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AP Photo/Bill Feig

2024 Fantasy Football Preview: New Orleans Saints


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Player Outlooks (2024)

 

QB Derek Carr: The Saints are running it back in 2023, and they will be banking on a strong finish—with a 4-2 record down the stretch that included close losses to the Lions and Rams—carrying over into 2024. At wide receiver, the room wasn’t bolstered much following the quiet departure of former All-Pro Michael Thomas, so Carr’s outlook may depend on Chris Olave enjoying a full breakout in his third season. Either way, New Orleans may want to achieve offensive balance by playing through their backfield trio of Alvin Kamara, Jamaal Williams, and Kendre Miller, which would again make Carr more of a game manager with limited fantasy appeal (he ranked as the overall QB27 in fantasy points per game last year). For those seeking a reason to invest in him as a low-end QB2, Carr was lights out with 14 touchdowns and just two interceptions over the final five games last season.

 

QBs Jake Haener and Spencer Rattler: Rattler drew plenty of buzz in the pre-draft process with some in the media claiming he could go as early as the first or second round, but we were higher on Haener as a prospect—and it sounds like the second-year passer was very impressive during OTAs while the rookie Rattler struggled. An injury to Derek Carr would probably open the door for more snaps for Taysom Hill under center, so the upside for Haener/Rattler in redraft leagues isn’t very high.

 

RB Alvin Kamara: While last season didn’t start (with a three-game suspension) or finish (6.0 fantasy points in Week 16 and 5.9 fantasy points in Week 17) how Kamara investors would have liked, the rest of the year was close to what we have come to expect from him since entering the league in 2017—reaching 12.0 fantasy points in all but one game (and he still had a respectable 9.0 fantasy points) with a few spike weeks thrown in. So, even though the Saints will likely be counting on Kendre Miller to contribute more in his second season and we could see Jamaal Williams more involved after he had just one touchdown in 2023, Kamara wants the ball and should be featured with key involvement as a pass- catcher. Assuming his holdout doesn’t linger, Kamara should be an RB2.

 

RB Kendre Miller: He dealt with injury issues leading up to and during the season as a rookie, but Miller was drafted with the No. 71 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft to eventually have a significant role for New Orleans, and last year’s season finale might have been a glimpse of the potential with 14 touches for 79 yards and a touchdown with Alvin Kamara out of the lineup. An extended holdout for Kamara could change things, but at this point, Miller might remain in too much of a committee with Jamaal Williams set to see increased involvement as well.

 

RB Jamaal Williams: Williams needing a rogue Jameis Winston to score his lone touchdown last year—in Week 18—provided one of the funniest moments of the NFL season, but it was a definite disappointment for a guy that paced the league with 17 rushing scores in 2022. The Saints playing through Alvin Kamara and counting on a leap by Kendre Miller limits the fantasy appeal for Williams as things currently stand, so he needs the new offense under Klint Kubiak to make him the designated goal-line back to have standalone FLEX value as a touchdown-dependent option.

 

WR Chris Olave: Olave could be slightly overvalued, but he’s a very fast and smooth weapon that should have improved chemistry with Derek Carr in Year 2 together and could benefit from New Orleans lacking depth at wide receiver. In order for Olave to maximize his fantasy potential, the Saints need the offensive line—which was supposed to be a strength—to be better than it was last season, as time is needed for Carr to hit his top weapon. Early success for Rashid Shaheed and the other pass-catchers could be a good thing for Olave’s long-term outlook to have less attention while usually facing the opponent’s top cornerback.

 

WR Rashid Shaheed: Shaheed was a First-Team All-Pro punt returner last year, and he also showed very well with an expanded role in the passing game for a New Orleans team that didn’t do much to add to the wide receiver room this offseason. The numbers are inflated because Shaheed isn’t a volume-heavy option that’s likely to reach 100+ targets, but he’s caught 74 passes (on 107 targets) for 1,207 yards and seven touchdowns through two seasons—averaging high marks in yards per reception (16.3) and yards per target (11.1) while consistently getting behind the defense in an era where that has become more difficult for deep threats. There will be low-floor games, but Shaheed should draw weekly consideration.

 

WR A.T. Perry: Perry producing the 12/246/4 line he did last season on just 18 targets should draw the attention from fantasy owners searching for a deep “sleeper” at wide receiver, and there is clear opportunity for him to emerge behind Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed. Unless it’s an elite option such as Mike Evans, most offenses have gone away from bigger targets on the perimeter, but Perry keeping the trust of Derek Carr in scoring territory and building on what he did as a rookie is the path to a breakout.

 

WR Bub Means: The Saints took Means in the fourth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and we like his potential as a big, athletic target at six-foot-one, 212 pounds with 4.43 speed and a 39.5-inch vertical. He needs to unleash his ability more consistently, but Means has a path to be the long-term No. 2 wideout as an ideal complement to Chris Olave.

 

WR Cedrick Wilson Jr.: Wilson didn’t quite live up to expectations in Miami with a combined 34 receptions for 432 yards and three touchdowns over the past two years, but he’ll look to rebound in New Orleans—where again, there are roles up for grabs. The veteran having the skillset to play in the slot might make him the best candidate to see heavy snaps between Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, so it’ll be a position to keep a close eye on next month.

 

TE Taysom Hill: Hill should arguably be ranked higher than he’s been in previous years, as the Saints are already lining him up all over the place in Klint Kubiak’s offense based on work at OTAs—including snaps at running back. We have always thought New Orleans was at their best when featuring Hill, so it sounds like that has a chance of happening, and the excitement outweighs any concern about him turning 34 in August. Also, it’s not like Hill has been overworked throughout his career, and the versatile weapon can put up numbers as a passer, too.

 

TE Juwan Johnson: A tricky calf injury knocked Johnson out early last season and saw him struggle to get going when he returned after a four-week absence, but he enjoyed a mini breakout late in the year—going for fantasy-point totals of 10.8, 12.8, and 19.0 from Week 15 through Week 17 to come through for those who took a chance on him in the fantasy playoffs. Unfortunately, a foot injury now puts him on the clock to be ready for the opener, so his recovery needs to be monitored over the next couple of months.

 

TE Foster Moreau: If Juwan Johnson has a delayed recovery, then Moreau will get a shot at thriving as the top “traditional” tight end for the Saints—and he should be more like himself after battling Hodgkin lymphoma last spring/summer. For his career, Moreau has averaged 8.3 yards per target, and he obviously has a connection with Derek Carr from their time together with the Raiders.

 

Other Notes

 

Best IDP value: CB Paulson Adebo

New Orleans is loaded at cornerback after selecting Alabama standout Kool-Aid McKinstry in the second round of April’s draft, but Adebo has arguably emerged as their top guy—and he’ll be playing for a new contract, whether it be for the Saints or someone else. If Marshon Lattimore can return to form at the other cornerback spot, Adebo should get plenty of opportunities to get his hands on the ball as a playmaker on the outside.

 

Stat to know (via draft guide)

In his final four games last season, Derek Carr averaged 22.01 fantasy points per game while completing 75.0% of his passes with a 12:1 touchdown-interception ratio.