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What is the fantasy impact of Drew Brees’s injury? What about Jameis Winston?

Is New Orleans Saints Jameis Winston worth adding to your NFL fantasy team?

San Francisco 49ers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The unfortunate injury to New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees now means that Jameis Winston will get his first opportunity to be a starting quarterback since last season, a year in which he threw for over 5,000 yards (and 30 INTs).

We know Winston is a proven fantasy commodity, and any QB in an offense as potent as the Saints is worth rostering. If you have other reliable options at QB, I would hold off on picking up Jameis if you are past your QB’s bye week. However, if you own either Josh Allen or Tom Brady and still need bye coverage, the Saints will be playing the Atlanta Falcons, who currently have the second worst pass defense in the NFL, in both Weeks 11 & 13, the byes for Allen and Brady, respectively. If you are looking to replace an injured Dak Prescott or Brees, or are just unhappy with the way your QB is performing, look to add Winston to your roster.

Jameis was a top-five QB last year despite his multitude of interceptions. He makes his fair share of mistakes but is also a very talented arm and can flourish with the right weapons. Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara are among the best in the NFL at their respective positions, and Jameis will be behind a much better offensive line than he was last year in Tampa. If he can gain traction in the Saints offense, he could be a top-10 option at QB for as long as Brees is out.

Alvin Kamara should see little to no impact with the switch from Brees to Winston. Kamara will still receive the lion’s share of touches in the Saints offense, and shouldn’t see much of a fantasy drop off in Brees’s absence. With Winston’s well documented habit for throwing interceptions, head coach Sean Payton could lean heavier on the run game or short passes to Kamara in order to mitigate Winston’s habit of turning the ball over on risky throws downfield.

Michael Thomas is yet to have a good fantasy performance this year. Jameis Winston could be a blessing in disguise for Thomas however, as he is much more likely to throw down field than Drew Brees. The rest of the receiving options such as Emmanuel Sanders and Jared Cook could see more downfield targets with Winston in the lineup as well. Winston supported two top fantasy receivers last season in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, so if the offense remains pass heavy, Sanders and Thomas could actually see an increase in their fantasy output with Jameis in the lineup.

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