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.

Here are some Wide Receivers and Tight Ends that have played well in the preseason.  Let’s evaluate them to see if they can translate their preseason production into fantasy worth when the season begins.

Wide Receivers
Troy Williamson, Jacksonville Jaguars
- Troy still leads the NFL in receiving yards with 232, but his one catch, 11 yard performance against Philadelphia is a reminder that he shouldn’t be counted on for fantasy production.  Yeah, he’ll catch the occasional deep ball, but consistency will be an issue.

Chris Henry, Cincinnati Bengals - Henry scored for the third straight preseason game.  He had 2 catches for 62 yards.  So far he has 13 grabs for 217 yards and 3 TDs.  If he can stay out of trouble, he could have double-digit TDs.  Considering he’s going in the later rounds, he should be a great value pick.

Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants – Nicks had a monster 6 catch, 144 yard, 2 TD performance against the Jets to put him on the fantasy radar.  That gives him 8 catches for 208 yards.  I don’t see him having much fantasy value as he’ll likely share split end duties with Domenik Hixon.

Robert Meachem, New Orleans Saints - Meachem caught one pass for 71 yards in the win over the Raiders giving him 177 yards on 6 catches for a ridiculous 29.5 yards per catch.  He also has competition for playing time, but has a much better QB and passing game with Drew Brees and the Saints.

Maurice Stovall, Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Stovall had 6 catches for 74 yards against Miami to bring him to 12 for 123 yards in the preseason.  He could earn a few starts based on Antonio Bryant and Michael Clayton’s health, but I don’t see him being much of a factor.  I’d look elsewhere for WR depth.

Tight Ends
Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans – Jared continued to produce with 5 catches for 39 yards in a loss to Cleveland. He has 17 catches for 159 yards this preseason.  The Titans could be using a lot of two TE sets with Cook and Bo Scaife.  He’s a decent TE2 option.

Jonathan Stupar, Buffalo Bills – Stupar had 15 receptions for 155 yards and a score.  He went without a catch in their loss to Pittsburgh.  Look for other options for your TE2.
 

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Here are some Wide Receivers and Tight Ends putting up serious preseason numbers.  Let’s take a look and see if they have a chance to translate some of that preseason production into fantasy worth in regular season play. 

Jonathan Stupar, Buffalo Bills - Stupar leads the NFL with 15 preseason receptions for 155 yards and a TD.  He’s third on the Bills’ Tight End depth chart so don’t get any thoughts of fantasy worth.

Jared Cook, Tennessee Titans - Now Cook is a TE with some fantasy value.  The Rookie out of South Carolina has 12 catches for 120 yards in the preseason.  With Tennessee’s limited options in the passing game, Cook could become one of their more reliable targets.  He’s worth taking as a TE2.

Chris Henry, Cincinnati Bengals - As long as he can stay out of Roger Goodell’s office, Henry has a chance to really break out this year.  He has 11 catches for 155 yards and 2 TDs.  Now that he seems to have put his troubles behind him, he could put up huge numbers in a full season.  He is going in the later rounds of fantasy drafts, and could end up putting up WR2 or WR3 numbers. 

Dwayne Bowe catch
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City Chiefs
- For all the talk of Bowe not fitting into the Chiefs’ system or being at odds with Todd Haley, he has looked good in the preseason games with 8 catches for 107 yards and a TD. If you moved him down in your WR rankings, you may want to move him back up.

Troy Williamson, Jacksonville Jaguars - The former #1 bust leads the NFL with 221 preseason receiving yards on 7 caches.  He caught a pair of deep balls for the bulk of the yardage. It’s great to see him make some plays, but I wouldn’t trust him to continue to produce.  His hands have long been a question mark.

Chad Ochocinco TD
Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati Bengals
- Ocho has 142 yards on 5 catches.  He even added an Extra Point.  More importantly he has kept relatively quiet.  If he can avoid being a distraction, he should be a real nice WR2 this year.

David Clowney, New York Jets - Clowney is hoping to be the next third year WR to break out.  He has five receptions for 135 yards and 2 TDs this preseason.  He is fighting with Chansi Stuckey to start opposite Jerricho Cotchery.

Justin Harper, Baltimore Ravens - Harper has been productive in the preseason games with 6 catches for 119 yards, but has dropped too many passes in practice.  For a team with a limited passing game, dropping passes is a good way to be buried on the depth chart.

Laurent Robinson, St. Louis Rams - Laurent has taken advantage of Donnie Avery’s foot injury by catching 7 passes for 117 yards.  He is going to start for the Rams so he’s worth grabbing in deep leagues, but he likely won’t be a viable fantasy option this year.

Robert Meachem, New Orleans Saints - Meachem has been a sleeper candidate the past two years now.  He has 5 catches for 106 yards, including a 64-yard TD.  If he can get on the field, he has a great chance to be productive in that offense.  Draft him as a fantasy reserve and hope for the best.

Legedu Naanee, San Diego Chargers – This list is littered with third-year WRs.  Legedu has 5 catches for 84 yards and 2 TDs.  He is buried as the Chargers #4 WR behind Vincent Jackson, Chris Chambers, and Malcom Floyd.  It’s also an offense that throws heavily to TE Antonio Gates and RBs LT and Darren Sproles.  Don’t expect much from a fantasy perspective from Naanee this year.

Images courtesy of Icon SMI

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Time for another edition of Fantasy Football Out on a Limb.  I scour the rosters to select a player who I feel will outperform a higher profile player in that given week.  I base my decisions on matchups, how the players are trending, and the ever-important hunch.  To mix things up I’ll occasionally do some two on one matchups or even pit RB or WR duos against each other.  Sometimes I’ll spot a player some points. 
Scoring
6 points for rushing or receiving TD
4 points for a passing TD
0.1 points per yard for rushing or receiving
0.05 points per passing yard. 

Last Week
J.T. O’Sullivan
(20.65) over Derek Anderson (10.45) WHICH I WON
Maurice Jones-Drew (22.6) over Ryan Grant (5.4 )WHICH I WON
Larry Johnson (18.1) over Darren McFadden (4.8) WHICH I WON
Santonio Holmes (3.2) beat Bryant Johnson (2.5)  WHICH I LOST
Laveranues Coles (13.5) beat Amani Toomer (6.4) WHICH I LOST
Super Stetch:  
Chris Perry (15.3) beat Darren Sproles (7.7) WHICH I LOST 

Regular Picks:  3-2
Super Stretch Picks:  0-1
Overall:  3-3
Breakdown: QB: 1-0, RB 2-1, WR: 0-2

 

 

Season Record
Regular Picks:  9-6
Super Stretch Picks:  1-2
Overall:  10-8
Breakdown: QB: 3-0, RB: 5-3, WR: 2-5

Quarterback
  
Carson Palmer over Donovan McNabb
Palmer had been awful before showing a glimpse of his old self last week vs. the G-Men.  Now he gets to face Cleveland at home.  That should be the remedy he needs.  McNabb gets to go on the road to Chicago without his top weapon, Brian Westbrook.  Life will be much more difficult for Mr. McNabb.

Running Backs
 
Jamal Lewis over Michael Turner
Jamal Lewis should have a big day against the Bengals in what figures to be a slugfest.  Michael Turner will return to Earth as he faces a team with an actual Defense in Carolina. 

 
Jonathan Stewart over Darren McFadden
I’ll let these two rookie RBs battle it out.  I’m taking J-Stew and his matchup against Atlanta even though he’ll have to share with DeAngelo Williams.  McFadden has to face the Chargers, who aren’t as tough defensively as in recent years, but will probably score in bunches to take the ball out of Run DMC’s hands.

Wide Receivers
 
Robert Meachem over Santonio Holmes
I’ll pick on Holmes again even though he got me last week.  This time I’m coming with Robert Meachem.  The Saints are losing guys like flies as Shockey joined Colston on the sidelines.  Drew Brees is going to throw the ball.  Meachem will likely be one of his top targets.  I don’t see Holmes finding the cure to what ails him this week when he faces Baltimore. 

     
Isaac Bruce over Hines Ward
I do another oldies matchup.  This time I’m taking Isaac Bruce, the new San Francisco treat, to take out Hines Ward.  For starters Bruce gets to face New Orleans, which is a much easier task than Ward facing the Ravens.  Not only do they have a better secondary than the Saints, they also will bring much more heat.  If Big Ben is hit like he was vs. Philly, he may have another early exit.

SUPER STRETCH
  
Kerry Collins over Jason Campbell
Kerry has a plush matchup vs. Minnesota.  If there line can hold up to the Vikings’ Pass Rush, he should be able to do some nice things.  Campbell has played well of late, but I get the feeling while facing Dallas he’s going to look more like he did in Week 1.


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