New Orleans Saints Preview
The Saints saw their window as Now so they made some moves in the offseason that suggest they are going for it. The added Jeremy Shockey to an already potent Offense. On Defense the brought in new faces like Jonathan Vilma, Sedrick Ellis, and Randall Gay. We’ll see how these moves work for them.
On offense they stacked. Drew Brees is a Top 5 QB in this league. He consistently tops 4000 yards. Adding Shockey at Tight End gives him another threat, and the best one at that position since Antonio Gates in his San Diego days. He has some solid wideout to get ball to as well. Marques Colston showed last year wasn’t a Sophomore Slump. I look for a monster season out of him this year. David Patten had a nice, quiet season. Many feel that Robert Meachem will have a breakout season, myself included. Brees will also have threats out of the backfield in Reggie Bush and Pierre Thomas, both have proved to be capable receivers. If Deuce McAllister can return to form and give them the tough running between the tackles, this could prove to be the league’s best offense.
You know what you are getting from the Offense. It’s the Defense that will let us know if they are pretenders or contenders. The Defense is anchored by Will Smith. Rookie Sedrick Ellis will look to compliment Smith and put pressure on the QB. They need more production out of Charles Grant. Their Linebackers are led by Scott Fujita, Mark Simoneau, and Scott Shanle who all had 68+ tackles last year, along with Vilma, who is looking to rebound from a down 2007 season. They have some decent Safeties in Roman Harper and Josh Bullocks, who were their second and third leading tacklers last year. Randall Gay and Bobby McCray were brought in to mix at Cornerback with Mike McKenzie and Jason David.
If you ask me, the Saints will benefit from their roster moves. It may take a little while to gel, but I see them winning their division, getting hot in the playoffs, and losing in the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots. They’ll go 12-4 in the regular season.
Fantasy-wise the Saints are stacked. Brees is a Top 5 QB. Colston is a Top 10 RB. Shockey could be a Top 5 Tight End if he stays healthy and doesn’t become a distraction. Reggie Bush could be poised for a breakout year. Deuce McAllister and Pierre Thomas are worth roster spots or in the very least worth keeping an eye on. Robert Meachem is a nice sleeper to stash on your bench. David Patten is someone to keep in mind during bye weeks. Martin Gramatica should have plenty of opportunties to score some points. The Defense may prove themselves worthy of a bye week/matchup fill-in.