Fantasy Owners, are we going to have an average week? Knock on wood, but it appears that we are back to normal after a week that included two Monday night games and the rare Tuesday night game. With a less stressful week on our hands for fantasy lineups, who can you trust from the New Orleans Saints following their BYE Week?
To assist you with all things New Orleans Saints in the fantasy football world, here is Saints News Network's Start 'Em or Sit 'Em for Week 7.
WR Michael Thomas
For those who have not had your first-round selection for the past four weeks, starting him on Sunday will be a great feeling. There is not a lot to say about Thomas' fantasy production that you have not already heard. Set an NFL record for receptions in a single season, led the league in receiving yards, and has one of the best catch percentages in the league. Oh, and the Saints' offense is Top-5 in points scored without him. Scary thought, huh?
QB Drew Brees has continued to grow his chemistry with his wide-outs, but none match the relationship he has with Michael Thomas on the field. 30% of Brees' fantasy points a year ago came straight from Thomas, which tells you how much of a focal point the Ohio State product is in Sean Payton's scheme.
Despite the Saints' success without Thomas and the maturity issues reported throughout the bye week, Thomas is a must-play week in and week out. There is a reason he was a top-10 fantasy pick this season, and I have full faith he will show you he has not missed a beat this Sunday despite going against the league's 7th best pass defense.
Saints RBs: Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray
As Alvin Kamara fantasy football owners well know, Kamara is an RB 1 and should always be in your lineup, but what about his running mate Latavius Murray? This week I like both Saints running backs as they face the league's 30th ranked rush defense.
Kamara has had an outstanding season through five games, leading the NFL in total touchdowns, yards after the catch (YAC), and is on pace for well over 100 receptions on the year. The three-time Pro-Bowl selection is averaging just under 20 touches per game, producing a total of 135 yards per game and a touchdown. AK finds himself in the discussion for Offensive Player of the Year and Fantasy Football MVP in the season's early goings.
For Murray averaging over 4 yards per carry has been crucial to the Saints' offense finding its way over the past two weeks. Still, with Kamara 'stealing' red zone touches, Murray has been challenging to predict in fantasy. With two TDs in Week 4, Murray showed fantasy owners why he is still a valuable rotational play, but while he can not promise two scores a week, he does have a favorable matchup this week. Give him the nod if you don't have a great FLEX play this week.
Sit ' Em
WR Tre'quan Smith
After three consecutive solid outings, Tre'quan Smith failed to reach 10 yards receiving for the second time this season. The former third-round pick has been a viable fantasy option since Michael Thomas' injury in Week 1 against the Buccaneers, but it may be time to pack the bags on No. 10, at least in terms of a consistent fantasy play.
Smith is a frustrating fantasy player because of his inconsistency in points scored. Though a vital part of what the Saints are doing offensively, whether it be as the team's best-blocking WR or as a deep threat, Smith's number stagger week to week based on his role in the game plan.
Against Detroit, Smith found holes in coverage with intermediate routes as the team's number two wide-out that resulted in his best fantasy game of the season. However, just a week prior, Smith was a crucial part of the run game against Green Bay, and while he produced decent numbers in the game, the thing that makes Smith a valuable part of an NFL roster is not consistent numbers in the passing game.
Smith's biggest attribute through his young up and down NFL career is his ability to adjust to whatever Sean Payton needs him to be in that week. It is beyond frustrating for fantasy owners but exactly what the Saints need. Consider Smith, a player you pick up when in desperate need of a FLEX option.
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