The New Orleans Saints looked like the gunslinging team of old last weekend. But can they replicate that performance on the road?
That’s the biggest question on the minds of fantasy owners ahead of Thursday night’s NFC South clash between the Saints and Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.
The Saints have been a fantasy enigma, to say the least. Quarterback Drew Brees has been far from his dominant self, tight end Jimmy Graham has just four touchdowns after scoring an NFL-high 16 in 2013 and the running back situation is as muddled as ever.
Concerns appeared to be erased last Sunday in a convincing win over the Green Bay Packers, but the game was played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. The Saints have yet to win on the road this season.
If you play fantasy football, you don’t care who wins and loses. You just want points — lots of them. It’s hard to see this game becoming a shootout, but there still are fantasy opportunities to be had.
Here’s who we think will and will not produce points.
Mark Ingram, Running Back, Saints: Ingram is the best running back on the roster, and he proved that Sunday by galloping for 172 rushing yards and a score. Pierre Thomas will miss his second straight game Thursday, so Ingram should receive plenty more touches against a defense that’s given up the second-most rushing yards in the NFL. Ingram is a must-start.
Kelvin Benjamin, Wide Receiver, Panthers: Benjamin has been a bright spot in an up-and-down season for Carolina. He trails only Sammy Watkins in receiving yards among rookies and has scored a touchdown in all but three games this season. Things look good again Thursday night, as the Saints have given up the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers in standard-scoring leagues.
Jonathan Stewart, Running Back, Panthers: Carolina’s backfield has been a mess, and it’s about to become even messier. DeAngelo Williams is expected to return for Thursday night’s game and split carries with Stewart. Stewart wasn’t even effective when he was the lead running back. If you have a Panthers running back on your roster, don’t start him.
Marques Colston, Wide Receiver, Saints: Colston still is capable of the occasional breakout game, but he’s just too inconsistent to be trusted at this point. With Brandin Cooks coming off a big game and a fully healthy Jimmy Graham at Drew Brees’ disposal, Colston looks like the third option at best. In a Thursday night game on the road, that’s not going to cut it.
Have a fantasy/NFL question for Darren? Send it to him via Twitter at @darren_hartwell
Photo via Crystal LoGiudice/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP