Drew Brees Fantasy News

Alex Smith didn't have full playbook until midseason
Monday, February 10, 2014, 12:09pm

Kansas City Star - [Full Article]

Chiefs QB Alex Smith didn't have the entire playbook at his disposal until midseason.

“It was our first year in the offense, we didn’t turn the ball over, we were opportunistic in the red zone, but yes we didn’t really have the entire playbook at hand, and that’s to be expected in the first year with a lot of new faces. So as the year went on and we got more comfortable and coach Reid got more comfortable with us and his staff, he started to trust us with more and we showed that we could handle it. By the end, I was feeling really good about things.”

Fantasy Impact:

Smith posted the #12 average (17.3 PPG) on the season. Prior to the Chiefs' Week 10 bye, he averaged 213 yards and 1.0 TD. After the bye (and including the playoffs), he averaged 253 yards and 2.6 TD. That's 22.7 PPG -- for reference, Drew Brees averaged 22.6 PPG in 2013. Smith is likely to be a great value on draft day.

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Lions hope to get Matthew Stafford back on track
Sunday, January 26, 2014, 11:40am

MLive.com - [Full Article]

On the topic of Lions QB Matthew Stafford and his irregular footwork and release points...

"I think there certainly has to be some work done," general manager Martin Mayhew said last week. "I couldn't really quantify that."

Mayhew said Stafford can still be salvaged. That belief was a guiding principle during the Lions' two-week coaching search, and the subsequent week-long search for a staff.

Detroit eventually tabbed a head coach (Jim Caldwell) that worked for a decade with Peyton Manning, and an offensive coordinator (Joe Lombardi) who spent the past five years as Drew Brees' personal quarterback coach with the New Orleans Saints.

That's no accident.

Stafford will have at least two quarterback coaches on staff, and could have a third if the Lions hire an actual quarterback coach. Their exact plan remains unknown, but the moves are being hailed around the league as a perfect match for the talented yet middling quarterback.

"I have no doubt (Lombardi will fix Stafford)," Saints tailbacks coach Dan Roushar said. "I have complete confidence. Joe is a phenomenal football coach, and it's a great hire for Matthew."

Fantasy Impact:

Stafford's play has slipped since his 5,038-yard, 41-TD season in 2011. The Lions are hoping that they can get Stafford back on track, and the first step to recovery is admitting that you have a problem.

Gruden: "I'm going to let [RG3] be himself."
Monday, January 20, 2014, 1:09pm

SI.com - [Full Article]

New Redskins HC Jay Gruden will be judged by wins and losses, to be sure, but also by whether he can coach and teach Robert Griffin III into becoming the franchise quarterback he was drafted to be.

“I worked with Andy Dalton for three years in Cincinnati, and built a foundation of concepts and protections that I think worked well with him,” Gruden said. “With Robert, we’ll obviously use his skill set differently. When it comes to the quarterback position, my job is to make him comfortable and productive. I’m not going to try to turn RG3 into Andy Dalton or Drew Brees. He isn’t them. They’re not him. I would be foolish to try to turn RG3 into a pocket passer. It would be foolish. The way he is as a runner, we have to take advantage of that. He strikes fear into defensive coordinators when he runs outside. I’m going to let him be himself.”

Fantasy Impact:

Griffin's fantasy value will be a hotly debated topic heading into 2014 drafts. On a per game basis he was the #3 QB in his rookie season, but finished #17 in the same category in 2013. If he's healthy, he should be a fantasy QB1.

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Monday, November 11, 2013, 12:47pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

From all indications, Saints RB Mark Ingram has always remained highly valued and respected inside the Saints organization. Despite all of his struggles, he has continued to have an outstanding attitude and work ethic. From the beginning, he has never complained about his lack of touches.

"I'm so happy for him," QB Drew Brees said Sunday night. "He was a man on a mission today. This is kind of just breaking the seal for what he's capable of."

Going forward, we obviously can’t read too much into Ingram’s performance against a toothless Dallas defense. He needs a few more encores, and he’ll be facing a lot more difficult run defenses (San Francisco, Seattle, Carolina twice). Also, I think Ingram will remain the Saints’ third option behind veterans Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles in a backfield-by-committee setup.

Fantasy Impact:

The Saints have way too many weapons on offense. Until this past week, it looked like TE Jimmy Graham was the only sure fantasy bet, but even he was well down a list of impressive performances against the Cowboys on Sunday night. Ingram will be a risky play and looks to only have value in deeper leagues right now. We're going to have to see a lot more performances like Sunday night vs. Dallas before he can go in lineups.

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Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 10:39am

ESPN - [Full Article]

Saints HC Sean Payton said this about WR Kenny Stills: “I think that Kenny Stills continues to really play well at a high level and at a consistent level where he’s made some big plays for us.”

Fantasy Impact:

The rookie has six catches for 193 yards and three touchdowns over the past two games and will likely be a popular pickup on waiver wires this week. However, due to the number Saints who can catch the ball, anyone outside of TE Jimmy Graham can be risky starts week-to-week. (See Darren Sproles and Marques Colston.) Factor in Lance Moore returned this week and had a TD, and there are a lot of targets for QB Drew Brees. However, Stills is probably worth a pickup if you're hurting at the position, but should be considered a boom or bust starter most weeks.

Cam Newton, offense expected to ramp it up
Sunday, August 18, 2013, 11:19am

Charolette Observer - [Full Article]

Through two preseason games, the Carolina Panthers offense hardly resembles itself from the previous two seasons.

There have been no read options, no quarterback keepers, zero Wildcat formations and barely any play action.

But this isn’t what the Panthers’ offense under Mike Shula is predicted to look like in his first year as offensive coordinator after taking over the position vacated by Rob Chudzinski. Instead, Carolina – like every team in the NFL – is running a vanilla brand of its playbook, using what quarterback Cam Newton calls its “bread and butter” plays and apparently leaving out the jelly.

Fantasy Impact:

Newton has had just four play-action snaps in his 45 total plays this season. That's not how the season should play out, but the team does want to keep Newton in the pocket more. That hasn't really affected his draft rank. He sits behind the top-three Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning as pretty much the fourth-best option for QBs in drafts. With an ADP of the fourth round, if you really want Cam you should have a shot at getting him.

Thursday, August 15, 2013, 12:27pm

USA Today - [Full Article]

Saints TE Jimmy Graham: "[Drew Brees]and I are already in mid-season form. ... Right now, we're more dynamic offensively than we've ever been."

At 27, Graham is healthy coming off a perceived down year despite leading the Saints with 85 receptions. He also piled up 982 receiving yards and nine touchdowns despite playing through a debilitating left wrist injury that required surgery after the season.

"Last year was very difficult playing all season with that much pain," said Graham, who won't reveal whether the wrist was broken. "But that's football.

"I'm going to be a man and play for this team no matter what."

Fantasy Impact:

Graham's per game numbers slipped (from 12.3 PPG in 2011 to 10.1 PPG in 2012), but he was battling injuries throughout the season, so there's a good possibility that he'll bounce back in 2013. His targets stayed relatively steady (9.2 TPG in 2011, 9.0 in 2012), indicating that his role hasn't changed much. Given the current state of the TE position, Graham is about as solid as it gets. He holds extra value in PPR formats. We like him in the 2nd round, maybe even the 1st depending on format.

Cam Newton getting time in the pocket
Tuesday, August 13, 2013, 6:40pm

Charolette Observer - [Full Article]

Third-year Panthers quarterback Cam Newton spent most of training camp in the pocket, with new offensive coordinator Mike Shula only occasionally breaking out the read option.

Newton interacted more with teammates – whether it was making one-handed catches before practice or playing cards between meetings.

Fantasy Impact:

Seems like all good signs for Newton. The story also added he's been working real well with WR1 Steve Smith. He could easily be the fourth QB taken in just about any draft, behind Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning. He'll still collect the rushing yards and TDs despite the team wanting him to stay in the pocket more.

Sunday, August 11, 2013, 1:31pm

Denver Post - [Full Article]

Broncos QB Peyton Manning at 37 appears improved physically over the 36-year-old version that statistically had a season for the ages in 2012.

"It's hard for me to tell that," Manning said. "But when the cornerbacks like Chris Harris say there's less reaction time (to cover his throws), I value that feedback. That does tell me something. I can use that. Maybe I can hold it an extra second against the rush."

Fantasy Impact:

Hard to believe, but Manning continues to get better and better it seems. We have him locked into our third spot behind Aaron Rodgers and Drew Brees in our QB rankings. With QBs slipping, it's hard not to consider Manning, especially if he's there in the third round, and especially with the group of WRs surrounding him.

Thursday, August 8, 2013, 11:04am

nola.com - [Full Article]

Drew Brees revealed how well fifth-rounder Kenny Stills has filled in for the injured Joe Morgan since Morgan got hurt during Saturday's scrimmage. Stills has been running with the first team and practice and the Saints feel like he has progressed.

Stills is not a tall, speedy receiver like the 6-foot-1 Morgan, but Brees said the rookie is starting to catch on -- pardon the pun.

Fantasy Impact:

Stills ran a 4.38 40-yard dash is only one inch shorter than Morgan, so he's built in the same mold as the Saints' deep threat receivers (Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem, Morgan) before him. Those players were always boom-or-bust plays due to the inconsistency of the deep game.

Marques Colston comes off PUP list
Monday, August 5, 2013, 9:01pm

New Orleans Times-Picayune - [Full Article]

Saints wide receiver Marques Colston practiced for the first time this training and has been removed from the physically-unable-to-perform list. He didn't participate fully in practice, but worked out in individual drills.

Fantasy Impact:

We like Colston as a mid-range WR2 and he's got an ADP of the 5th round. There are a lot of balls to go around in New Orleans, but Colston has always been a big red zone target for quarterback Drew Brees.