This will be Part 1 of a two-part series where I break down the New Orleans Saints you should have on your radar entering your fantasy football draft. Because I’m a fan of alliteration, I’ve created groups known as Stars, Studs, Steals, Sleepers, and Stay the #$%@ Away. In each Part, I will give you one player in each category from the Saints. First, definitions of each group:
Star – The upper echelon of fantasy performers. Elite across all positions.
Stud – A top fantasy performer at his position.
Steal – Undervalued on fantasy ranking boards.
Sleepers – High risk, high reward type player.
Stay the #$%@ Away – Overvalued or high potential to be a dud.
Star – QB Drew Brees
Drew Brees is always a fantasy football darling as he piles up the counting stats. Even in his age 37 season, Brees still led the league in passing, finishing as the #2 fantasy QB behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers and Tom Brady rank as the only two fantasy QBs ahead of Brees in most rankings, and Brady over Brees might even be selling Drew short. If you’re willing to pay the high draft pick for Brees, you can feel safe if he’s leading your team.
Stud – K Wil Lutz
After a roller coaster of a season in 2016, Wil Lutz stands to be one of the top kickers in fantasy in 2017. On a high-powered Saints offense, Lutz stands as the 5th ranked Kicker behind Matt Bryant in Atlanta, Dan Bailey in Dallas, Adam Vinatieri in Indy, and Justin Tucker in Baltimore. He’s even ahead of Stephen Gostkowski of New England. The Saints offense had its struggles punching it in from the red zone at times last season, and that actually stands to benefit someone like Lutz who might face more FG opportunities.
Steal – RB Mark Ingram
Mark Ingram is the workhorse back in the New Orleans offense, make no mistake about it. While the Saints have recently named he and Adrian Peterson co-starters in New Orleans, it is still Ingram’s job. Peterson is older and carries an injury history equally as long as his list of accolades. The additional of Peterson has caused many analysts to drop Ingram down their rankings, but #22 (both in jersey and in ESPN PPR-RB rankings - #18 in standard) is still a capable RB2 with RB1 upside in the Saints offense and a steal at his ADP.
Sleeper – RB Alvin Kamara
Kamara is getting rave reviews in the Saints offense during training camp, drawing comparisons to Hall of Fame RB Marshall Faulk. Coming in in the high 40s in RB rankings both in standard and PPR, Kamara is only one Adrian Peterson injury away from taking a massive step forward in touches in 2017. To start the season, Kamara looks to be a pass-catching/change-of-pace back in the Saints offense. Depending on the success of both Ingram and Peterson in 2017, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Saints slowly groom Kamara as their every down back of the future. He’s a must-add in any dynasty league.
Stay the #$%@ Away – WR Brandon Coleman
Here’s a Saints player whose camp praise we will take with a grain of salt. Every year Saints fans hope this will be the year Brandon Coleman takes that next step forward in his career. With Coleman’s size and speed, he has all of the measurables you’d want in a #1 wide out. After the retirement of Marques Colston, many fans expected Coleman to be the beneficiary of added looks. That didn’t happen. Now this year, after the trade of Brandin Cooks, fans will again turn their eyes to Coleman. My advice: don’t hold your breath.