Pierre Thomas struggles, Darren Sproles gets one rush; Saints running game has little fantasy value

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

The New Orleans Saints running game struggled on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. We break down the fantasy implications.

The New Orleans Saints running game struggled on Sunday against the Carolina Panthers. New Orleans ended up winning the game by a hefty margin, 31-13, but that was due to a strong passing attack. Pierre Thomas carried the ball seven times for the Saints, and only managed to put up 14 yards.

That's a per-carry average of 2.0 yards for Thomas. Mark Ingram had three carries for a paltry four yards, as well. Darren Sproles led the way with 38 yards, but that was on a single carry and he was used more in the passing game. Were it not for Sproles' carry, the New Orleans running game would have had 16 attempts for 31 yards.

With Sproles' carry, it's 17 attempts for 69 yards, a stark contrast to the 128 yards the Panthers put up on the ground. Still, Brees managed four touchdowns to lead the Saints to a victory so it didn't hurt them too bad.

Fantasy Impact: The Saints are not a run-first team. They're not even a run-second team at this point. Thomas has not shown he's a solid running back all season, and Sproles doesn't get enough touches to do anything. Ingram is not reliable in the least. If your fantasy team relies on one of these guys and you're still reading meaningful fantasy news, then your playoff hopes these last couple weeks are probably dwindling.

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