NFL fans across the country have conducted Fantasy Football drafts all offseason. As the final lineup tweaks were being made ahead of Thursday night’s Regular Season kickoff, many owners search for advice on who to start and who to sit to start the year. There is a plethora of talent for the New Orleans Saints roster that finds themselves on fantasy football rosters. Each week Saints News Network reporter Brendan Boylan will provide his insider advice on which Saints to start and sit in Fantasy. Below is his Week 1 “Starts and Sits” against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Saints to Start
RB Alvin Kamara
Kamara has appeared in 6 career games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, averaging 54 rushing yards, 67.5 receiving yards, and 1 TD per game. In two games last season, he did not record a TD but managed 100+ scrimmage yards and averaged eight receptions in both matchups.
Tampa Bay’s front seven is one of the best in football, posting a top 5 finish against the run last season, but I like Kamara in this matchup more than a receiving back than anything, especially in PPR leagues. His production should be higher than last season (played on a torn MCL in the second game v. Tampa Bay). We know the receptions will boost his score and TDs... well, that’s just the cherry on top.
TE Jared Cook
“He went to Jared” became a familiar phrase down the 2019 season stretch as Jared Cook was playing his best ball of the year. Over the final four weeks of the season, Cook found the end-zone five times, but his first Saints TD came back in Week 5 against Tampa Bay.
In the two games against Tampa Bay last season, the 6’5 TE caught TD passes from two different QBS (Bridgewater & Brees). However, without the TD grabs, Cook’s fantasy scores would have been sub-par, collecting four receptions for 41 yards in Week 5 and 2 receptions for 33 yards in Week 11. The Saints seem to have a red zone matchup they like with Cook. I give him the green light to start in Week 1.
Saints to Sit
RB Latavius Murray
The best stretch of games for Murray last season came right between the two games against the Bucs. As I mentioned before, the Tampa Bay front-7 finished in the Top-5 in the NFL in defending the run, and that didn’t change when Murray was in the Saints backfield. Murray failed to rush for over 30 yards or receive over 10 in each matchups' last season.
Murray is a tough back to predict. He is amongst the league leaders in rushing TDs since 2016 but failed to put together consecutive 50+ yard performances after Week 8 last season. Sit Murray, if you can, until you see those TD numbers go up again.
QB Drew Brees
I will rarely say bench the NFL’s All-Time passing leader, but if you have another play in Week 1, look into playing him over Brees. In only one game against Tampa Bay last season, Brees completed 80 percent of her passes for 228 yards and 3 TDs (21.12 Fantasy Points).
Tampa Bay ranked amongst the league's worst in pass defense last season but was ranked 7th in opponent passer rating (90.0). The young secondary will have their hands full with the likes of Thomas, Sanders, Cook, and Kamara, but a healthy Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett on the pass rush will only aid the young DBs. This isn’t an A+ matchup for Brees, but not a bad one either. Evaluate your other QB options before giving Brees the start.
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