Throughout the season, Jake Ciely (*@allinkid*) will give you the expert take on New Orleans Saints players from fantasy perspectives, while letting you know which players will help you take home a championship.
The outlook is pretty good for the New Orleans Saints' home opener against the Buccaneers on Sunday, Sept. 20. This same Bucs team just allowed rookie Marcus Mariota to throw for four touchdowns while the Titans scored 42 points. If Drew Brees can put up 355 yards against a tough Cardinals defense on the road, just think about how high his potential is this week. After all, Brees narrowly missed being a QB1 in Week 1 even with just one touchdown. He finished just 0.12 behind Matt Ryan and is a guaranteed QB1 for Week 2. In fact, don't be surprised to see Brees' name near the top of the Week 2 scoreboard.
Elsewhere at QB, most might have already forgotten that the Steelers actually allowed the most fantasy points to an opposing quarterback, as Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns on opening night. Colin Kaepernick faces those Steelers this week and is an intriguing upside play. The Bears will be susceptible to the pass all year, which makes Carson Palmer a nice QB1 play. Palmer had at least two passing touchdowns in every game before getting hurt last year. The Broncos' defense looks mighty scary after one week, making Kansas City's Alex Smith a poor fantasy option.
Don't be too upset about Saints running back Mark Ingram getting only 54 rushing yards in the opener. The Cardinals' front is one of the best, and Ingram added in eight catches for 98 yards. There is a clear focus to use Ingram plenty this year. Seeing Bishop Sankey run for 74 yards and a touchdown against the Bucs should make you excited about Ingram's potential. He's a RB1 this week. If C.J. Spiller returns, he is a must-start too. Sankey scored on a pass play last week, but it's also more about the Saints and Brees targeting the running backs 18 times last week. The backfield will see plenty of receiving work, and if Spiller hasn't returned, Khiry Robinson will have RB4 value, possibly even RB3.
San Francisco running back Carlos Hyde looked terrific on Monday night, but part of you has to wonder if the Vikings defense was to blame. We'll find out as the Lions get the Vikings at home after both Ameer Abdullah and Joique Bell did well in Week 1, especially Abdullah. Consider him a legitimate threat for RB1 numbers again. Look for a bounce-back outing for Justin Forsett. As mentioned, the Broncos' defense is very tough, but Forsett gets the Raiders defense this week. He's in the RB1 conversation. The Bills continue to have one of the league's best defenses, which means LeGarrette Blount returns to a tough situation. He scores plenty with the Patriots, but even so, given the matchup and Patriots usage of running backs, consider Blount more of a RB3.
Brees spread the ball around evenly to his wide receivers. Brandin Cooks, Marques Colston and Brandon Coleman had 22 targets among them with Coleman being the one to score. Cooks led the way in receiving, which should be the norm all year. Colston and Coleman will share big weeks and touchdown opportunities with the edge still going to Colston for now. The Buccaneers' defense is a more favorable matchup this week, putting Colston and Coleman in the WR3 conversation and giving Cooks WR1 upside. The tight end picture is a tad clearer after Ben Watson saw all of the targets at tight end. Deeper leaguers can start Watson given the matchup, but until we see a bit more usage, it's still a dicey call with Josh Hill still lurking. At the least, each receiver is worthy of a starting spot in most leagues.
Back to the Broncos and more opportunity for bounce-backs, look for Peyton Manning, Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to have a good week against a Chiefs defense that gave up 283 receiving yards and two touchdowns in Week 1. Sanders was the bright spot for the Broncos, but disappointed Manning and Thomas owners should get their joy back. Terrance Williams and Cole Beasley will see a big boost for the Cowboys, and they have a favorable matchup with the Eagles defense. Williams is in the WR2 conversation and Beasley has WR2 potential in PPR leagues. Don't expect Percy Harvin to outshine Sammy Watkins every week, but both receivers will do well against the Pats secondary in Week 2. Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had some difficulty in Week 1, which was expected without Kelvin Benjamin. Things don't get any easier in Week 2 with the Texans on tap, meaning Philly Brown, Devin Funchess and Jerricho Cotchery are all risky options.
Vernon Davis led the 49ers in targets Monday night. With many expecting to see the Davis of old, Week 2 will be a nice barometer on that potential with the Steelers defense being weak against the pass. The one area where the Texans struggled was stopping the tight end, which gives the Panthers offense some hope, as Greg Olsen will continue to eat up opportunities. Ladarius Green is going to have a much tougher time this week with the Bengals on tap. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers is smart enough to take what the defense gives (see: Keenan Allen in Week 1), which makes Green more risky than normal.
Saints fans know the team's kicker always has value and is always in the K1 conversation. Zach Hocker was the fifth best kicker on NFL.com in Week 1, and he will be a Top 10 option again at home. Both Josh Brown and Matt Bryant are worthy of K1 status as they face off in Week 2. Cody Parkey and the Eagles offense will be better in Week 2, especially against the Cowboys. The Buccaneers had two interceptions, one leading to a score, which makes the Saints DST intriguing. The Panthers DST dominated in Week 1 and will be near the top again in Week 2 against the Texans. Even though the Seahawks DST finished second in Week 1, Tyler Lockett's return skills led to a special teams touchdown, and they now head to Green Bay. Consider other options if you can.
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