Kickoff: Sunday, January 3rd, at 4:25 PM EST
Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina
Betting Odds: NO -6.5, 47.5 total via Oddsshark
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees (Sit)
If you’re in a Week 17 championship, I wouldn’t trust giving Drew Brees a go this week. On Christmas night, Brees tossed for 311 yards, completing 19 of 26 passes, yet did not throw for any touchdowns, and instead of two interceptions. Whether the Saints are resting starters or playing them against Carolina, I’m avoiding Brees in this one.
Alvin Kamara (Start, RB1), Latavius Murray (Start even if Kamara is active, RB2)
Everyone who has Alvin Kamara is still bowing down to his historic, six-touchdown performance last week against the Vikings. It’s hard to imagine he sees a heavy workload against the Panthers this week, but you of course will start him if you have him. Latavius Murray is interesting this week assuming Kamara plays only a portion of the game. The Panthers’ defense has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to running backs on the season.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
Emmanuel Sanders (Start, WR2), Marquez Callaway (Sit), Jared Cook (Start, TE2)
With Michael Thomas still out in the regular season, Emmanuel Sanders has inserted himself as the de facto WR1 for the Saints. His target share isn’t all that high, but he’s putting up decent fantasy numbers. You should be able to count on him for some production this week. The default WR2 is Marquez Callaway, but you can avoid him in this spot. Tight end Jared Cook is set to face a Carolina defense that has given up the eighth-most fantasy points to his position on the season. In the regular-season finale, he’s a fair choice to stream at TE.
Teddy Bridgewater (Sit)
The Panthers may be looking to select a QB in the 2021 draft. Teddy Bridgewater has been average at best this season, posting a 15:9 passing touchdown to interception ratio. In the Week 17 finale, he can be avoided as a QB streamer. Not to mention the Saints defense has given up the 11th fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season.
Mike Davis (Sit), Rodney Smith (Sit)
Carolina’s RB1 this season has been Mike Davis, who surprisingly posted fair numbers with Christian McCaffrey injured for the majority of the year. Considering he wasn’t expected to be much of a factor, Davis did have his down weeks, and I wouldn’t trust starting him if he is even active – or Rodney Smith – this week against a Saints defense that has given up the fewest fantasy points to their position this season.
Wide Receivers/Tight End
DJ Moore (Start, WR2), Robby Anderson (Start, FLEX), Curtis Samuel (Start, FLEX), Ian Thomas (Sit)
The Panthers’ offense has supported three wide receivers all season long, with Robby Anderson and Curtis Samuel posting career numbers respectively. DJ Moore has been a bit of a disappointment given his ADP, but he too can set a career-high in receiving yards if he hits at least 84 against New Orleans. The task won’t be easy, as the Saints defense has given up the 11th fewest fantasy points to WR’s this season. If you’re in a Week 17 ‘ship, I would be comfortable starting any of the three as this may be a pass-heavy game for Carolina.
Tight end Ian Thomas can be ignored in this one.
-Matthew Cava (@cavaM_ Twitter & Reddit)