The 2015 Saints were a mixed bag last year – even though they had very little trouble moving the ball on offense (6,461 total yards – second-highest in the league), their defensive execution faltered, leaving the Saints to resort to having to win scoring shootouts in order to win games – unfortunately, 7-9 was as good as New Orleans was able to do in 2015 – with several young players having gained useful in-game experience, perhaps the Saints could make a case for taking the NFC South if their defense can begin to perform on-par with their offense. If nothing else, that offense should supply plenty of fantasy football value.
QB Drew Brees
Hall of Fame shoo-in Drew Brees is now heading into his 16th season, and he’s still turning in stats like it’s his sixth – for your consideration: 4,870 yards (league best), 68.3% pass completion rate (third-highest of all QBs, minimum 40+ attempts), 32 TDs (tied for seventh-most), 11 INTs – last season also marked his tenth-consecutive season of throwing for 4,000+ passing yards. Even though Brees has aged quite a bit – he’s 37 going into this year – he’s hasn’t missed a step as far as either making reads or throws; the 52-49 win over the Giants last year comes to mind – an absolute offenseive masterpiece for Brees. Not only that, his young pass options, Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead, show all signs of maturing into even more dependable targets for an aging Brees – come fantasy season, Brees is a must-have QB1 asset – he’s a passing-yards machine, he’s always a threat to break 5,000+ yards, and he’ll be slinging the pigskin for a healthy serving of end-zone connections in 2016.
WR Brandin Cooks
As Brees doesn’t necessarily play favorites with eligible targets, it’s almost certain that a majority of Saints wideouts will end up with receiving yards in spades by season’s end due to the sheer volume that Brees’ passing mechanics are expected to output. Willie Snead thrived under New Orleans’ pass-heavy offense, as did Benjamin Watson at TE, now a member of the Ravens – Brandin Cooks, however, is of such skill and on-field ability that even though he was fortunate enough to be part of the most potent passing offense of 2015 (4,970 yards), he wouldn’t have needed it – Brandin Cooks, as a budding talent, has shown poise and maturity as a receiver, now prepares to enter his junior season as a Saints receiver, and with his first full season netting him 1,184 receiving yards and 9 TDs, Cooks has established himself as the top talent of New Orleans’ receiving corps.
RB Mark Ingram
It’s no secret that the Saints don’t like to waste talent; their passing-game personnel is just as varied as their rushing-game’s. Be that as it may, Mark Ingram stands the lynchpin to the Saints’ versatility on offense – even as part of a multi-back scheme, Ingram still managed to contribute 769 rushing yards for 6 TDs, and another 405 receiving yards off of 50 receptions. More to the point, he was injured for four games in 2015 – Ingram’s stats, to scale, assuming he was able to play a full 16-game season would’ve saw him eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards and 500 passing yards after last year’s Week 17. Ever a dual-threat as a runner and receiver, the six-season veteran looks to encourage a larger workload for himself to cement his place as the go-to back for both fantasy-leaguers and Saints staff.
Others of Note:
- WR Willie Snead
- WR Michael Thomas
- RB Tim Hightower
- TE Coby Fleener