Chargers @ Saints
Final Score: Saints 27, Chargers 10
Writer: Ryan McDonough (@RyanTalksFF on Twitter)
The Saints looked sharp just about everywhere on Friday en route to a 27-10 win. Jameis Winston continues to provide optimism that he could be a solution to the post-Drew Brees Saints. Joshua Kelley continued to make a case as to why he should be ahead of Isaiah Spiller on the depth chart. Marquez Callaway is showing that he does not want to be the odd man out in the new-look Saints offense.
Los Angeles Chargers
Chase Daniel: 10/11, 113 yards | 1 carry, 7 yards
Easton Stick: 9/17, 74 yards
I think is finally time for me to announce my full-fledged devotion to never slander Chase Daniel. The guy is just majestic. Sure, he has little to no fantasy value whatsoever, but he’s just awesome.
Joshua Kelley: 6 carries, 40 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 1 yard
Larry Rountree III: 6 carries, 12 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 12 yards
It really does seem to me that Joshua Kelley has been the guy that will play second fiddle to Austin Ekeler in LA’s high-powered offense this year. Kelley seems to have found that next gear in terms of being a tough runner, which has been an aspect of his game that has often been criticized in his young career. There was more than one occasion that Kelley made the extra effort to gain the extra yard, a significant improvement even from his last appearance against the Cowboys. Larry Rountree III still strikes me as someone I would pick up in Week 10 at 12:55 pm because a lot of my key players are injured and he has short TD run upside.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Trevor Bradford: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 23 yards
Michael Bandy: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 30 yards
Jalen Guyton: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 48 yards
In terms of how this preseason has gone, there is really nothing new to talk about here. Michael Bandy has continued to show that his impressive chemistry with Chase Daniels could allow him to be successful at the NFL level. The only problem is that Chase Daniels is not the franchise quarterback for the Chargers. Although he doesn’t jump off the page with his athleticism, Bandy finds the weak spots in zones and gets open. It is hard to ignore the similarity between his and Cole Beasley’s game, but it is a matter of finding the right fit and opportunity to be a part of a team. With Keenan Allen already occupying the slot for LA this season, Bandy may just be the odd one out of this WR corps.
New Orleans Saints
Ian Book: 11/15, 81 yards, TD | 7 carries, 50 yards
Andy Dalton: 5/5, 73 yards
James Winston: 4/4, 59 yards
Something was in the Gatorade Friday night in New Orleans because all three of these quarterbacks looked great on Friday night. James Winston is one of my sleepers to have a huge fantasy year, but I think that he will be able to do it by committing much fewer turnovers than we are used to. It may be a stretch, but I wouldn’t be shocked at all to see Winston have a top 8 fantasy finish among his peers at the quarterback position.
P.S. Ian Book led the game in rushing yards. That just makes me laugh.
Abram Smith: 13 carries, 35 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 16 yards
Mark Ingram II: 9 carries, 34 yards, 2 TD
Alvin Kamara: 2 carries, 19 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 5 yards
Alvin Kamara saw limited action but showed that he has not skipped a beat this off-season. If the rumors about there not being a suspension in his future are true, you should try to get Kamara everywhere. He was quick on his cuts, saw the field well, and sprung open a 13-yard run in limited action. Kamara also broke through for a 9 yard and 15 yard run that were both called back because of penalties. Mark Ingram looks like he might be a threat to steal some touchdowns, but I am not overly concerned based on how well things worked for the duo in 2018. If/when Kamara is suspended, watch out for Abram Smith on the waiver wire, who looks like he could fit the versatile pass catching role seamlessly short term.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Marquez Callaway: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 65 yards
Jarvis Landry: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 35 yards
Kirk Merritt: 4 targets, 4 receptions, 32 yards
Lucas Krull: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 24 yards
There were plenty of targets to be spread around for the Saints’ offense as they embarrassed the LA defense. Marquez Callaway looks like he is a man fighting to make a case to be the third receiver in this offense. Jarvis Landry, who is likely the one occupying that spot at the moment, didn’t give up his lead in the race doing a great job finding space in zones. Jarvis looked especially sharp on a 15 yard in on the Saints’ first drive. Tight end Lucas Krull put up respectable numbers for New Orleans, who still do not have a clear-cut top option at his position at the moment. The Saints offense looking to Krull at this point in the preseason could be encouraging sign for whoever is starting at the position this season, but it wouldn’t be shocking to see him get some red zone work throughout the season. Adam Trautman may have the slight edge in earning playing time with his work as a blocker, but Krull could make a push if he develops in that area.