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*Pre-editor post (forgive any typos)
Did anyone think this would go any other way? Stop me if you heard this one before…the Saints get out to a comfortable lead and score 30+ with an easy win? They’ve won seven of their last 8 games that way. The Saints led 17-3 at the half, 24-3 at one point before cruising to a 31-17 win. The Saints offense is firing on all cylinders, but their defense has been pretty nice as well.
The Saints and Rams and Chiefs are the best teams in football. It will be interesting to see which of them wins the Super Bowl. If the Patriots beat any two of these teams on their way to win the Super Bowl, somehow, I will be convinced for the first time that Bill Belichick really did sell his soul to the devil.
The Saints are 10-1, holding that #1 seed in the NFC edge. It won’t be easy to go 15-1…they have two games with Carolina and host Pittsburgh as their final 3 games. Somehow, they’ll fall one more time. 14-2 is their projection and needing the Rams to lose one more to get the #1 seed…but I’m not sure the Rams will lose again.
Atlanta’s feel-good three game win streak has turned into a three game losing streak since. They fall to 4-7 and pretty much dead for the 2018 playoffs.
Fantasy Player Notes…
-- Tre’Quan Smith (DNP) being inactive led to a scramble in deeper leagues trying to find the Tre’Quan replacement…the guy who would get 10 catches for 100+ like Smith last week. The search was in vain.
We remember Tre’Quan as 10 for 100+ in Week 11, but forget he was zero targets playing the most snaps at WR the game before that. Last week, was Tre’Quan practice against 5th string DBs for Philly. This week, Drew Brees decided to use the game as practice again…getting several others involved – and none really ‘going off’ for fantasy.
TE/WR Dan Arnold (4-45-1/6) had the more eye-catching game…because he’s a TE and many of us are groping for a hot TE to come out of nowhere. Before you get too excited, note that Arnold played just 12 snaps. I really believe Brees was just practicing with these guys in an easy win and Arnold had a few extra targets.
Keith Kirkwood (1-5-1/3) felt like the natural Tre’Quan replacement and played the 2nd-most snaps of any Saints WR…but just one catch, for a TD.
You cannot trust Tre’Quan, Arnold, Kirkwood, Jerry Lee Lewis or anyone not Thomas-Kamara when it comes down to it. The other guys are random events. Tre’Quan a step ahead of them but is a WR3 not a hot shot WR2 hopeful.
-- Speaking of Drew Brees (15-22 for 171 yards, 4 TDs/1 INT)…I had him as a ‘sell high’ when Sean Payton fell in love with Taysom Hill near the goal line, and there was a small dip for Drew for a moment -- but now Brees’s numbers are rising again. I, personally, believe Brees is a stat whore and is going for the MVP resume enhancement now…nothing wrong with that. Good for his fantasy numbers…and Thomas-Kamara and randomly everyone else.
I was wrong to call for the ‘sell high’. He’s not fading off like 2017…he’s now punching the MVP-accelerator.
I wanted you to sell him into Goff, Trubisky, etc., so you actually came out ahead but Brees is not fading as I expected.
-- No matter how poorly Atlanta seems to be playing, somehow Matt Ryan (35-47 for 377 yards, 2 TDs/1 INT) is always throwing for 300+ yards a game this season. I don’t get it. He’s not doing anything that makes me go ‘wow’, and then I look at the box score and am shocked he has 300+, 350+, 400+ yards passing.
His team is 12th in the league in scoring (PPG), but he’s #1 among all QBs in passing yards this season.
-- Tevin Coleman (6-8-0, 3-17-1/4) as a great dynasty ‘hold’ for him to hit free agency and be a feature RB somewhere in 2019…not going to happen, most likely. Too many good RBs to turn to than have to pay him a ton of money.
He also hasn’t helped his case at all this year…one game over 60 yards rushing in the last 9 games as mostly the main guy.
He will have value if a team signs him to be a Kamara-ish type of RB, but the only team really interested in utilizing a back like a ‘Kamara’…is the Saints.
Same thing happened year ago when Darren Sproles was unique for New Orleans and then every other team suddenly had their ‘Sproles’…but they never really did. They just claimed they did and never did much with it. Same with ‘he’s our Kamara’.
-- Foye Oluokun (10 tackles) is heating up in his middle linebacker role…trying to hold on before Deion Jones returns. He has 10 tackles in each of his last two games, and in three of his last 6 games.
-- The Saints-DST has now held six of their last 8 opponents to 20 points or fewer. The Saints D is on an impressive run but not racking a ton of sacks or creating big turnovers…just playing well.
Hard to really push for them ahead with DAL-TB-CAR-PIT the next 4 games. Not a murderer’s row but no ‘great’ start either.
-- Fantasy Playoff Notes for these two teams…
Weeks 14-16 the Saints have @TB, @CAR, PIT…good matchups and should be good weather aside from we’ll see about at Carolina. The offense should have little problems continuing to fire – as long as the Rams keep winning to force NO to keep rolling.
I assume Atlanta will keep losing but Matt Ryan throwing for 300+ yards to the end of the season, which means good things for him and his WRs, and hopefully Austin Hooper. GB-ARI-CAR in Weeks 14-16. Solid matchups but that Week 14 is at Green Bay…that could be a little too cold for the dome team.
Snap Counts of Interest:
52 = Thomas
30 = Kirkwood
28 = TL Lewis
18 = Carr
18 = Watson
12 = Arnold
35 = Coleman
26 = Ito Smith