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NFL preseason report: New Orleans Saints

See who’s trending up and who’s trending down throughout Saints training camp and preseason.     

NFL: New Orleans Saints-Training Camp Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

This page will be regularly updated with news and analysis regarding the Saints’ skill position players throughout training camp and the preseason. ⬆︎ ⬇︎ Indicate which way a player’s fantasy value is trending and (R) denotes rookies.

Warren Sharp projects the New Orleans Saints to face the 6th-most difficult schedule of 2018.

Quarterback

Drew Brees ⬆︎ -- A lot of people are down on Brees after his supposedly poor season last year -- which is silly. Brees not only lead the league with 386 completions, he set the record for completion percentage at 72%. In 2017, the Saints’ went more run-heavy than they typically have in the past. It’s reasonable to expect Brees’ pass attempts to bounce back to the norm this year. Brees will once again be a Top 5-10 fantasy QB.

Taysom Hill ⬆︎/⬇ -- This guy’s a freak athlete and he might just be the Saints QB of the future. For now though, he’ll just keep making plays on special teams and warming all of our hearts.

Teddy Bridgewater ⬆︎/⬇ -- This is a interesting move. If Bridgewater stays healthy and continues to look as sharp as he has, Hill’s possible future QB gig may be unavailable.

Running Back

Alvin Kamara ⬆︎ -- Alvin Kamara set the league on fire last year, averaging 6.1 YPC on 120 totes while catching 81 out of 100 targets at 10.2 yards per reception. He totaled 1,554 yards from scrimmage and 13 touchdowns. That’s about as dominant of a rookie year as you’ll ever see. Evan Silva points out in Sharp’s 2018 Football Preview that Kamara jumped from 12.6 to 15.8 touches for the final 5 games of the Saints 2017 season. New Orleans clearly knows what they have in him and decided to feature him at the end of the year. His averages will undoubtedly drop this season but it doesn’t matter. His volume of work will sufficiently rise and Kamara will once again finish as an RB1. It’s worth noting that this year’s offensive line will be a significant upgrade to last season too. Sharp lists the 2017 Saints’ offensive line as the 9th-most injured offensive line in the league. Not only will this line be improved from last year, it’s quite possibly the NFL’s top blocking unit. Draft Kamara confidently in the 1st round.

Mark Ingram ⬇ -- I’m having a very hard time with Ingram right now. He and Kamara helped me win a championship last year but his 4th round ADP is far too expensive for me to handle at this point. He’s a great running back -- he could probably start on 20 teams today. That being said, once you’re in Sean Payton’s doghouse (and Ingram most certainly is) it’s tough to get out. The GOAT Evan Silva also frequently mentions, on both Ross Tucker’s Fantasy Feast: Eatin’ Podcast and the Rotoworld Football Podcast hosted by Josh Norris, that the track record of players coming back from PED suspensions is not good. I could see Ingram potentially coming back to 10 or so touches per game -- which would absolutely earn flex-level fantasy points, possibly higher. But I won’t own him in 2018 unless it’s via trade or the waiver wire. Fade Mark Ingram at his current ADP.

Terrance West ⬇ -- I have to eat crow on this one. I pegged West as the beneficiary of Ingram’s suspension. But then Jonathan Williams decided to finally fulfill his potential and the Saints cut West last week.

Jonathan Williams ⬆︎ -- Everything I said about the Saints’ No. 2 RB spot remains true for Williams. The primary backup will see plenty of work, week in and week out, and should be owned in all formats. If Williams can continue to play at his current level, it’s possible Sean Payton decides to trade Ingram. It would save the team money and Payton seems ready to be done with his longtime veteran.

Wide Receivers

Michael Thomas ⬆︎ -- Thomas is the real deal and I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up in the Saints’ record books oneday. His mid-second round ADP is reasonable -- he can be counted on as a difference-making WR1.

Ted Ginn Jr. ⬆︎/⬇ -- Ginn Jr. is currently going undrafted, which may be a bit unreasonable. He’s managed to produce 700+ receiving yards in 3 consecutive season but his touchdown production has been a bit volatile. With a retooled receiving corps, it’ll be difficult for Ginn to get regular looks in the passing game. However, there will be weeks when he’s a viable option, given the right matchup. Look for him as a waiver wire fill-in vs. teams deficient in covering the deep ball.

Cameron Meredith ⬇ -- Meredith is an extremely talented receiver but has had a tough go of it, recovering from last season’s ACL tear. It’s been difficult for him to absorb a new playbook on top of the injury recovery and it’s likely he starts the season slow. I’m okay with taking a flyer on Meredith at his 11th round ADP but I do think there are better options available there (John Brown -- the actual No. 1 WR in Baltimore, or tight ends like George Kittle and Jack Doyle). I think a better strategy is to bank on him starting slow and then looking for him on the waiver wire as his practice reports improve throughout the season. It’s possible his owner becomes frustrated and cuts bait after a week or two of lackluster production to start the season.

Tre’Quan Smith ⬆︎ -- This kid’s gonna be a baller. He’s played very well in the preseason thus far and he’s still learning the majority of the playbook. I’d heard on a few podcasts a while back, that he could potentially be Marques Colston 2.0, sometimes lining up as a tight end. He’s a big-bodied, athletic playmaker that should oneday stake his claim as one of the great Saints wideouts. However, he’s a rookie in a crowded receiving corps -- so expect some growing pains. He’s currently going undrafted but I have no issue with you using your final draft pick on him. Should Meredith’s knee continue to give him issues, Smith could end up as the NOLA No. 2 while Ginn Jr. continues to function as the designated deep threat.

Brandon Coleman ⬆︎/⬇ -- In his 2018 Football Preview, Sharp raves about Coleman’s run-blocking ability out-wide. This is significant because it could keep him on the field in both 3 and 4-wide sets as well as obvious running situations. I don’t love him as a fantasy option but he’s an important part of the Saints offense that we need to keep an eye on.

Tight End

Benjamin Watson ⬆︎/⬇ -- Watson’s currently going undrafted and that seems about right. He’s a reliable TE who will help in a “real football” sense much more so than in fantasy. There will be weeks when he’s a streaming candidate -- when New Orleans plays a team that specifically struggles to cover tight ends. Outside of that though, he’d be a waste of a roster spot.

Josh Hill ⬇ -- Josh Hill has flashed at times but if the Saints were confident in him, they wouldn’t have brought Watson in on a one year deal.