Fantasy Football

Fantasy Team Preview: Saints

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John Halpin

John Halpin has been a fantasy contributor for FOXSports.com since 2007. He has written and co-hosted webcasts about fantasy football for FOXNews.com, and managed websites for the NHL, the U.S. Olympic Committee and USA Network. Listen to his "Fantasy 15 Podcast" on FOXSportsRadio.com and follow him on Twitter.

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Overall outlook: There’s a lot to like here, with five players that figure to start every week in all 2013 fantasy football formats.

Bye week: 7

Quarterback: Drew Brees

Topped all quarterbacks with 431.6 FOXSports.com fantasy points in 2012 … Also led in passing yards (5,177) and touchdown passes (43) … Tied for first with 19 interceptions … Rushed for five yards, or 821 fewer than Robert Griffin III; seriously, this deficiency allows other QBs to close the gap on Brees’ prolific passing numbers … First or second quarterback on most draftboards.

Running back: Darren Sproles

Though known primarily for his receiving skills, Sproles ranked 20th among RBs with 141.1 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked 67th with 244 rushing yards on 48 carries, but led backs in receptions (75, runner-up had 61), receiving yards (667, runner-up had 496) and receiving TDs (seven, runner-up had three) … Racked up all those numbers while missing three games with a broken hand … Worth a top-25 overall pick in PPR formats, but still an RB2 in standard leagues.

Running back: Mark Ingram

Ranked 31st with 93.1 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked 29th among RBs in rushing attempts (156) and yards (602), and scored five touchdowns … Not a receiving threat, with just 17 catches for 75 yards in two NFL seasons … Even with Chris Ivory gone, doesn’t figure to get too many more carries … RB3 on most ranking lists, and appears to have limited upside.

Running back: Pierre Thomas

Ranked 30th with 94.7 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked 34th among RBs in rushing yards (473), 16th in receptions (39) and 12th in receiving yards (354) … Had 51 fewer carries than Ingram … Seems to be a high-end RB4 on most draftboards, but like Ingram, doesn’t have much upside with his limited workload … It’s hard to count on a guy that averages fewer than 10 touches per game.

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Wide receiver: Marques Colston

Ranked 12th with 171.4 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked 13th among WRs in both receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,154), and was T-6 with 10 touchdowns … Steady as they come, totaling between 70-83 catches, 1,023-1,154 yards and 7-10 TDs over the last four seasons … On the WR1/WR2 cusp in early drafts, which sounds about right.

Wide receiver: Lance Moore

Ranked 20th with 141.1 fantasy points in 2012 … Was 25th in receptions (65) and 19th in yards (1,041), while scoring six times … Averaged 16 yards per reception, which was 3.9 yards better (!!!) than his previous best … Underrated, and offers interesting upside as a WR3.

Wide receiver: Joe Morgan

Ranked 73rd among wideouts with 56 fantasy points in 2012 … Caught 10 passes for 379 yards and three touchdowns … Should be busier this season, but not enough to be drafted in 12-team leagues.

Tight end: Jimmy Graham

Led tight ends with 152.2 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked third in receptions (85), second in yardage (982) and T-2 in touchdowns (nine) … Near-unanimous top fantasy tight end with Rob Gronkowski’s injury situation up in the air … Grab Graham in Round 2 if you want him.

TEAM PREVIEWS

TEAM PREVIEWS

Halpin and Meyer break down all 32 NFL teams for fantasy football value.

Placekicker: Garrett Hartley

Ranked 18th with 116 fantasy points in 2012 … Was second with 57 extra points, but 29th in field goal attempts (22) and T-29 in conversions (18) … This can happen when your awesome offense scores so many touchdowns … Borderline top-12 kicker, and will never be the guy to surprise you with 35 field goals (unless Brees gets injured, anyway).

Team defense (DST)

Ranked 22nd with 105 fantasy points in 2012 … Ranked a distant last with 7,042 yards allowed, more than 900 yards worse than the 31st-ranked Giants … Allowed 454 points, good for (or bad for?) 31st in the league … T-26 in sacks (30), 15th in interceptions (15) and T-13 in fumble recoveries (five) … In the Saints’ defense, the unit and coaching staff were decimated by Bountygate, but there’s still no reason to draft them.

Sign up today for your free fantasy football season at FOXSports.com, and test your draft preparation by entering our mock draft lobby. Our fantasy experts will provide you with all the 2013 fantasy football news you’ll need to push for your league’s championship.

Tagged: Saints, Drew Brees, Mark Ingram

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