Beat: Pierre Thomas/Mark Ingram will split base package work

Mike Triplett, - [Full Article]

Saints fans already know what Darren Sproles and Pierre Thomas are capable of when the Saints offense is running smoothly. Sproles is a game-breaker, and he's underrated as a power runner up the middle despite his 5-foot-6 frame. Thomas is best known for his uncanny ability to turn screen passes into big gains, but he's also underrated as a power runner who consistently churns his legs forward for extra yards.

As for Mark Ingram, it's hard to expect big things from him after he has looked so ordinary during his first two NFL seasons. But he did start to show some signs of improvement down the stretch last year. Ingram obviously has talent; he's still just 23 years old, and he's now fully healthy in the offseason for the first time in his NFL career. So if he's ever going to have a breakthrough, all the pieces are in place this year.

I expect all three of the Saints' top backs to have nice bounce-back seasons, with Ingram and Thomas splitting the workload evenly in base packages and Sproles resuming his role as a nickel-down standout.

Fantasy Impact: 

Oddly enough, we have both Thomas and Ingram projected for 186 touches, with Thomas getting much more work in the passing game. Thomas is a nice value in the 9th-12th rounds given his probable workload. For more, check out the Sleeper Alert that Senior Editor John Paulsen issued for Thomas.

Filed Under: 2013, Preseason