We were blessed with some pretty entertaining NFL games in Week 10, and this week’s slate of games should get off to a good start, too, with the New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers facing off on “Thursday Night Football.”
Here’s who we recommend starting and sitting on both clubs in this NFC South matchup.
New Orleans Saints
Quarterback: Drew Brees is a must start this week and every week. He has thrown for at least three touchdowns in four of his last five games, and he’s second only to Matt Ryan with 2,992 passing yards this season. Even at 37 years old, Brees still is a top-tier fantasy (and real-life) quarterback.
Running Back: The Panthers are allowing the second-fewest rushing yards in the NFL, which is bad news for Mark Ingram and Tim Hightower owners. Also, the two running backs recently have been splitting time in the backfield, which makes it hard to predict their potential fantasy impacts. If you have better running back options this week, you probably should start them.
Wide Receiver: Carolina is much more vulnerable against the pass this season, so it’s a good week to start Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas and Willie Snead. Usually it’s tough to project how all three receivers will do, but it’s worth the gamble to start any of them against Carolina’s bottom-10 pass defense.
Tight End: Coby Fleener hasn’t had a touchdown reception since Oct. 16, and he was targeted just twice last week. While it’s a favorable matchup against the Carolina pass defense, it’s probably still best not to start Fleener.
Quarterback: Cam Newton has thrown multiple touchdown passes in just two games this year and not since his last game against the Saints on Oct. 16. It has been a steep fall for the reigning league MVP, but the Saints have the NFL’s worst pass defense, so if Newton is going to have a bounce-back performance, chances are it will happen Thursday.
Running Back: The Saints’ rush defense isn’t much better, but Jonathan Stewart has had his own struggles this season. Stewart’s first two games back from injury were great, as he ran for at least 85 yards and two touchdowns in both contests. However, he hasn’t found the end zone since and had failed to surpass 42 rushing yards in each of his last two games. But he’s still worth a shot as an RB2 or flex against this defense.
Wide Receiver: The Panthers’ best receiver actually is their tight end (more on him in a minute). But Kelvin Benjamin still is worth a fantasy start with his 627 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also had 70-plus receiving yards in each of his last five games.
Tight End: Greg Olsen leads the Panthers in receiving yards (712), and is tied for the second-most receiving touchdowns (third). He’s a vital part of this offense every week and is a fantasy must start as a result.
Defense: The Panthers still own one of the league’s best rush defenses, but their pass defense has had a major setback this season. Also, the Saints tend to score a lot of points, so they might not be the best option this week.
Thumbnail photo via Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY Sports Images