As we head into Week 5 of the 2023 NFL season, the New Orleans Saints started a less than 100% Derek Carr and it showed, horribly. Fans and players alike were upset with Coach Dennis Allen. So much so, that social media and the Who Dat Nation have been going at it between themselves. Making the decision to start Carr was an unwise one and the team suffered. So now, let’s move forward to week 5 when having any of these players on your roster could be a gamble. At the start of the season, the Saints roster looked bright for any fantasy league, but that does not seem to be the case now. Let’s look at who you might be able to start this week.
Note: This is purely opinion based. Make the best decision for your fantasy team as you see it.
Michael Thomas- Start
Despite Derek Carr averaging only 3.4 yards per attempt, Thomas led the Saints in receiving yards. While he hasn’t turned in anything close to one of his trademark performances of seasons past, the veteran wideout has remained healthy so far and has seen no less than six targets per game. In a Week 5 road matchup against the Patriots, Thomas has the chance to continue building on a 22-219-0 line on 32 targets.
The Saints offense as a whole could have had a much better day had Olave connected on several deep shots, but it was ultimately a forgettable day for the second year wideout. Week 5 brings Olave his first chance to bounce back against the Patriots, but if Derek Carr’s shoulder injury continues to limit his deep passing, Olave’s fantasy value will inevitably decline.
After completing his three-game suspension, Kamara returned to the field for the first time this season. With four carries, Taysom Hill was the closest player to him in terms of rushing work. Despite Derek Carr’s physical limitations, Kamara easily led the team in receptions and targets due to his AC joint sprain. From a fantasy perspective, Kamara’s massive workload right out of the gate was certainly encouraging, and he can once again display his playmaking ability against the Patriots in Week 5.
Jimmy Graham- Sit
Foster Moreau (ankle) was inactive for the Saints in Week 4, while Juwan Johnson (calf) was ruled out soon after kickoff on Sunday. Graham was the only tight end to see action in Week 4. In the end, Graham played 65 percent of New Orleans’ offensive snaps, but he didn’t see any action as a receiver. So far this season, the 36-year-old has received just one target, and it appears that his fantasy value will be limited to occasional red-zone targets.
The AC joint sprain in Carr’s right throwing shoulder may limit his practice reps until he heals. He completed 23 of 37 passes for 127 yards, no touchdowns, and no interceptions in his first game with the health concern against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He shouldn’t have played in last week's game.
Kendre Miller- Sit
During his NFL debut against Green Bay in Week 3, Miller ran for 34 yards on nine carries. On Sunday, he recorded just five offensive snaps. Alvin Kamara, the No. 1 running back, replaced the rookie entirely after serving a three-game suspension. With 11 carries and 13 catches, Kamara carried almost all the workload out of the backfield for the team. The lack of usage Miller has experienced suggests he won’t figure much into the game plan once Kamara is available.
Despite the Saints not starting Winston last week against Tampa Bay, he did throw an interception on the one and only play he snapped a down. I think he would have been an overall better QB that game versus Carr, but Coach Allen saw otherwise last week. With the way DA has handled the Twittersphere with Carr and coaching, I don’t foresee Winston touching the field too often on many downs.
Juwan Johnson- Sit
Eno Benjamin- Sit