Kickoff: Sunday, November 7th at 1:00 PM ET
Location: Caesars Superdome, New Orleans, Louisiana
Betting Odds: NO -6, 42 over/under total via Oddsshark
New Orleans Saints
Taysom Hill (Start, QB2), Trevor Siemian (Start, QB2)
Let me say that I believe that Taysom Hill will be cleared from the concussion protocol and will start Sunday against the Falcons. If it is Trevor Siemian I think they both project out the same. The Jameis Winston injury may be a blessing for the Saints going forward
The Falcons are one of the worst defenses in terms of giving up points to the quarterback position. This bodes well for the man behind center for the Saints. Hill has a rushing upside that Siemian does not have. Both have shown they can be capable starters. I’m more excited for Hill to start. He has been a better fantasy option more recently than Siemian. Despite getting the win against the defending champs in Week 8, Siemian only has 1 touchdown and 159 yards. The last time we saw Hill as a starter in 2020 week 14, he has 291 yards, 2 touchdowns, and an interception. Going against a very weak defense and one of the best pass-catching backs lends to both of these quarterbacks having decent fantasy weeks depending on who is starting.
Now is the time to pick up Ian Book in dynasty leagues. He projects to be the starter next season.
Alvin Kamara (Start, RB1), Mark Ingram (Sit)
Anyone who ever thinks of benching Alvin Kamara should not be playing fantasy. He was a top draft pick and has delivered on that draft price. He has 6 total touchdowns this season, 480 yards, and 28 receptions for another 256 yards. With either Hill or Siemian starting Kamara and the running game should be the focal point of the Saints offense. The Saints did trade for Mark Ingram who saw 6 carries in his first game back in the gold and black. His 6 compared to Kamara’s 19 leads me to believe that he is nothing more than a relief back and maybe a goal-line back. He had a decent game in week 7. He added 2 catches for 25 yards. I don’t think the volume is there for him to be fantasy relevant but could be a good stash for future weeks.
Wide Receivers/Tight Ends
Marquez Callaway (Start, WR3), Tre’Quan Smth (Sit), Deonte Harris (Start, Flex), Adam Trautman (Start, TE2), Juwan Johnson (Sit)
It has not been a great week for the Saints. First Winston is done for the season, now Michael Thomas announces he is out for the season. The Saints need someone to step up and fill that void. Marquez Callaway has been the presumed number 1 so far this season. In the past two weeks, Callaway has seen 12 targets totals. He trails only Kamara in total targets for the team with 33. After Callaway, it’s Deonte Harris in terms of total targets with 23. This is with him missing week 7. Harris leads the team in week 8 in targets with 7. The opportunities for both Callaway and Harris make them fantasy relevant but the lack of one of them stepping up in the system lowers them to WR3 and flex plays. Harris is also only playing on 28.5% of the snaps which also limits his opportunities. Tre’Quan Smith is playing 59.3% of the team’s snaps in the last 2 weeks since returning from injury. He did score week 7 so there is hope he could recreate that. The unknown of quarterback and the Falcons being middle of the road in terms of points given to the wide receiver position makes most of the options for the Saints passing game less than desirable. Tight end Adam Trautman is a low-end tightened play this week. He received 6 targets from Siemian in week 7. Juwan Johnson has both Tight end and Wide receiver eligibility on most platforms. He’s a boom play that has only hit twice this year, weeks 1 and 4.
Matt Ryan (Sit, QB2)
Matt Ryan has been very middle of the road so far this season for fantasy. He has had some great weeks and some not-so-great. I don’t think anyone out there is happy about starting Ryan but you haven’t been disappointed overall by him. He certainly has some struggles to overcome. First losing Julio Jones in the offseason and now Calvin Ridley. He faces a really tough Saint’s defense in week 9. Ryan has been turnover-prone this year tossing 6 interceptions and losing 2 fumbles. He also has 2 more fumbles that the Falcons have been able to recover. I think there are better options this week at quarterback. With only Tom Brady on bye in terms of fantasy starters, you should be able to find someone with a better matchup and better receiving options.
Mike Davis (Start, Flex), Cordarrelle Patterson (Start, RB2)
First, let’s start with Mike Davis. He’s getting the first crack at the rushing attempts in the Atlanta backfield but hasn’t done much with them. He has only 1 rushing touchdown and hasn’t had a game over 53 yards. He has been involved in the passing game most weeks but again hasn’t been efficient with those receptions. He has 1 receiving touchdown on the season and no games over 25 yards including a game where he caught all 7 of his passes. Cordarrelle Patterson has been the bright spot in the A T L backfield. He is only 11 carries behind Davis for the season but has 10 more yards. He also beats Davis in the receiving game with 41 targets compared to 30. He has also scored twice on the ground and 5 times through the air. On most platforms, he has both RB and WR eligibility which makes him a great play for fantasy. The eye test says that he is just making defenses look silly has fans scratching their heads as to why we haven’t seen this in his past 8 years. You can get away with putting Davis in your flex based on opportunities and getting the first crack but Patterson is really the back you want to own.
Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends
Calvin Ridley (Sit, Out), Russell Gage (Start, WR3), Kyle Pitts (Start, Flex), Olamide Zaccheaus (Sit), Tajae Sharp (Sit, Flex)
Calvin Ridley has stepped away from football for personal reasons with no real timetable for return. I think we can all agree that we wish him the best and that his personal health both mental and physical come first. That being said it leaves a big hole in the Falcons passing game. The presumed beneficiary of that void would be Russell Gage. The issue is that he was held off the score sheet in week 7. He has struggled with injures this season and has only played in 4 games. He only has 1 touchdown and is only playing on roughly 62% of the team’s snaps. tight end Kyle Pitts now leads the team in targets with 50. He has become the red-zone target with 8 tied with Patterson. The 10 red-zone targets Ridley had will need to be given to someone else. Tajae Sharp saw one of the best games of his career in week 8. He got 6 targets and hauled in 5 of them for 58 yards. With his lack of past production, he could continue that production but isn’t a trustworthy option for fantasy. Olamide Zaccheaus has been a letdown this season. He has one touchdown on the year and without reaching the endzone isn’t worth the bench spot in fantasy. Hayden Hurst is the second tight end on the team who has 3 red-zone targets and one score but with Pitts taking the majority of the team’s targets you are banking on a tightened playing on average 54.4% of the team snaps.
– Dustin Ludke (Dunit13dl on Reddit)