On Sunday the anticipation is to see the New Orleans Saints give their regular starting players, including quarterback Derek Carr, some playing time in the preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. Coach Dennis Allen didn’t go into detail on exactly how much playing time the starters would get, but he assured that they would see the field.
“It’s a new season, a new group, and I want to see our guys play.” Allen said.
Allen also said the plan is to play the starters “at least in the first preseason game, and then we’ll see where we’re at,” hinting at they may not play in all three preseason games.
While there are often pre-draft processes and things to iron out for your league, the fantasy football season truly kicks off when your fantasy draft occurs. Typically, that will be in late August/early September. The two most popular fantasy draft weeks are the week before and after Labor Day. So, since this is a preseason week, let’s take a look at a few Saints players who may make it on your roster or ride the bench if the Sit/Start layout applied this week.
Sit: Who's riding the bench?
The NFL is suspending Alvin Kamara three games for his role in an altercation outside a Las Vegas nightclub in 2022. Kamara met with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell earlier this week. Fantasy teams know exactly what they’re getting when drafting Kamara. For much of the summer, he was a major questionable doubt, surrounding his status.
Jameis Winston started the first three games of 2022 for the Saints and unfortunately sustained four fractures in his back in Week 4. Winston was never reinstated as the starter even after his back had healed due to the severity and nature of the injury. The 29-year-old does have a strong arm and 80 NFL starts under his belt, but sometimes his timing and accuracy comes into question. Winston is set to backup duty again now that the Saints have added Derek Carr.
In training camp Davis suffered a calf injury, but head coach Dennis Allen said he is “optimistic” about the linebacker’s prospects to start the regular season. With that statement, it sounds as if Davis won’t see any preseason playing time.
Smith suffered a groin injury and was forced out of Saturday’s practice early. Although the injury seems to minor according to Coach Allen, there has not been a solid time frame set for his return.
Start: Who will lace up the cleats?
Williams will have additional appeal through the first three weeks due to Kamara’s suspension. He will likely still be valuable in most formats given his short-yardage and red zone role. Let’s keep in mind he scored 17 touchdowns for the Lions last season.
After leading the NFL in catches in both 2018 and 2019, Thomas has been dealing with injuries that have forced him to miss all but 10 games over the past three seasons. Thomas missed most of last season with a toe injury, but the talent Thomas possesses speaks for itself to rack up some yardage this game. Plus, with Carr as the QB, Thomas is ready to reclaim his status.
The nine-year veteran is now on the Saints and was the key offseason addition for the franchise. This preseason will be the time for Carr and the other starters for New Orleans to get some live-game action to build chemistry ahead of the 2023 season. Carr had 3,522 yards in 15 games last season with the Raiders, his lowest yards-per-game total in a year since 2017. Since he now in a new system, he will have the opportunity to bring those numbers back up.
Chris Olave ended his strong rookie season 8th in total air yards (1,531). His rookie season is probably one of the most efficient seasons from a rookie WR. Olave is a prime candidate to experience positive TD progression with Carr in the pocket. Combined with Michael Thomas on the opposite side, Olave is bound to get some shared yardage on the field.
Who would you sit/start this week? Let us know in the comments below?