The Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints are a fantasy friendly bunch. Big things should be in store for them in 2010 as well.

Fantasy Playoffs Schedule: Moderate
On paper they have a cakewalk (Rams in Week 14), a dogfight (Ravens in Week 15), and a tough divisional match-up (Falcons in Week 16). The Baltimore game is in the road, and they could possibly run into some tough weather.

Five Star Fantasy Options
Drew Brees – Brees is easily one of the premier QBs (fantasy and reality) in the league. Throwing for 4000+ yards and 30+ TDs has become commonplace. He’s as consistent as they come.

Marques Colston – He has more weapons to share with Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson’s development, but he is still the go-to-guy.

Four Star Fantasy Options
Pierre Thomas – Staying healthy is the key, but PT is one of the most versatile backs in the league. He could approach 1500 total yards and double-digit scores.

Three Star Fantasy Options
Reggie Bush – Bush is obviously more valued in PPR leagues, but he has some value in standard leagues as well. He could easily approach 1000 total yards and 8-10 TDs.

Two Star Fantasy Options
Robert Meachem and Devery Henderson – I like both of these young WRs, but I value Meachem a little more. Meachem had 722 yards and 9 TDs. Henderson had 804 yards and 2 scores.

Jeremy Shockey – His mouth could lead you to believe he’s better than he actually is. He will get some yards, but he’s just as likely to injure himself.

Saints Defense/Special Teams – Their D isn’t great, but they are well coached. Darren Sharper is a perfect fit for this defense racking up INTs.

One Star Fantasy Options
Lynell Hamilton – Hamilton will take over for Mike Bell. He’ll need a PT injury to have consistent value.

Lance Moore – Injuries cost him last year, and given the success Devery Henderson and Robert Meachem shared, he could see few opportunities in 2010.

Click here for additional 2010 NFL Team Previews.

Brian Westbrook (ankle) and DeSean Jackson (groin) were banged up in Philadelphia’s loss to the Saints.  Both will likely miss some practice time this week so you’ll have to monitor their availability.  New Orleans’ Mike Bell hurt his knee, which could open the door for Pierre Thomas.  Lance Moore (hamstring) was knocked out of the Saints.  He seems like a forgotten man.

Frank Gore shredded Seattle’s Defense, but injured his ankle along the way.  Fortunately for Gore owners, it doesn’t appear to be serious.

Matt Hasselbeck (ribs) left today’s game.  Hopefully, you have good options in case he’s out for an extended period.  Trent Edwards, David Garrard, Kyle Orton, or Byron Leftwich may be available in your league if need be.

Seattle’s Rookie Tackle Jason Smith
injured his knee.  If he’s out, Steven Jackson and Marc Bulger and company could continue to struggle.

Eddie Royal return

Eddie Royal made a smashing debut with 91 catches for 980 yards and 5 TDs.  Pro Bowl QB Jay Cutler has moved on to Chicago, but Eddie’s prospects remain high.  First of all, Kyle Orton doesn’t have the cannon that Cutler had.  The Broncos could rely more on dinks and dunks than the deep ball.  That plays right into Royal’s hand.  Plus, with new Coach Josh McDaniels coming over from New England, he has had plenty of Wes Welker comparisons.  His yardage wasn’t consistent, but he had his share of targets.  He had 11 games with 5+ receptions, including four with 9+ making him especially value in PPR leagues.  His TD total wasn’t great, but he did add an additional 109 rushing yards.  Royal is a real nice WR3 and possibly a WR2 if he can find the end zone more often.  His fantasy draft stock is rising, and he’s currently going in the fifth rounds of fantasy drafts.  He easily could challenge for the league lead in receptions.  I think he’ll have 105 for 1250 yards and 6 TDs.

Lance Moore catch
Lance Moore was one of the biggest fantasy football surprises in 2008 with 79 receptions for 928 yards and 10 TDs.  Moore was very inconsistent last year with eight games with fewer than 40 yards (he salvaged one of those with a TD) and eight games with 76+ yards.  It’s hard to imagine a player with nearly 1000 yards and 10 TDs taking a major step back in just his fourth year, but that’s what I see.  First of all, Marques Colston is healthy and should return to his role of teacher’s pet.  Second, Reggie Bush and Jeremy Shockey should have increased production provided they stay health.  Plus, Robert Meachem has looked good this preseason, and could finally show his potential, which would almost be the beginning of the end for Moore.  Finally, I don’t see Drew Brees throwing for nearly as many yards.  With Pierre Thomas entrenched in the starting tailback job, I expect a more balanced attack in 2009.  Moore is going in around the 7th round of fantasy drafts, which which leads me to believe he won’t live up to the expectations that come with a seventh round pick.  I surely wouldn’t trust him as a WR3.  He could possibly be a decent WR4, but I think consistency will be an issue for him once again.  Plus, I think he takes a step back with 55 catches for 650 yards and 5 TDs.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

Strong Wide Receiver Plays

20 October 2008

San Diego has been terrible against the pass this season allowing 255.5 yards per game and 9 TDs.  They have officially joined the ranks of Defenses you follow to look for solid QB and WR play each week.  Last week Trent Edwards (25 of 30 for 261 yards, TD) and Lee Evans (8 catches for 89 yards, TD) were the latest to take advantage of them.  Next week they face the Saints minus Reggie Bush.  I expect Jeremy Shockey to pick up some of the slack, but a player I look to have a strong game is Lance Moore.  Moore has 32 receptions for 341 yards, and 2 TDs.  He’s second on the Saints in receptions, trailing Bush’s 42.  With Bush out look for Moore to see more action underneath.  Moore is also third in receiving yards behind Bush (366) and Devery Henderson (465), who I also endorse over the next few weeks.  Coming out of New Orleans’ Week 9 Bye they face Atlanta (231.7 ypg, 10 TDS), who is in the bottom third in Pass D, and Kansas City (195 ypg, 5 TDs), who is just plain bad.  Moore should have a nice string of games until Bush is back.

DeSean Jackson is another player I think will have a big Week 8.  He’s coming out of a bye and facing the aforementioned Falcons.  Two factors working in Jackson’s favor.  After that he faces lowly Seattle, who is allowing 242.2 ypg and 10 TDs making DeSean a nice play for the next two weeks.

There were some unusual heroes on Sunday.  There always are.  Let’s take a look at them and see if they are worthy of your fantasy rosters.

QB
Matt Schaub -  Schaub finally had a decent game, although I’m miffed Andre Johnson didn’t factor in more.  The Good News for Schaub is he had his bye week and has soft matchups vs. Miami, Detroit, Cincinnati, and Minnesota coming up in Weeks 6-9.  If your QB goes on bye that week, he could be a nice plug-and-play.  The Bad News is the Texans aren’t doing so hot and he could find himself out of a job.  Until that happens though, he has some value.
Ruling:  Get ‘em

RBs

Deuce McAllister - With the start Reggie Bush is having and the emergence of Pierre Thomas, many put Deuce out to pasture.  It appears that may have been premature.  There is still some fight left in Deuce.  The Saints are a better team when he they have Deuce going so look for them to continue to give him work.
Ruling:  Get ‘em.

Fred Jackson – Fred ran for 46 yards on 7 carries (6.6 ypc) and a score while adding three receptions for 9 yards.  The bulk of his yardage came on his 22 yard TD run.  While his numbers look decent in the boxscore, I don’t see him as much of a threat to Lynch.
Ruling: Get ‘em.

WRs
Lance Moore – I expected Robert Meachem to get more work with Colston and Shockey out, which he did, but Lance Moore was truly the biggest beneficiary.  He snagged 7 passes for 101 yards and 2 TDs. 
Ruling: Get ‘em.

Steve Breaston – Credit Cage Matcher Awesome for calling Breaston early.  He exploded for 9 catches for 122 yards.  While he may have a hold on the #3 WR spot in the desert, this game is the exception and not the norm.
Ruling: Don’t Sweat ‘em.

TE
Zach Miller – He got off to a slow start with 58 yards through three weeks.  He exploded for 95 and a score vs. the Chargers.  He finished strong last year with JaMarcus (8 catches for 84 yards in Week 17).  Perhaps they are finally on the same page.  With bye week season in full swing, he makes an interesting selection.  The beauty is with Oakland going on bye next week, you probably won’t have any competition for him if he’s available and you can make due without him.
Ruling:  Don’t Sweat ‘em.

There you have it.  I hope I provided you some good info while you make your fantasy team waiver wire adjustments.


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