Coby Fleener - TEPosted 8/26/16 7:16am ET
New Orleans Saints TE Coby Fleener hasn't been reliable enough catching passes and isn't on the same page with QB Drew Brees on some routes, according to beat writer Larry Holder. TE Josh Hill has been more involved in the passing game in recent practices.
Huddle Up: That breakout season for Fleener to thrust him into the fantasy spotlight is in question now. He has a lot of tools, and the offense has a history of making fantasy stars. Fleener will need to pick it up to rekindle some of the upside he had entering camp. He's a low-end TE1 for now, and Hill is a TE2 that could become a deep sleeper.
Willie Snead - WRPosted 8/20/16 4:48pm ET
New Orleans WR Brandin Cooks and WR Willie Snead will not play in the team's exhibition game against the Houston Texans on Saturday, Aug. 20.
Huddle Up: Neither player is known to be dealing with an injury, so the Saints' decision to sit both starters is likely just a way to give rookie Michael Thomas and others behind him on the depth chart plenty of snaps to show their wares. Look for Cooks and Snead to play most of the first half when New Orleans hosts the Pittsburgh Steelers next Friday.
Stephone Anthony - LBPosted 8/15/16 12:22pm ET
New Orleans Saints LB Stephone Anthony (leg) is likely to miss a couple of weeks, but he is expected back by the season opener, according to a source.
Huddle Up: This is good news for IDP owners. Anthony could emerge as a top- flight linebacker option if he can account for more tackles.
Sheldon Rankins - DLPosted 8/15/16 2:17pm ET
New Orleans Saints DT Sheldon Rankins (leg) is believed to have a broken fibula based on initial test results, according to a source. Rankins was New Orleans' first-round pick in 2016, and he may land on the Reserve Injured/Designated to Return list.
Huddle Up: The Saints were counting on Rankins to help turn the tide following their historically horrific defensive season a year ago, but that help -- at least the first six games or so of the season -- will have to come elsewhere as the first-round pick is expected to miss up to eight weeks.
Michael Thomas - WRPosted 8/12/16 8:43am ET
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas had four catches for a game- high 67 yards in a 34-22 loss to the New England Patriots in the preseason Thursday, Aug. 11.
Huddle Up: Thomas continues to impress, and you should feel confident drafting him as a WR5 with tremendous upside for more. Playing time may wind up being a concern, so monitor his depth chart placement as the preseason takes form.
Stephone Anthony - LBPosted 8/12/16 8:55am ET
New Orleans Saints LB Stephone Anthony (undisclosed) was carted off during the preseason game against the New England Patriots Thursday, Aug. 11.
Huddle Up: Should this injury turn out to be severe, it would be a crippling blow to the Saints' feeble defense. Fantasy owners have been anticipating a true breakout from the second-year 'backer after he posted 112 tackles as a rookie.
Michael Thomas - WRPosted 8/10/16 8:59am ET
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas continues to shine in the early days of training camp, and beat writer Jeff Duncan opines that Thomas looks like a bona fide playmaker. It appears Thomas has already earned the trust of his quarterbacks in camp.
Huddle Up: Thomas is a rookie with plenty of upside in a high-octane offense, and it appears he'll be No. 2 on the team's depth chart behind Brandon Coleman. He is a mid-level fantasy pick in standard redraft leagues of 12 or more teams, and a good fourth receiver for depth. In long-term dynasty leagues, he is quickly becoming a favorite.
Hakeem Nicks - WRPosted 8/8/16 2:12pm ET
New Orleans Saints WR Hakeem Nicks was released Monday, Aug. 8.
Huddle Up: If Nicks' NFL career is going to continue, it's going to be outside the Big Easy as the Saints' deep WR corps -- headed by Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead, second-round pick Michael Thomas and Brandon Coleman -- proved too tough to crack.
Michael Thomas - WRPosted 8/1/16 8:07am ET
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas has made one-handed catches in training camp Friday, July 29, and Saturday, July 30, and he has been better than advertised, according to beat writer Larry Holder.
Huddle Up: This offense has produced fantasy-worthy rookies before, a la Marques Colston, whom Thomas reflects. However, the promising rookie has a good number of targets ahead of him on any given play. With a little helping hand by way of injury or ineptitude around him, Thomas could emerge as a fringe fantasy play. Don't overvalue him in drafts.
Coby Fleener - TEPosted 8/1/16 3:31pm ET
New Orleans Saints TE Coby Fleener said he has been working on building a chemistry with QB Drew Brees during the early part of training camp. Brees said he believes Fleener could catch a lot of passes in 2016 because he will have favorable matchups.
Huddle Up: Fleener averaged fewer than 50 catches (46.8) during his first four seasons in Indy, but that figures to change in a big way in the Big Easy in the Saints' TE-friendly offense. Fantasy GMs are banking on as much as Fleener currently is the fifth TE coming off the board in drafts.
Tim Hightower - RBPosted 7/18/16 9:42am ET
New Orleans Saints RB Tim Hightower is the best bet to serve as the primary backup for RB Mark Ingram, according to beat writer Nick Underhill.
Huddle Up: Hightower's skill set most closely matches that of Ingram, so it makes sense to have him serve as the top backup. The team can't exactly bank on CJ Spiller to be healthy and available in that role, and even if he is the Saints would likely use him in different ways as opposed to between the tackles running.
Coby Fleener - TEPosted 7/14/16 4:52pm ET
New Orleans Saints TE Coby Fleener could be the second option in the passing game behind WR Brandin Cooks.
Huddle Up: A number of fantasy GMs are salivating over Fleener given the production in recent seasons of Saints tight ends, and we at The Huddle are on board ranking him No. 6 among tight ends. Definitely have him on your draft radar if you miss out on the top contingent of TEs -- i.e. Gronk, Greg Olsen, Jordan Reed, etc.
Brandin Cooks - WRPosted 7/13/16 10:44am ET
New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks managed 1,138 receiving yards last season, and beat writer Nick Underhill sets the floor at 1,200 yards heading into 2016, with Cooks possibly flirting with 1,500 yards if he can stay healthy and post a few big games.
Huddle Up: Those seem like reasonable--and fantasy-friendly--projections for Cooks, but keep in mind that in the Drew Brees era New Orleans has spread the ball around enough to keep their WR1 below the level of elite fantasy wideouts.
Mark Ingram - RBPosted 7/6/16 1:42am ET
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram said his goal this year is to remain a factor in the passing game and force opposing defenses to account for him on every snap.
Huddle Up: Ingram reeled in a career-high 50 passes for 405 yards and a TD in 12 games last season, and is a rock-solid RB2/low-end RB1 in both standard-scoring and PPR formats.
Drew Brees - QBPosted 6/30/16 1:21pm ET
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees has confidence in his young corps of wide receivers led by WR Brandin Cooks and WR Willie Snead. 'I think when Drew is out there, he doesn't look at Brandin Cooks as a young player,' head coach Sean Payton said. 'I don't think he looks at Snead that way anymore because of the experience they've had. There's a combination there of guys that know what to do and how do they fit with the scheme that we're asking of them.'
Huddle Up: Brees' twilight years in the Big Easy aren't exactly easy as he's had to deal with the departure of Jimmy Graham last season and long-time target Marques Colston this season. Still, the Saints' cupboard has been more than adequately restocked, and the 37-year-old QB should be in for another top-five fantasy season.
Brandon Coleman - WRPosted 6/23/16 1:23pm ET
New Orleans Saints WR Brandon Coleman needs a strong training camp and preseason to secure his roster spot, as the team drafted a similar type of receiver in WR Michael Thomas.
Huddle Up: Coleman had his moments with 30 receptions for 454 yards and a pair of TDs last season, but particularly with the selection of Thomas in the second round, it's clear the Saints are looking more out of the WR position outside of Brandin Cooks.
Drew Brees - QBPosted 6/19/16 2:21pm ET
New Orleans Saints TE Coby Fleener has an uncanny ability to separate and get open, according to QB Drew Brees. 'There's always a place to throw the ball where he can get it,' Brees said. Fleener was targeted eight times during 7-on-7 drills and 11-on-11 drills this week -- the same number of targets as WRs Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead.
Huddle Up: Whether its been Jimmy Graham or Ben Watson, Brees and the Saints have relied heavily on tight ends in the middle of the field and the red zone in recent seasons, and that's why Fleener currently checks in as the Huddle's seventh-ranked fantasy tight end -- and the highest among tight ends in new locales.
Tim Hightower - RBPosted 6/17/16 2:25pm ET
New Orleans Saints RB Mark Ingram is the lead running back for the Saints, while RB Tim Hightower appears to be the backup, according to Larry Holder of The New Orleans Times-Picayune. RB C.J. Spiller holds the No. 3 spot.
Huddle Up: Hightower, who last year saw his first regular-season work since 2011, is the true Ingram handcuff for now as Spiller -- if used more -- fills more of the Darren Sproles, third-down role. Some insiders also like the chances of seventh-round rookie Daniel Lasco to challenge Hightower for the No. 2 gig.
C.J. Spiller - RBPosted 6/13/16 11:04am ET
New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller said his skill set is built for the Saints' offense, and he believes he can flourish now that he is 100% healthy.
Huddle Up: Plenty of fantasy owners bought into the theory that Spiller was a fit for the Saints' offense as well, only to see him only lightly used before injuries scuttled his season. If you're buying into the same hype this season, at least the price will be lower.
C.J. Spiller - RBPosted 6/12/16 1:34pm ET
New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller (knee) said knee surgery during training camp last season played a big role in his disappointing season. Spiller said he wasn't able to cut and stop like he normally would and he lacked the explosion that he's known for. Spiller said last season is behind him now and that the road to recovery is looking bright.
Huddle Up: Spiller has a history of ailments, but was that the whole reason behind his lack of usage (70 total touches in 13 games) last season in the Big Easy? He'll certainly be available later in drafts this year for those who want to bank on his still-considerable upside.
Brandin Cooks - WRPosted 6/3/16 11:06am ET
New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (undisclosed) worked off to the side with trainers during practice Thursday, June 2.
Huddle Up: Too early to worry about Cooks missing time; if he's still sitting out in August, then you can start waving the red flags.
Michael Thomas - WRPosted 6/3/16 2:13pm ET
New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas has shown serious potential in the offense during organized team activities in the last two weeks. 'His improvement over these six practices has been awesome,' QB Drew Brees said. 'From day one until now, the same mistakes are not being made. He's on to the next set of challenges, and he's continuing to progress well.' What impressed Brees the most was Thomas' awareness to change his route on a third-down play when Brees gave the receiver a visual cue to do so. Thomas has primarily played the X-receiver position, which is typically aligned opposite the tight end with his feet at the line of scrimmage. The Saints selected Thomas with a desire to use him mainly as a receiving option in the red zone at 6-3.
Huddle Up: With WR Marques Colston and TEs Jimmy Graham and Ben Watson no longer in the Big Easy, Brees is in need of a red-zone threat, and it looks as if Thomas and free-agent TE Coby Fleener are the top candidates to fill that bill.
Willie Snead - WRPosted 5/31/16 10:21am ET
New Orleans Saints WR Willie Snead could take a big step forward this season with his experience and comfort level in the offense, according to head coach Sean Payton. Payton said Snead has great attention to detail, he trains well, he's smart and he has a good knack for finding holes in zone coverage.
Huddle Up: Snead showed flashes last season, and his ceiling is limited by a Saints offense that doesn't throw quite as much as it used to. That said, Drew Brees spreads the ball around and can easily support multiple fantasy-worthy receivers in his offense, and with Marques Colston gone there is room for growth in Snead's numbers.
Michael Thomas - WRPosted 5/31/16 10:21am ET
New Orleans Saints rookie WR Michael Thomas has impressed head coach Sean Payton with his hands so far this offseason.
Huddle Up: The rookie is expected to step directly into the Saints' receiver rotation, quite possibly into Marques Colston's role and targets. A lot to ask of a rookie who didn't post particularly big numbers in college, but Thomas has the talent to make an immediate fantasy impact in that role.
Coby Fleener - TEPosted 5/31/16 10:21am ET
New Orleans Saints TE Coby Fleener will be used as a receiver first and will hopefully help in third-down and red-zone situations, according to head coach Sean Payton, much like the way Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham was used when he played for the Saints.
Huddle Up: Fleener won't replace Jimmy Graham as an elite tight end, but he does give Drew Brees a big red zone target and has plenty of fantasy opportunity in his role in the Saints' offense.
Brandin Cooks - WRPosted 5/27/16 10:50am ET
New Orleans Saints rookie WR Michael Thomas practiced with the first-team offense during organized team activities Thursday, May 26, with WR Brandin Cooks (undisclosed) missing practice.
Huddle Up: You would hope that even if Cooks were available Thomas would be running with the first team in the role vacated by Marques Colston. Fantasy owners can hope that Thomas is simply taking advantage of the opportunity to learn all of the different receiver positions in the Saints offense and that he won't be bumped to the back burner once Cooks returns.
C.J. Spiller - RBPosted 5/27/16 10:50am ET
New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller's (knee) health and movement skills are noticeably different so far this offseason, according to head coach Sean Payton. 'He worked his butt off in the offseason to get the strength back in that leg he [injured],' Payton said. 'That's been real encouraging.'
Huddle Up: No pads, no defense... of course Spiller is going to look good. But when the big boys start hitting Spiller has tended to get banged up, so take any positive news in OTAs with a grain of salt.
Drew Brees - QBPosted 5/26/16 2:53pm ET
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees, who said he hasn't had contract extension talks in two months, will not negotiate a new contract during the 2016 season. He doesn't plan to miss any offseason activities, whether a deal gets done or not.
Huddle Up: Brees turned 37 in January and looks to be on the downside of a great career. Expect any extension to be of the short-term variety with low risk for the Saints.
Brandin Cooks - WRPosted 5/26/16 3:01pm ET
New Orleans Saints WR Brandin Cooks (undisclosed) is out of practice Thursday, May 26, and working on the side with trainers.
Huddle Up: The Saints are notoriously hush-hush with injuries, but it doesn't sound too alarming if Cooks is at least still getting in some work on the side. Stay tuned ...
Michael Thomas - WRPosted 5/13/16 3:22pm ET
Updating a previous report, New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas' rookie deal is worth $5.118 million with $3.055 million guaranteed and a $1.922 million signing bonus.
Huddle Up: When slotting your rookie fantasy WRs, don't forget about this second-round pick who has the size (6-3, 215) and skills to step in for the departed Marques Colston in the Saints' offense.
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