The Saints have been one of the best offenses in the NFL since Drew Brees took his talents to the Big Easy. Brees and Sean Payton have been one of the most prolific quarterback/head coach combinations in NFL history. That relationship almost ended this offseason when both Brees and Payton were rumored to be leaving for greener pastures. Luckily for all Saints fans, and fantasy fans, both Brees and Payton stayed in NO.
NO has hit on skilled offensive players over the last handful of drafts. Jimmy Graham, Mark Ingram, and Brandin Cooks are the most notable. Two of those three are still in New Orleans and are big contributors. The Saints hope they have found the next skilled position contributor in Michael Thomas. Thomas is a big body at the wide receiver position. He's in line for the role Marques Colston had. Thomas and Brandin Coleman will be battling for that role. The winner in training camp should have a nice living ahead of them.
Drew Brees (QB) - 4800 yards, 32 TDs, 10 Ints.
I might be alone in this, but I was almost amazed at Brees' numbers. The last three seasons went a little something like this, 5162-39-12 ('13), 4952-33-17 ('14), 4870-32-11 ('15). Brees partially tore his shoulder in 2015. That did knock him out of one game, but it didn't hurt his final line all that much. Brees is going around the 60th pick in the draft, which is the 6th QB off the board. If you're able to take Brees at what you feel is a value, take him. He won't let you down.
Mark Ingram (RB) - 850 yards, 8 Tds, 45 catches, 350 yards.
If Ingram could stay healthy for a full season, we would be talking about an elite fantasy back. That said, Ingram does not stay healthy. Over the last three seasons, the most games Ingram has played in is thirteen. If you draft Ingram, you have to know he will go down eventually. The best predictor of future injuries is previous injuries. Basically, if a guy gets hurt, he'll continue to get hurt, until he doesn't. You'll have to draft Ingram relatively early as his average draft position (ADP) is in the late second round. If you draft Ingram, remember the name Tim Hightower.
Brandin Cooks (WR) - 85 catches, 1150 yards, 8 TDs.
Cooks was drafted in the great wide receiver draft of 2014. Beckham, Evans, and Watkins get a lot more pub than Cooks, but Cooks has a pretty good deal going in New Orleans. Cooks is the No. 1 option for a quarterback that is going to push 5000 yards. Being a Saint has its perks. Cooks is being drafted as the 13th receiver off the board in the third round, and Cooks will do your team right.
Coby Fleener (TE) - 75 catches, 850 yards, 8 TDs.
Fleener was supposed to become one of the best tight ends in the league. He and his college QB were drafted by the same team, his measurables were fantastic (his 4.4 40, especially). He's never really lived up to the expectations in Indianapolis, but he is now going to New Orleans with QB that throws to his TE more than any other. Last season, Ben Watson had a great year, and Fleener is younger and immensely more talented. Expect great things from Fleener in 2016.
Willie Snead (WR), Michael Thomas (WR)
I'm combining these two players because whichever one hits, the other will not. Snead almost had 1000 yards last season. He's my pick to step up and become a fantasy sleeper. Early in the season, Snead was more productive than Cooks. Snead should be a valuable WR3. Thomas is a rookie out of Ohio State and should pencil in at the "big slot" position made famous by Colston. That's not a position used by every team, so he might need time to develop. Picking one of these two is a smart idea, you just have to pick the right one.
The Saints have a lot of players that should be drafted and will contribute to your fantasy team. When looking at all the shiny, young QBs, don't forget about the old vet.