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At the quarterback position on my rankings list for the coming season, I currently have Drew Brees ranked #1 above Aaron Rodgers, although the first thing I state is that they are basically neck and neck and it is a matter of preference. Recently a visitor left a comment on my post wondering how I could place Brees above Rodgers, mainly citing the lack of Sean Peyton and available receivers. I however, feel as thought Brees will still be a monster of a quarterback in 2012 and would like to point out that the only receiver that Brees lost was Robert Meachem, an almost non-factor the last season. I am now going to go through the key Saints fantasy players and go over some of my expectations for them next season.
Drew Brees – I have high hopes for Drew Brees despite the lack of Sean Payton on the sidelines. Some people are concerned that Brees is currently not pleased with the Saints organization, which while it may be true, I am not worried much about it. Brees is a consumate professional and I believe he will play at his best no matter the situation. With Sean Payton suspended for next season, I, and many other are looking at Drew Brees to take over the offence much of the time. In fact, I would not be surprised if the Saints end up leaning even more heavily on Brees, resulting in him throwing the ball even more; though matching last years numbers will be extremely hard.
My Current Prediction: 4500 and 45 TDs
Jimmy Graham – Graham and Colston are two players I don’t have much doubt in this season and believe they will end up with much of the same fantasy value as last season. Graham is a physical monster at TE and a matchup nightmare, I don’t see him staying under 1000 yards and 10 TDs this season with potential for more.
My Current Prediction: 1300-1400 yards and 10+ TDs
Marques Colston – Colston had another solid year with 1100 yards and 8 TDs, much like Graham I expect Colston to reach about these same numbers. He is an almost perennial 1000 yard receiver with potential to catch 10 TDs or more. The only reason I don’t think Colston will catch 10 TDs is because of TE Jimmy Graham hawking them.
My Current Prediction: 900-1000 yards & 7-10 TDs
Lance Moore & Devery Henderson – As you may be realizing, I don’t expect much to change for the Saints this coming season. Payton or no Payton, I think they will still be a very potent, pass-first offence led by one of the greatest QB talents to play the game. Like the others listed above, I dont see much changing for Moore and Henderson coming in the new season. Moore caught 100 or so more yards then Henderson, but more importantly had 8 TDs on the season to Henderson’s 2. Brees was a large reason that Moore stayed a Saint last year when their was rumours that he may be traded or released. Moore has answered by catching 8 TDs in back to back seasons. After Colston, Moore should be the #2 WR for the Saints.
My Current Prediction: Moore – 700 yards & 7 TDs // Henderson – 500 yards and 2-4 TDs
Darren Sproles – Sproles set an NFL record for all purpose yardage last season and set career bests in rushing yards and receiving yards. He rushed for 2 TDs while catching 7… There is seemingly nothing that Sproles can’t do. SProles is an ideal #2 RB as he it bound to make an impact in the game somehow, be it with his feet or with his hands. Last year was a career year fro him and his first as a Saint, he will likely be looking to improve upon his performance. He is also the ideal checkdown player when Brees has no other options.
My Current Prediction: 1100-1300 total yards with 8-10 total TD
Mark Ingram & Pierre Thomas & Chris Ivory – Ingram led the Saints with a modest 122 carries while Thomas had 110 and Ivory 79 (Sproles ended up leading the team rush yards however on his 87 carries). As far as I know each of these running backs will be returning to the Saints, meaning it will be a committee of running back, none of whom can be trusted week to week. Saints RB’s should be drafted as backups, perhaps one of them will get hot and earn the starting role week to week, but I seriously doubt it. Between Sproles, Ingram, Thomas and Ivory, their is a lot of different skill sets and sizes. According to reports, Ingram is expected to get 12-16 carries a game; over a 16 game season that will give him over 200 carries.
My Current Prediction: Ingram – 700-900 yards & 6+ TDs // Thomas – 400 yards 3 TDs// Ivory – 500-600 yards 4 TD
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