2016 Fantasy Football Projections: New Orleans Saints

- Updated: Sunday, August 28th

In addition to viewing our 2016 Fantasy Football Projections by position, we will post our preseason projections per team.

Below you will find our 2016 fantasy football projections for the New Orleans Saints.


Drew Brees445649503633.113.628420.8329.24
Even without Jimmy Graham last year, Brees averaged 324.7 yards per game, which was the second-highest of his career. Brees has averaged more than 320 yards per game in four of five seasons with a minimum of 32 passing scores for eight consecutive seasons. If it weren't for a missed game early in the season, Brees would have finished with his fifth 5,000-yard season of his career. Since becoming a Saint in 2006, Brees has finished as a top-six fantasy QB every year (10 seasons).

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Running Backs

Mark Ingram23610387.8513670.5190.3
The biggest issue with Ingram has been durability. The 26-year-old back has missed three or more games in four of five seasons including four games in 2015. Over the past two seasons, however, Ingram has averaged 18.84 touches, 91.32 yards and 0.6 touchdowns per game. Despite playing just 12 games, Ingram still finished as fantasy's RB15 (RB10 in PPR) in 2015.
Tim Hightower743003151230.362.1
Hightower's fantasy value hinges upon Mark Ingram's durability and considering that Ingram has missed three-plus games in four of five seasons, it's possible that Hightower gets a few opportunities as the team's lead back. In the final four games of the season (with Ingram sidelined), Hightower finished as a top-seven fantasy running back three times and averaged 24.0 touches and 17.4 fantasy points (standard scoring) per game over that stretch.
C.J. Spiller542481.4302131.261.7
Travaris Cadet12400161380.822.6
Austin Johnson6160.35330.27.9
Daniel Lasco12520.221407.8

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Wide Receivers

Brandin Cooks89121086510.5177.1
The breakout may not have been as great as some had expected, but Cooks finished the season with a productive stat line of 84/1,138/9 as he became the youngest (22) 1,000-yard receiver in Saints history. In fact, he became the first Saints wide receiver to reach the 1,000-yard mark since Marques Colston in 2012. (Tight end Jimmy Graham exceeded 1,000 yards in 2013.) Eight of Cooks' touchdowns came in the final nine games and three of his four 100-yard games happened in December so the speedster carries plenty of momentum into his age-23 season.
Willie Snead7210015000130.1
Starting opposite Brandin Cooks, Snead nearly reached the 1,000-yard mark with a 69/984/3 stat line. Snead didn't have many big games, but he had at least four receptions in 11 of 16 games. Based on my projections, Snead could give the Saints a pair of 1,000-yard wideouts in 2016.
Michael Thomas485666.200093.8
The nephew of Keyshawn Johnson, Thomas has a chance to make a fantasy-relevant contribution. Underutilized at Ohio State, Thomas will step into a fairly prominent role in one of the most prolific passing offenses in the NFL. While he's still behind Cooks and Snead on the depth chart, Thomas has generated plenty of positive buzz during training camp.
Brandon Coleman202861.800039.4
R.J. Harris6720.700011.4
Tommylee Lewis8760.600011.2

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Tight Ends

Coby Fleener728066.5119.6
With 50-plus catches in each of the past three seasons, Fleener should have an opportunity to exceed that production by a considerable amount. In the team's first season without Jimmy Graham, Ben Watson essentially came out of nowhere to finish as a top-eight fantasy tight end in 2015. Playing with Drew Brees and with Watson gone, Fleener could not have landed in a better spot as a free agent.
Josh Hill181821.627.8
Michael Hoomanawanui2160.12.2

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