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Fantasy Football 101: New Orleans Saints Edition

Who should you draft from the New Orleans Saints in your fantasy football league this year?

NFL: New Orleans Saints Training Camp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy football for most (myself included) is just another reason to be counting down the days until the 2022 NFL season kicks off. The New Orleans Saints have created quite the buzz within the world of fantasy football. Michael Thomas, Alvin Kamara, Chris Olave, and Jarvis Landry have all garnered attention, and should be drafted in most fantasy leagues this year.

Let’s take a look at who you should, and shouldn’t take in this year’s draft.

Star: Michael Thomas

Because Michael Thomas is coming back from a pretty serious ankle injury and hasn’t played in almost two years, we might want to pump the brakes a little bit.

Having said that, I believe Michael Thomas will immediately remind everyone in the NFL that he’s a top-10 receiver in the game. Everything we have seen from training camp points in that direction. With Thomas participating in full-team drills on consecutive days, it appears more likely that he’s getting closer and closer to 100% each day.

The Saints’ acquisitions of Jarvis Landry and Chris Olave will give Thomas easily the best supporting cast he’s had since entering the league in 2016. Taking some of the attention off of Thomas will only do the star receiver good.

Furthermore, the return of Jameis Winston could bolster the passing game. Winston’s ability to make the deep throw is something we haven’t really seen for the last couple of years. Thomas could easily be inserted as your WR2 or flex. He should be available in rounds 3-5.

Sleeper: Jameis Winston

Coming off of a torn ACL can make some people weary of Jameis Winston. The reports of Winston spraining his foot in practice on Monday could make users even more weary. But even without the injury, Winston isn’t listed on ESPN’s top 25 PPR quarterbacks heading into this season.

However, I believe this is a quarterback who has really changed the way he plays football. In his one season as the starter, we saw Winston take his time and read defenses. Despite a lack of weapons, I really thought Winston showed me something going into this season. For many of the same reasons I believe Thomas will bounce back, I think Winston will have a solid season. Jameis will have so much talent around him.

If you believe in building your fantasy team around positions like running back and wide receiver, Winston would easily be available in the later rounds (or after the draft) and could potentially be your squad’s QB1.

Stay Away: Any Saints Tight End

NFL: New Orleans Saints Training Camp Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Tight end is certainly the biggest question mark on this offense.

With Adam Trautman, Taysom Hill, and Juwan Johnson all fighting for snaps, we’re really not sure who the lead player will be. Trautman will offer more in the run game and will likely be named as the starter on the depth chart. Hill will continue to serve his joker (seeing some snaps at quarterback). Johnson is still learning the position. With veterans Nick Vannett and Chris Herndon on the roster also fighting for a spot, there’s just too much uncertainty at the position.

Try to draft your tight ends before having to resort to one of the Saints tight ends as a starter.

In addition, the guys I didn’t mention—players like Alvin Kamara, Jarvis Landry, Chris Olave, potentially Mark Ingram (depending on the kamara situation), Wil Lutz, and this Saints defense—all have the potential to help your fantasy team get to where it needs to be.

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