Saints: Jameis Winston disrespected in ESPN fantasy QB rankings

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Jameis Winston is the favorite to land the New Orleans Saints‘ starting quarterback job this year but ESPN doesn’t have much faith in him, at least not in their fantasy football quarterback rankings. They have Winston ranked as the No. 25 fantasy quarterback.

Here’s what the outlook says for Winston:

"Winston re-signed with the Saints during the offseason and, though he’ll need to fend of Taysom Hill, the expectation is that he will replace Drew Brees as the team’s starter. Winston was limited to 11 pass attempts in his first season with New Orleans, but you may recall his thrilling 2019 season in Tampa Bay in which he threw 33 TDs while pacing the NFL in passing yards (5,109) and INTs (30). The New Orleans offense will look much different with Winston, as where Brees has been extremely conservative and accurate, Winston is much more aggressive: he has never finished a season lower than third in average depth of throw. Winston has Sean Payton calling the shots and Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara at his disposal, so while not a safe pick, the 27-year-old has the upside to warrant a late-round flier."

While Saints fans would prefer to see Winston ranked much higher, it’s not shocking to see him as one of the lower-ranked quarterbacks for fantasy. He hasn’t played an entire game since he was still a member of the Buccaneers in 2019 and there’s going to be rust there. Payton chose to go with Taysom Hill over Winston when Drew Brees went down with an injury last year.

Can Saints quarterback Jameis Winston overcome his low fantasy ranking?

ESPN mentioned that the last time Winston was a starter in the league, he threw for over 5,100 yards and 33 touchdowns. Of course, he also tossed 30 picks, but to be fair, interceptions aren’t as deadly in fantasy football as they are in the game itself. He was a fantasy football dream during that 2019 season because of how many yards he’d put up every week.

The projections ESPN has for Winston this year are 3,853 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions along with 260 yards rushing and a rushing touchdown as well. The passing yards seem way too low considering that Winston will have Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara at his disposal but the rust probably factors in here.

Winston isn’t someone that fantasy owners are going to draft with the expectation of starting him but he’ll definitely be one of the better backup options in the league. The problem, however, is that, as the outlook mentioned above, he’ll have Hill breathing down his neck for the starting job so one slipup by Winston could lead to him losing his job.

Winston is the No. 25 ranked quarterback and the No. 54 overall player in fantasy. Quarterback-wise, he’s ranked behind guys like Daniel Jones and Zach Wilson, which is a bit of an insult. Winston is far more talented than those two guys.

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If Jameis Winston is indeed the New Orleans Saints’ starting quarterback, he’ll have a chance to really surprise some people in fantasy football.