2019 Fantasy Football Team Previews: Saints have unfinished business

As long as Drew Brees is under center, the Saints continue to be among the league's most reliable Fantasy offenses. With Mark Ingram in Baltimore, Alvin Kamara will now lead a backfield split with Latavius Murray, while Michael Thomas will continue to be the focal point of a passing attack that also features intriguing sophomore Tre'Quan Smith, free agent acquisition Jared Cook and Ted Ginn.

2018 Review

Record: 13-3 (1st in NFL)
PPG: 31.5 (3)
YPG: 379.2 (8)
Pass YPG: 252.6 (12)
Rush YPG: 126.6 (7)
PAPG: 32.4 (23)
RAPG: 29.4 (5)

2018 Fantasy finishes

QB: Drew Brees -- QB8
RB: Alvin Kamara -- RB4; Mark Ingram* -- RB32
WR: Michael Thomas -- WR6; Tre'Quan Smith -- WR73
TE: Ben Watson* -- TE21
*No longer with team

Number to know: 519

That's the number of passes the Saints threw in 2018. It's the lowest total since Drew Brees joined the team in 2006.

2019 Offseason

"Thunder and lightning. Look around the league. You have that running back room that typically brings different skill sets and you are able to mix and match. I think our offense is proven that we do a lot of things with two backs in the game. It just gives us a lot of flexibility and gives a lot for the defense to have to worry about and game plan for." - Drew Brees, on Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray

Head Coach: Sean Payton (13th year)
Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael (11th year)  

Draft Picks 

2. (48) Erik McCoy, C
6. (177) Saquan Hampton, S
7. (231) Alizé Mack, TE
7. (244) Kaden Elliss, LB

Additions

RB Latavius Murray, TE Jared Cook, OL Nick Easton, DL Malcolm Brown, DL Mario Edwards, DB Marcus Sherels

Key Departures

RB Mark Ingram, TE Benjamin Watson, C Max Unger, G Jermon Bushrod, DE Alex Okafor

Rankings and Projections

Player
Drew BreesQB10QB8QB14
Alvin KamaraRB3RB1RB3
Latavius MurrayRB42RB38RB41
Michael ThomasWR4WR5WR4
Jared CookTE8TE7TE10
Wil LutzK5K3K4
Saints DSTDST7DST7DST8
 
Heath Cummings' projected offensive stats
QBDrew Brees4,222 YD, 30 TD, 9 INT
RBAlvin Kamara229 ATT, 1,167 YD, 11 TD; 82 REC, 782 YD, 4 TD
RBLatavius Murray187 ATT, 803 YD, 7 TD; 21 REC, 150 YD
WRMichael Thomas148 TAR, 114 REC, 1,343 YD, 9 TD
WRTre'Quan Smith53 TAR, 33 REC, 509 YD, 4 TD
WRTed Ginn63 TAR, 37 REC, 485 YD, 4 TD
TEJared Cook79 TAR, 51 REC, 669 YD, 5 TD

Biggest question

Is Jared Cook a trustworthy tight end?

"Part of the reason for Cook's 10th-year breakout was because he was pushed into the Raiders' biggest receiving role. That won't happen in New Orleans, but Cook's size/speed combination gives him a shot at 100 targets from Drew Brees. Say what you will about him, but Cook showed you what he could do with 100 targets last year. The upside makes him worth the Round 7-8 gamble." -- Dave Richard 

One sleeper, one breakout and one bust

Sleeper: Ted Ginn

The truth is that this offense will be so centered around the running backs and Michael Thomas that there isn't a sleeper with big upside, but Ted Ginn is probably being overlooked. Yes, Tre'Quan Smith has more upside, but Ginn had at least six targets in every game he started and finished last year. He's not being treated like the No. 2 receiver in the offense but that may still be the reality.

Breakout: Tre'Quan Smith

Tre'Quan Smith definitely has the most upside of all the receivers behind Thomas. Last year he showed an ability to get behind the defense and twice topped 100 yards with a score. It will be tough for him to develop into a reliable Fantasy starter with the volume available in New Orleans, but he could be an excellent best-ball option. 

Bust: Drew Brees

Drew Brees didn't show any signs of slowing down in 2018 when you look at his efficiency, but you can't expect that type of efficiency again this year. His 6.5% touchdown rate was more than a full point over his career average and his 8.2 Y/A was a half yard higher. If the volume stays low, Brees will struggle to be a Fantasy starter.

So which sleepers should you snatch in your draft? And which RB2 can you wait on until late? Visit SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets from the model that called Andrew Luck's huge season, and find out.

Senior Fantasy Writer

Heath Cummings is a Senior Fantasy Writer that covers Daily Fantasy Sports of all types. Before coming to CBS Sports he was a staff writer for Footballguys and the host of The Fantasy Football Show on... Full Bio

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