QB Drew Brees (New Orleans)
There was concern about how Brees would do without Sean Payton last season, but he did fine, completing 63.0% of his passes for an average of 7.7 YPA, 43 touchdowns, and 19 interceptions, while leading the NFL’s #3 ranked scoring offense. He’s now thrown for 5000 yards in 3 of the last 5 seasons, including the past 2, the first quarterback in NFL history to do so. Since 2008, he’s completed 2114 of 3134 (67.5%) for 24730 yards (7.9 YPA), 190 touchdowns, 83 interceptions.
Projection: 5000 passing yards 39 touchdowns 16 interceptions 50 rushing yards 0 rushing touchdowns (329 pts standard, 407 pts 6 pt td leagues)
RB Mark Ingram (New Orleans)
Mark Ingram will once again be the lead back and hoping to get things together in his 3rd year, after going in the 1st round in 2011. He’s averaged just 3.9 yards per carry since and had just 278 carries, struggling through injuries. He could breakout this season though and the Saints seem confident in him, trading away their top insurance option in Chris Ivory.
Projection: 200 carries for 880 rushing yards 8 total touchdowns 12 catches for 100 yards (146 pts standard, 158 pts PPR)
RB Darren Sproles (New Orleans)
Darren Sproles is essentially more of a slot receiver than a running back. He’s had 135 carries and 161 catches in the last 2 seasons and is a threat to score at any time, scoring 17 touchdowns. I don’t know why his role would change this season.
Projection: 60 carries for 300 yards 8 total touchdowns 77 catches for 670 receiving yards (145 pts standard, 222 pts PPR)
RB Pierre Thomas (New Orleans)
Pierre Thomas is the primary backup and has done a good job, rushing for 4.8 yards per carry in his career, though he’s maxed out at 147 carries. He’s also been a big part of the passing game as well, catching 188 passes in 66 games in the past 5 seasons.
Projection: 100 carries for 460 yards 4 total touchdowns 40 catches for 340 receiving yards (104 pts standard, 144 pts PPR)
WR Marques Colston (New Orleans)
Marques Colston gets a reputation for being injury prone and he has had a bunch of knee surgeries, but he’s only missed 10 games in 7 seasons and he’s been nothing if not reliable. With the exception of 2008 (when he played a career low 11 games), he’s caught 70 passes for 1000 yards and 7 touchdowns in every season of his career. Last season, he once again had big time production, catching 83 passes for 1132 yards and 10 touchdowns while not missing a game. He’s only 30 and he has great chemistry with Drew Brees so he should once again be Drew Brees’ top receiver.
Projection: 80 catches for 1070 receiving yards 8 touchdowns (155 pts standard, 235 pts PPR)
WR Lance Moore (New Orleans)
Lance Moore had 1000 yards last year, catching 65 passes for 1041 yards and 6 touchdowns. He’s an underrated receiver who has the talent to be an incredibly productive receiver when he has an opportunity and the starting job opposite Colston is all his, but he’s had a history of injuries, so that’s a concern.
Projection: 60 catches for 880 receiving yards 7 touchdowns (130 pts standard, 190 pts PPR)
TE Jimmy Graham (New Orleans)
Jimmy Graham was the Saints’ leading receiver in 2011, catching 99 passes for 1310 yards and 11 touchdowns, but injuries led to a league leading 15 drops in 2012 and he “only” caught 85 passes for 982 yards and 9 touchdowns in 15 games in 2012. He should get back over 1000 this season though.
Projection: 82 catches for 1020 receiving yards 9 touchdowns (156 pts standard, 238 pts PPR)