The New Orleans Saints are coming off what many would say to be a bad season. The Saints finished 7-9 and in third place in the NFC South. The Saints have had one of the best offenses over the last several seasons, but their defense is lacking. New Orleans’ offense scored the second most points in the league and put up the most yards in the NFL this season. Below is the New Orleans Saints 2016 fantasy football recap.
New Orleans Saints 2016 Fantasy Football Recap
Drew Brees has been one of the best NFL and fantasy quarterbacks over his 16 seasons in the NFL. The former Purdue signal caller is coming off a great 2016 season where he totaled 5,208 passing yards, 37 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. Brees also added two rushing touchdowns and ended the season with 323 total fantasy points. He finished third at the quarterback position and averaged 20 fantasy points per game.
Brees was one of the best fantasy quarterbacks this season but he did have a few rough games. Brees has always played better at home, but overall he is one of the best fantasy football quarterbacks. With all the weapons that the Saints have on offense, Brees should have no problem producing solid numbers in 2017. He is worth a third or fourth-round pick in 2017 drafts.
The Saints have used a running back by committee for many years. Their main running back in the committee is Mark Ingram, who totaled 1,362 yards and 10 total touchdowns this season. Ingram finished with 181 fantasy points which had him as the tenth best running back in fantasy. While he averaged over 11 fantasy points per game he was a boom or bust player throughout the season. He had seven games of double digit fantasy points and seven games of six or fewer fantasy points. Ingram is a low-end running back one next season and can be targeted late in the second-round or early in the third-round in next year’s drafts.
The Saints next leading back is Tim Hightower. Hightower had 748 total yards with five touchdowns and finished with 92 total fantasy points. Hightower is not much more than a handcuff for Ingram. He is worth a late-round flier in next year’s drafts.
Last year the Saints had two of the best wide receivers in the league, lead by a veteran in Brandin Cooks. Cooks had 1,200 total yards and eight touchdowns this season. He finished 2016 as the eighth best wide receiver in fantasy with 160 fantasy points and averaged 10 points per game. Cooks is one of the most electric receivers in the NFL and has the skills to take it the distance on every play. That is also one of his down sides as he had six games of double digit fantasy points and eight games of seven or fewer points. Cooks is still one of the best fantasy wide receivers and is worth a second-round pick in next year’s fantasy drafts.
Next leading wide receiver was rookie Michael Thomas who finished the season with 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 157 total fantasy points and averaged around ten fantasy points per game in 2016. Thomas finished as the ninth ranked wide receiver in fantasy and was a solid wide receiver two throughout the season. Thomas is one of the higher upside wide receivers for next season. He is worth a early round pick in next year’s drafts.
The Saints next receiver was veteran Willie Snead. Snead was rather inconsistent and very touchdown dependent last season. He finished with 895 yards and four touchdowns, and also had a fifty-yard touchdown pass. Snead totaled 112 fantasy points and averaged seven points per game. He is worth a late-round flier in next seasons draft’s.
One of the more interesting signings of the 2015 off-season was tight end Coby Fleener, formally of the Indianapolis Colts. The Saints tight ends have been one of Brees’ favorite targets and a solid option for fantasy owners. But Fleener was inconsistent and was a boom or bust most weeks.
Fleener had 11 games of four or fewer fantasy points. He totaled 633 total yards with only four touchdowns. Fleener finished the season as the 13th ranked tight end with 78 fantasy points and averaged five fantasy points per game. With all the mouths to feed in New Orleans he will most likely continue to be inconsistent next season. But Fleener is still worth a late-round draft pick next season.
The Saints kicker has been solid in fantasy football over the years because of their high scoring offense. This year was no different and rookie kicker Wil Lutz made 28 of his 34 field goal attempts and 49 of his 50 extra point attempts. He finished as the seventh ranked kicker with 141 fantasy points. Lutz averaged around nine fantasy points per game and is worth a late-round pick next season.
The Saints defense is one of the worst in the league and they give up a lot of fantasy points. They finished the season as the 30th ranked defense with 34 fantasy points and only averaged two points per game. The Saints offense is the unit that keeps the team competitive. The defense is a very matchup dependent play and only worth a pick in a very deep league.
The NFC South is one of the most competitive divisions in football and has a lot of turn over. It is very rare for a team to win the division in back-to-back years. But the Saints are usually right there at the top of the standings, thanks to Brees and their offense. Brees is still under contract for another season and has shown he is still one of the best in the league. With Brees leading the team the Saints will continue to be one of the better offenses in football and continue to produce fantasy points.