Fantasy football: Saints are marching again
Don’t look now, but here come the New Orleans Saints.
The Saints, left for dead by many fantasy experts, are back in play. They have scored 122 points in the past four games (30.5 per game) compared with 51 in the first four (12.8).
The resurgence starts with quarterback Drew Brees, who threw for 445 yards and three touchdowns last week against Jacksonville. Brees has thrown 11 touchdowns and only one interception in his past four games. He threw for 4,418 yards last year, and is on pace for another 4,000-yard season (2,175).
Brees isn’t the only Saint to pick up his game. Wide receiver Marques Colston, considered another fantasy bust, had 10 more catches for 159 yards last week, and has 18 catches for 244 yards and three TDs in his past two games.
The biggest surprise is wide receiver David Patten, who has nine catches for 190 yards and a touchdown in the past two games.
The season-ending injury to running back Deuce McAllister took the sting out of the Saints’ offense earlier in the season. But they’ve adjusted to his absence. Although running back Reggie Bush still isn’t the fantasy stud we thought he’d be, he’s been serviceable in the past couple of weeks. Last week, Bush had a receiving TD, 115 total yards and seven catches. He’s tied for the NFC lead with 50 receptions.
Can the Saints keep it up? It seems likely. They face the brutal St. Louis Rams this week, followed by Houston, Carolina, Tampa Bay and Atlanta. Best advice: Start any and all Saints the rest of the way.
I love reading the writings of fantasy gurus (present company excluded), especially the ones that tell you to start the likes of Tom Brady or LaDainian Tomlinson. Really?
That’s going out on a limb, don’t you think?
Shaun Alexander rushed for 32 yards and no touchdowns last week against a bad Cleveland run defense, He’s not scored a touchdown in his past five games. It’s time to bench Alexander the Great.
Finally, I beat the rest of my league to a waiver claim. I picked up Priest Holmes two weeks ago when I was desperate for a running back. It looks like Holmes gets his chance this week because of the ankle injury to starter Larry Johnson.
(Opponents in parentheses)
QB Matt Hasselbeck (San Francisco); RB LenDale White (Jacksonville); WR David Patten (St. Louis); TE Desmond Clark (Oakland); K Nick Folk (NY Giants); DEF Washington (Philadelphia).
QB Philip Rivers (Indianapolis); RB Warrick Dunn (Carolina); WR Amani Toomer (Dallas); TE Visanthe Shiancoe (Green Bay); K Neil Rackers (Detroit); DEF San Diego (Indianapolis).
Game of the Week
Cleveland at Pittsburgh. The Browns are fun again! They are playing a tough Pittsburgh team this week. Running back Jamal Lewis won’t repeat last week’s four-touchdown performance, but I like quarterback Derek Anderson to squeak out two TD passes.
For Pittsburgh, QB Ben Roethlisberger threw four TDs against the Browns in the season opener and five more last week against the Ravens. The Browns have the worst pass defense in the league and have given up 20 passing TDs this season. Big Ben will add to that total this weekend.
What NFL team has the worst fantasy players this season and why?
“St. Louis Rams — The St. Louis ‘Lambs’ are back,” e-mailed Dan Campbell of Rockford. “What happened to the ‘Greatest show on turf?’ A real bad offensive line, injuries, and have you ever noticed the worse a team gets, the more injuries that pop up?”
“Marty Booker is the most attractive fantasy option on the Miami Dolphins right now. ... Enough said,” e-mailed Mike Garrigan, news anchor from WIFR-23.
“Chicago has the worst offensive fantasy players,” e-mailed Dennis Nelson of Rockford. “At the beginning of the year, it was promising — Grossman, Benson, Hester — and now look where we are at.”
Question of the Week
Tom Brady, Randy Moss or Adrian Peterson: Who would you protect next season and why? Let’s discuss.
Paul Anthony Arco is the fantasy football columnist for the Rockford Register Star. Email questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.