Justin K. Aller
The Eagles head to the Superdome to face the Saints on Monday Night Football. We break down the fantasy implications.
In a battle of two struggling franchises, we can expect to see plenty of points put on the board tonight at the Superdome. The Saints average 27.1 points per game, and while the Eagles offense isn't clicking lately, playing this defense seems to be a remedy for any offense with issues.
There are quite a few fantasy studs on both offenses, so you matchups this week could very well come down to Monday night. It's easy to say go ahead and start just about every notable name on these two rosters, but let's take a closer look at who you need to start in Week 9, and who needs to head to your bench.
Michael Vick, quarterback - Guess who's giving up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year? The Saints pass defense is laughably bad. Even with Vick's issues as of late, you should still feel confident about starting him in Week 9. You should feel confident about starting just about any quarterback against this defense.
LeSean McCoy, running back - Guess who's giving up the most fantasy points to opposing running backs this year? The Saints run defense is laughab...wait, we've heard this already. You get the point. Their defense is almost nonexistent. Shady managed his first rushing touchdown since Week 2 against the Falcons, and he's also caught a receiving touchdown in three straight games now. Obviously you're starting him, just like every other week.
Jeremy Maclin & DeSean Jackson, wide receiver - New Orleans allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing receivers in the past four games. Jackson is actually putting in more consistent performances, but both receivers are bound to go off this week. Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker accounted for three touchdowns against NOLA in Week 8. Starting Maclin and Jackson is a wise decision.
Brent Celek, tight end - This is the same defense that made Dallas Clark look like a viable fantasy starter again. Celek may not be putting up impressive numbers, but he's bound to break out at some point. Of course that depends on Vick's status as well. The Saints have only allowed one touchdown (see: Clark) in 2012 to tight ends, but that's probably due to the fact that opposing receivers are constantly wide open downfield. Celek has a decent chance at a solid day, though we'll understand if you're not willing to roll with him given his recent performances.
Eagles defense/special teams - While the Saints offense struggled last week in Denver, their offense always seems to turn on the juice at home. The Eagles gave up three touchdowns to Matt Ryan, a mark that can be easily matched by Brees. As the defense continues to rebuild, if you want to call it that, you can probably find a better option in Week 9.
Drew Brees, quarterback - The Eagles pass defense has been up and down. Matt Ryan managed three touchdowns through the air last week, and we can expect bigger things from the man who always shines in this situation. Brees has thrown 22 touchdowns and just five picks in seven Monday night games. He also turns up his play in the Superdome. If you're sitting Brees, it's hard to tell what your strategy is this week, or any week for that matter.
Pierre Thomas, running back - Darren Sproles is not suiting up, so Thomas' value only goes up from here. The Eagles have given up three-straight 100-yard games to opposing rushers. While the Saints aren't exactly in love with the run game, they need to feed Thomas more. He'll likely see a few more targets in the passing game as well. He's worth a start this week.
Marques Colston & Lance Moore, wide receiver - Philly has given up 356 yards and three touchdowns to receivers in the past two games. Colston is always worth a start in the Saints high-octane passing game. He's stepped up his game lately, and still managed five catches for 63 yards with Brees struggling last week. Moore can be hit-or-miss, but with Sproles out New Orleans will likely keep the receivers more involved. Given the fact that every Saints game seems to become a shootout, you can feel somewhat confident about Moore in your lineup.
Jimmy Graham, tight end - Graham returned from injury and caught a garbage time touchdown against the Broncos. He's one of the top fantasy tight ends, so if he's healthy you're obviously starting him. The Saints kept Tony Gonzalez in check last week, but the Falcons kept a commanding lead throughout the game, so it wasn't vital to keep passing. The Saints are always battling for the lead. Graham is a huge weapon for Brees, and he should fare well this week.
Saints defense/special teams - If you enjoy losing, definitely give the Saints D/ST a start. If you're one of those owners who, you know, actually watches football, you'll stay as far away from this horrendous group as possible. Even with Vick's tendency to turn the ball over, the Saints defense has absolutely no value for your lineup.