The 2021 Saints have not been the fantasy juggernaut of years past, but there have been some bright spots, diamonds in the rough, and players that appear to be potential fantasy plays for next season. But before we look ahead to next season, here is your final Start 'em or Sit 'em of the season regarding members of the Black and Gold.
Thanks for following along this season, and good luck in your championships!
Start 'em: QB Taysom Hill (4th Ranked QB Play in Week 18 by Si Fantasy)
Taysom Hill has become a must-start in fantasy football through his career as an NFL starting quarterback. The BYU product has 20+ point potential week in and week out, and this week he and the New Orleans Saints find themselves in a must-win with a playoff spot on the line against the Atlanta Falcons.
As a starter, the Falcons have been one of Hill's favorite opponents, posting a 2-0 record and 23+ fantasy points in both of those starts. The Saints finally are getting healthy on the offensive side of the ball, seeing playmakers like Deonte Harty (formerly Harris) and Alvin Kamara returning to the lineup.
Pair that with the Falcons' poor defense that has surrendered 32 touchdowns this season, and Hill looks like a must-start in championships this week.
Start 'em: Saints DEF/ST (4th Ranked Fantasy DEF/ST in 2021-22)
The Black and Gold defense is playing their best football of the season, and a lot of that is a direct result of DE Cameron Jordan. The NFC Defensive Player of the Week was quick to credit his teammates for his performance last week against Carolina, but there is no player hotter than Jordan at the moment.
Over the past three weeks, the seven-time Pro-Bowler has tallied 7.5 sacks and is rolling into Week 18 against his favorite opponent. Jordan has sacked Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan 22 times in his NFL career and NFL record for a single player sacking one quarterback.
Aside from Jordan, the Saints secondary has seen the elevated play from C.J Gardner-Johnson, Marshon Lattimore, and Paulson Adebo in recent weeks leading to multiple interceptions, coverage sacks, and pass break-ups. The defense's effort has resulted in the NFL's 4th ranked fantasy defense and an average of 11.5 points per week over the past four weeks.
With a playoff spot on the line, expect New Orleans' defense to continue to play at a high level and take advantage of a banged-up Falcons offense.
Sit 'em: WR Tre'Quan Smith (98th Ranked Fantasy WR in 2021-22)
The New Orleans Saints receiving corps has been lackluster at best this season and has not shown any fantasy consistency. That has been the case not just for this season but the NFL career of wide-out Tre'quan Smith.
A former third-round selection, Smith, is listed as questionable for Sunday afternoon's matchup but should not touch your starting lineup, regardless of how desperate you may be for a FLEX this week.
Smith has only appeared in 10 games this season, averaging 6.9 points per week in PPR leagues. Smith has seen his role diminish between injuries and the rise of Marquez Callaway and Deonte Harty (formerly Harris) this season.
Both Callaway and Harty serve as better plays this week, though I would not start either. Stray away from all Saints receivers this week, much like most of the season.
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