2018 Fantasy Football - New Orleans Saints - Team Moves





By Chet Gresham - @ChetGresham
Follow @walterfootball for updates.

Each offseason brings change to NFL rosters, and those changes often have fantasy implications. Below, I lay out the changes at the skill positions and how those moves impact the fantasy status of the new roster.


2017
    QB: Drew Brees
    RB: Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara
    WR: Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Brandon Coleman, Willie Snead
    TE: Coby Fleener, Josh Hill


2018
    QB: Drew Brees, Tom Savage
    RB: Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara, Jonathan Williams, Boston Scott
    WR: Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn, Cameron Meredith, Tre'Quan Smith
    TE: Ben Watson, Josh Hill, Michael Hoomanawanui




Pre-Draft Offseason:

The Saints hit the jackpot with Alvin Kamara last season and used both him and Mark Ingram to push their offense into a more run-based scheme, while their defense improved enough to let them stick with the run more often than they have in the past. They did well with that change and will no-doubt keep moving their offense that way.

With their offense clicking last year and none of their top offensive weapons leaving, the Saints didn't need to do too much this offseason. They did make a couple of moves that should help their offense, however, signing tight end Ben Watson and receiver Cameron Meredith.

Both Watson and Meredith are solid players who will fill a void in the Saints' offense, as Coby Fleener and Brandon Coleman weren't getting the job done. Meredith is a bit of a gamble coming off ACL and MCL injuries, but if he can return to form the Saints got a great deal on him. Their fantasy potential isn't quite as high as it used to be on this team though. Coleman/Lewis/Snead/Fleener/Hill/ Hoomanawanui only combined for 130 targets, 85 receptions, 1,044 yards and eight touchdowns in 2016, while Michael Thomas had just five touchdown catches all season. Thomas should see that number go up a bit this year, and I expect there will be a scramble for the remaining receivers to get into the end zone for this team in 2018. Watson and Meredith will be the likely starters at tight end and the slot, so they should see more of a concentration of targets and Meredith could also take some targets away from Ted Ginn, giving them fantasy value, although likely not where their ADP will fall.



Post-Draft Update

The Saints didn't go hard at offensive skill players, alhtough they did grab a wide receiver with their second pick, 91st overall, when they took Tre'Quan Smith out of Central Florida. Smith is a great deep-ball receiver and should be able to take over in that capacity, as Ted Ginn is not the deep-ball receiver he used to be. Smith's workload this season will depend on how strong Cameron Meredith's knee is and how well Ginn can hold onto his spot. Smith is not a redraft pick unless you are in an extremely deep league, but he is a no-doubt pick in dynasty leagues.

New Orleans also added a running back late in the draft with Boston Scott out of Louisiana Tech. Scott has great ability after getting hit. His low center of gravity and bulk, in combination with his 4.4 speed, give him a chance to make it in the NFL and worthy of a dynasty grab this year.



2018 Fantasy Outlook:

Stud: Alvin Kamara, Michael Thomas

Solid: Drew Brees, Mark Ingram

Sleeper: Ben Watson, Cameron Meredith

For more recommendations, check out WalterFootball.com's Fantasy Football Rankings.




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