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Saints Start/Sit for Week 1 vs. the Titans

Which Saints players should you put in your Fantasy Football lineup?

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at New Orleans Saints Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Football is back! As we kick off week 1 of the 2023 NFL season, fantasy leagues across the globe are prepping rosters to rack up as many points as possible to win the league championship. Tensions will be high amongst fans and professionals alike. Let’s take a look at the start/sit options based on if you drafted any New Orleans Saints players on your team... Let’s get to it.

Derek Carr-Start

Carr makes his Saints debut against a Titans pass defense which allowed 19.0 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs last season. In spite of Tennessee’s injury problems this year, it’s hard to see this as anything but an ideal matchup for Carr. With Michael Thomas, the Saints’ oft-injured WR, healthy as of now, Carr will have two talented pass catchers on his roster.

Chris Olave- Start

Derek Carr should be a good QB upgrade for Olave, since Carr will be able to better leverage Olave’s wheels. The NFL’s fourth-highest average intended air yards per pass attempt was carried by Carr last season, at 9.1. In 15 games, Olave posted 1,042 receiving yards and averaged 8.8 yards per catch as a rookie. Play Olave this week against an opposing pass-funnel Titans defense that gave up the most fantasy points to WRs in 2022.

Michael Thomas- Start

Following three seasons of foot problems that limited him to just 10 games, Thomas seems to be ready for the 2023 season. Thomas will share the load this year with teammate Chris Olave as a nice addition on the opposite side. Thomas can make for a useful fantasy asset as a possession receiver. Since Thomas is facing a bad Tennessee pass defense at home, he should be considered a flex option.

Jamaal Williams- Start

While Alvin Kamara is serving a three-game suspension, rookie Kendre Miller dealing with a hamstring injury and might not be available for the Saints’ opener, Williams could get 20-plus carries this week. As a result, he’ll have to deal with a Titans defense that held opponents to 62.8 rushing yards and 3.4 yards per carry last season. Starts/sits are usually determined more by volume than matchup, so use Williams as your go-to RB this week.

Jimmy Graham- Start

As one of the Saints’ top pass catchers, Graham ranks among the top six in yards, catches, and touchdowns. It is important to note, however, that Graham is now 36 years old and has been away from football for a full year. He signed a one-year deal with New Orleans most likely to retire as a Saint. So, I expect him to this season to go out with bang.

Juwan Johnson- Start

TEs dominated the Titans’ defense last season with 98 catches, 1,130 yards, and six touchdowns. Johnson faces that defense this year. The Titans only allowed four teams to grant more fantasy points to tight ends in 2022. In contrast, Johnson’s fantasy value has been driven more by touchdowns than catch volume, and it seems unlikely that Johnson will increase his volume with Saints WR Michael Thomas healthy. This week, Johnson should be considered a midrange TE2.

Jake Haener- Sit

Nothing to debate here. Haener is suspended for 6 games due to violating the league performance enhancing policy. If you have him on your roster as QB, just move him to IR.

Alvin Kamara- Sit

Finally, fantasy managers know what they’re getting when drafting Kamara. There was considerable uncertainty surrounding his status throughout the summer, and it affected both his ADP and FantasyPros ECR. As of now, he ranked 78th overall weeks ago but he is likely to jump into the mid-RB2 range after the suspension is over.

Kendre Miller- Sit

If you have Miller on your roster, it will probably be best to sit him this week. In the event that Miller is able to play, he will likely have some carries behind Jamaal Williams while Alvin Kamara misses three games due to his suspension. However, Miller’s status for Week 1 could be uncertain because of a hamstring injury.

Taysom Hill- Undecided

This one is tricky. Regardless, Hill is a boom-or-bust fantasy option who finished TE9 in PPR fantasy scoring last season. There might not be as many boom games now that the Saints have locked in the QB position with Derek Carr. Hill’s wildcat gadgetry can be a setback. The Saints tend to run Hill in multiple positions which could hurt or help with points.

What Saints player do you have in your fantasy roster? Do you agree or disagree with my ranking? Leave your comments below.