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, Steals, Sleepers, and Stay the #$%@ Away. In each Part, I will give you one player in each category from the Saints. First, definitions of each group:
Star – The upper echelon of fantasy performers. Elite across all positions.
Steal – Undervalued on fantasy ranking boards.
Sleepers – High risk, high reward type player.
Stay the #$%@ Away – Overvalued or high potential to be a dud.
Star – RB Alvin Kamara
Alvin Kamara is going in the Top 5 of some fantasy football drafts. Personally, I don’t think he should be going that high. Unless Kamara is the greatest player in the history of the world, Kamara is not likely to repeat his outrageous efficiency rates from last year. Compare his 6.1 yards per carry, 10+ yards per reception, and touchdown rate of 1 in 16 touches, to Le’Veon Bell’s career numbers of 4.5 yards per carry, 8.5 yards per carry, and touchdown rate of 1 in every 37 touches. Still, if we project a more reasonable efficiency rate for Kamara in 2018, he will still be a top 10 PPR offensive player and top 15 in standard scoring.
Steal – QB Drew Brees
While we’re on the subject of efficiency rates and regression, Drew Brees should see his touchdown rate take a bump back to career norms in 2018. In 2017, the Saints were able to lean heavily on the running game with Kamara and Mark Ingram. With Ingram’s suspension for the first four games, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Brees return to a season of ~4,500 passing yards. If his touchdown rate in 2018 looks more like his career numbers (5.3) than his 2017 totals (4.3), Brees could be back to puting up QB1 numbers for your team.
Sleeper – Saints DST
Gone are the days of the New Orleans Saints defense putting up historically awful numbers. In 2017, the Saints young defense showed tons of promise in the secondary with Defensive Rookie of the Year Marshon Lattimore and rookie breakout Marcus Williams making play after play. Cameron Jordan was a one-man wrecking crew on the defensive line on his way to his first Pro Bowl, but the Saints could never find a healthy and productive pass rusher to compliment Jordan’s good work. Edge rush and Linebacker were the two biggest weaknesses for the Saints defense in 2017, and with the re-signing of Alex Okafor, drafting Marcus Davenport, signing Demario Davis, and the return of Alex Anzalone, the Saints should have a complete defense in 2018. The Saints DST looks to be a top 10 unit next year, with the potential to be top 5, but is absolutely a streaming DST to consider with a Week 1 matchup against the Jameis Winston-less Buccaneers.
Stay the #$%@ Away – WR Ted Ginn Jr
I get it, Ginn was great for the Saints in 2017. He had a career year with a career-best catch rate and a yardage total only 3 yards shy of his previous high from the 2008 season. But he’s 33 years old now. No one can bank on Ginn repeating his production from last year. Now, the good news for the Saints is that they might not need Ginn to repeat 2017. With the additions of Cameron Meredith and rookie Tre’Quan Smith, Ginn might be the #4 or #5 receiving option in New Orleans (behind Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara as well) . It’s just not likely his week-to-week volume will be worth stashing on your fantasy team.