2012 Fantasy Football Week 9 Monday Night Football Preview: Eagles vs. Saints
The Saints host the Eagles this week in what promises to be an exciting game in the Superdome.
The easiest way to analyze this game is the simplest one: start everyone. The Saints should make Michael Vick look like 2010 Vick, as they rank dead last in yards allowed per game and 30th in both passing yards and points allowed per game. Vick’s limited the turnovers lately and has had his three best rushing performances of the season in three of his last four games. The Saints give up the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks and have also given up the sixth most rushing yards to quarterbacks. Vick should have a field day Monday night.
You’re also obviously starting Drew Brees. He’s coming off his worst performance of the season, but he still threw two touchdowns and only had one interception. The Eagles have given up 20 and 23 points, respectively, to Matt Stafford and Matt Ryan the past two weeks, so even though he’s not Matt Brees, he should put up at least 20 standard points.
LeSean McCoy has been disappointing this year, but he couldn’t ask for a better matchup. The Saints run D, fantasy-wise, is the second worst in football and has given up a rushing touchdown to a running back every game except one. Denver running backs rushed for 222 yards last week, and McCoy might approach that number by himself this week.
The Saints’ running back situation is a lot murkier than the Eagles’. Darren Sproles missed practice Thursday, but is probable for the game. If he plays you’re starting him in PPR leagues and flexing him in standard leagues. He’s had at least a touchdown or 100 receiving yards in four of seven games. I’d expect Sproles to get at least five catches and 70 total yards Monday. Outside of Sproles I wouldn’t recommend any other Saints’ running back. Mark Ingram should be cut in all leagues, and Pierre Thomas’s production is steady - it’s just not very good. He should be no more than a flex play in deeper leagues this week.
The Saints have given up the most fantasy points to wide receivers this year, so start Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson this week. Both players have been very average this year, but the Saints have given up 11 touchdowns to wide receivers in their past four games. The Saints defensive backs cover worse than a blanket with holes in it. The Saints are giving up the seventh fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends, but that’s due mostly to a schedule with teams who have fairly weak tight end receiving options. Brent Celek hasn’t been too exciting this year, but he’s got at least 30 yards receiving or a touchdown in every game. If you need a bye-week fill in, Celek’s matchup makes him somewhat start-worthy. In deep leagues Jason Avant is also start-worthy as a WR4 or flex play as a fourth or fifth receiver.
Since it’s a home game against a fairly pass-friendly defense I recommend starting Marques Colston, Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore. And if you’re in a deep league Devery Henderson could also be worth a start. Colston and Graham are auto-starts, with Colston playing very well after a slow start and Graham off a good game last week. Moore is averaging 19 yards a catch at home and also has both his 2012 touchdowns at home. Henderson laid an egg last week, but he had two productive weeks before then and is historically better at home. Just like Avant, as a WR4/5 or deep flex play he’s worth a shot just due to the matchup.
Written by Andrew Miller exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com.
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Unless otherwise noted, the following lineup and roster advice assumes a standard 10- or 12-team league with roster spots as 1 QB/2 RB/2 WR/1 RB/WR/1 TE. If I don’t mention a player it means I feel he isn’t worthy of starting in any league except very deep leagues. For advice regarding deeper leagues feel free to ask me on Twitter @44AMiller.