New Orleans Saints @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
New Orleans: The Saints come out of their bye week unexpectedly in the NFC South cellar, owners of a dismal 1-4 record. Luckily for fantasy owners, the Saints troubles have mostly just been on the defensive side of the ball, as Drew Brees is once again fantasy’s number one QB in terms of per game production.
He’s mostly done it with a non-existent running game and a corps of receivers that have been in and out of the lineup with injuries. Marques Colston took over a lot of the routes that Jimmy Graham would have run in Week 5, with Graham hobbled by a badly sprained ankle. This week, Graham is questionable and will be a game time decision, but if he plays, even at 50% he’s a good play against the 32nd ranked pass defense in the league.
Essentially if you have any Saints passing options, you should give them a start here. Just keep an eye on Graham’s status to make sure he’s in the lineup before the games start on Sunday.
Good Start: QB Drew Brees, RB Darren Sproles, WR Marques Colston, WR Lance Moore
Middle of the Road: WR Devery Henderson, TE Jimmy Graham (if he plays)
Bad Start: RB Pierre Thomas, RB Mark Ingram
Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers come off a thrashing of the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 6, which actually isn’t saying much except to the Saints, who are the only team to lose to the moribund Chiefs this year. This was the most complete game played by the Bucs so far this season, with Josh Freeman accounting for over 330 yards and 3 TDs. This meant fantasy goodness all around as Mike Williams went over 100 yards and had a TD, and Vincent Jackson scored twice as well.
Doug Martin also had a return to fantasy relevance, rolling up over 130 total yards, but failing to score a TD. Instead, it was LeGarrette Blount scoring a garbage time TD at the end of the game to go along with his 58 rushing yards. This split is likely to continue to be 75/25 in favor of Martin, but just be aware the Blount seems to be their short yardage back of choice.
With the Saints in town and sporting one of the worst defenses in the league, most of the Bucs are startable here, especially since they’re going to have to try to keep up with Drew Brees and the Saints offense.
Good Start: QB Josh Freeman, RB Doug Martin, WR Vincent Jackson
Middle of the Road: RB LeGarrette Blount, WR Mike Williams
Bad Start: TE Dallas Clark