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NFC South

The Saints’ Final Countdown: The ‘Who Dat?’ Edition

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by Nic Ruiz

As most of you are aware, we are now less than a week away from NFL Sunday week 1, perhaps one of the best days of the year for sports fans.  Now that teams have made their final roster cuts, we can prepare for week 1 and do the fine tweaking we see necessary to our draft rankings/already drafted teams.  Some are opposed to changing your team before the season starts, but sometimes after the draft you see weaknesses in your lineup, or see a guy whose stock has risen, sitting pretty on the waiver, and you just can’t pass him up.

You can probably guess who the number one guy is that bumped up my rankings and is worth rostering, especially in 12 team or bigger leagues: Brandon Coleman.  For those who may not be familiar with Coleman, he’s a second year undrafted free agent who signed with the Saints last offseason but was buried on the depth chart.  Coleman has been raved about the entire offseason as the star of camp, but it still appeared to be a shoot out for the third receiver roster spot, as I noted in my last article.  Now comes the great news – just about every single player Coleman was competing with was cut.  Nick Toon, Josh Morgan, Joe Morgan, and Seantavius Jones were all let go on or before Saturday, solidifying Coleman’s role as the #3 potential #2 receiver on the team boosting his fantasy stock tremendously.  At 6’6” 225lb, the former basketball player who loves going for the jump ball doesn’t possess any of the traits that Brees typically favors in a receiver.  Oh wait, just kidding.

Also making the roster at wide receiver is another impressive second year undrafted free agent, Willie Snead.  Very few predicted Snead to make the regular season roster but his talent was undoubtable this preseason.  Snead has sticky hands and showed he possesses the skill to run crisp routes and make guys miss.  He will most likely fill the Kenny Stills type role, although he doesn’t quite have the same top end speed.

Not much has changed at tight end as Ben Watson still tops the depth chart, but I still believe Josh Hill will be the guy worth having in fantasy.  Hill proved this preseason he has potential to be a red zone monster.  Watson may receive more snaps but Hill appears to be more athletic and will most likely be depended on in red zone situations.

The Saints are still waiting on the return of CJ Spiller who they signed this offseason to back up Mark Ingram and be the prime pass catching back.  Spiller underwent arthroscopic knee surgery August 15 and has been said will be ready week 1, but there is speculation he will miss at least two weeks.  This boosts both Ingram and Khiry Robinson’s stock until an official statement has been made.  Ingram continued to look great this preseason and showed he has been working on catching passes out of the backfield as well.

Seventh round rookie running back Marcus Murphy made the team for his skill on special teams and showed that he can be explosive catching passes out of the backfield as well.  With the release of wide receiver Jalen Saunders, Murphy will most likely be the premier return man unless Spiller takes over the duties after he returns healthy.  Veteran running back Tim Hightower who is making a return after taking 2 years away from football also made the team, adding a bit more depth to the position.

Again, not much needs to be said about Brees – he looked sharp this preseason and should still be considered a top 5 fantasy QB.  I currently have him as my 3rd QB but I’m obviously biased.

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