receptions, 752 yards, 4 TD, 95 targets
Coby Fleener - The Saints and its fans are expecting more production out of Coby Fleener, similar to what Benjamin Watson and Jimmy Graham were capable of. Per the projections, it appears Josh Hill would cut into Fleener’s potential. It would be a welcomed notion to see Fleener have a breakout season, but he could very well be another Jeremy Shockey in this offense.
2017 projected: 53 receptions, 620 yards, 4 TD, 87 targets
2016 actual: 50 receptions, 631 yards, 3 TD, 82 targets
Rookie Alvin Kamara could have a larger impact in both the running and passing game, with the expectation that he is reminiscent of a Darren Sproles presence. Brandon Coleman, an early training camp standout, could really be interesting to watch throughout the season. However, the judgement is still out for the former 2014 undrafted rookie. No matter how you slice it, it looks as though the Saints will still have a top offense for the new season.
How do you feel about numberFire’s projected stats for the Saints?
This poll is closed
They’re spot on
They aren’t far off
They’re way off base