Bye week’s gone and Saints football is back! It’s time for our weekly fantasy football preview. Sunday the Saints will travel to Motor City and will try to even their record at 3-3. Will they manage to pull off an upset away from the Dome? Which players will have the biggest fantasy impact? Let’s start our analysis with the home team.
Matthew Stafford hasn’t been productive over the last four weeks as he threw just 4 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. This week’s matchup should be favorable but if Megatron will be inactive (listed as questionable on Friday) I don’t think he’ll put up huge numbers. He’s worth the start anyway: the Saints are allowing the 6th-most points to quarterbacks.
Even if he has only one TD over the last four weeks Joique Bell should be nice start this week, as he and Reggie Bush are set to face their former team and a defense that allows the 10th-most fantasy points to running backs. Bush has been limited at practice so far due to an ankle injury that forced him to miss last week’s game against the Vikings. He should be good to go on Sunday but keep an eye on his status.
While monitoring Calvin Johnson’s status go ahead and start Golden Tate if he’s on your team: he has 300+ receiving yards and a score over the last four weeks. NFL.com’s fantasy analyst Michael Fabiano and I are on the same page on Tate:
"The Lions will continue to lean on Tate in the pass attack while Calvin Johnson deals with an injured ankle. In fact, he’s seen 31 targets in his last three games. I’d start the former Golden Domer versus the Saints, who have surrendered an average of 304.6 receiving yards with seven touchdown passes in their last three road games."
There’s NO Lions’ tight end in top-25 list of fantasy tight ends over the last four weeks. First-round pick Eric Ebron failed to rack up 100 yards in that time span and only recorded one touchdown. He’s also dealing with a hamstring injury (he missed Thursday’s practice) so stay away from him.
What a mess. After Nate Freese and Alex Henery the Lions signed former Bronco Matt Prater but that didn’t work either. He could bounce back this week at home, as Michael Fabiano reports:
"Prater didn’t have a great start to his Lions career, missing a pair of field goals against the Minnesota Vikings. Still, I think he’ll bounce back huge at Ford Field against the Saints. After six weeks, New Orleans has surrendered the second-most fantasy points to kickers (10.60 PPG). That includes four 50-yard field-goal conversions."
Believe it or not, the Lions are scoring A TON of fantasy points: with 66.00 points they trail only the Philadelphia Eagles (88.00 pts) so far. Starting a defense that will face Drew Brees is always risky but considering his last away games when he threw a couple of interceptions, you might wanna give it a try.
Oct 5, 2014; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second quarter of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
Is it time to sit Drew Brees? The road game and his last performances don’t encourage me to start him but it’s hard to sit a player like Brees. Do it only if you have a valid replacement, like a Joe Flacco (vs ATL) or a Bryan Hoyer (at JAX). NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano thinks you should sit Brees and here’s why:
"Brees isn’t a must-sit, but this week’s matchup in Detroit isn’t favorable. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points (10.31 PPG) to quarterbacks than the Lions, and Brees has been so consistent on the road. In his last five indoor roadies, the Purdue product has thrown for just six touchdown passes to go with nine interceptions."
The Saints’ backfield is unsafe for fantasy owner right now: Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet will ALL get some snaps, in my opinion. Who’s gonna be more productive? Not Thomas, Michael Fabiano writes:
"Thomas has seen inconsistent touches in the last few weeks, losing time to Khiry Robinson and Travaris Cadet. Couple that with a matchup against the Lions, and Thomas is a risk. In their last nine home games, the Lions haven’t allowed more than 90 rushing yards. This unit has also given up just one rushing score during that time."
Now that he’s 100% I think you can start Ingram as a Flex option this week, even if the Lions have a stout front seven that can contain the running game well.
Well, it’s not looking good: Detroit is allowing the fewest fantasy points to both quarterbacks and receivers. Ugh. Colston is not a reliable fantasy option, even if he could see more targets without Jimmy Graham in the lineup.
Cooks might be good enough to fill your Flex spot, in case you don’t have better options.
That is great news considering that Graham was supposed to miss 2-3 weeks. Sean Payton also said he’s “optimistic” about his status for Sunday’s game but I’m not sure they wanna risk him so soon, while he’s still recovering from the shoulder injury.
Josh Hill and Ben Watson will split time at TE while Graham is out but neither is worth a fantasy start. If you desperately need a tight end you can go with Hill but don’t expect much from him, especially considering that Graham is listed as questionable and MIGHT see the field Sunday, probably in the red zone.
Graham managed to score double-digit fantasy points only two times this year. Plus, the matchup isn’t favorable at all: the Lions have surrendered the third-fewest fantasy points to kickers. Sit him!
There’s a chance you’ll get negative points if you start the Saints’ defense.