Writers sockonfl and Consigliere will provide a division-by-division look at NFL Teams leading up to the 2010 NFL Draft. The articles will focus on team strengths, weaknesses and draft needs. Other articles in this series include: NFC North, AFC East, AFC South, AFC North, AFC West and NFC West .
Here is a look at the NFC South:
New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees: A top 5 QB and most likely to be off the board early. A STUD. Nuff said.
Pierre Thomas: He is the best of the backs on the team but at the same time the Saints amazing versatility hurts his fantasy value. Reggie Bush is the best third down back in the game, hands down so Thomas’ touches are limited because of this and he also has had some injury issues. I would be confident with him as a RB2 but I would defiantly get another back in case the injury bug bites again. He runs with power and has shown flashes of becoming an elite back.
Reggie Bush: He is a far better football player than he is a fantasy football player. What he does to a defense is incredible. He has great hands, breakaway speed, and an unbelievable ability to cut. He will never get enough touches to warrant a high round selection and he gets banged up, but the Saints kept him on for 8million dollars so that says something about his importance. He can be an ok flex play, if your league awards return yardage or PPR he could get some added value. He is wildly inconsistent and can’t really be trusted but again he is far more valuable to the Saints than he is to your fantasy team.
I expect the Saints to look to add another back via the draft but I don’t think they would see it as a total loss if they didn’t. I don’t see anyone coming in and making a huge impact unless there is an injury.
Marques Colston: He is the undisputed number 1 wide out in New Orleans, but due to the plethora of weapons in NO he won’t explode like many other number one wide outs. He is a legit talent on a great offense. He should be about the 6th or 7th wide out off the board if he is your #2 wide out you should be in great shape.
Lance Moore, Robert Mechem, Devery Henderson: I don’t see them as more than WR3’s or flex plays. They are all over the place as far as production goes. One week it will be big numbers the next week it will be someone else. If you like to gamble these guys could be good gamble picks but they are risky.
They could look for another diamond in the rough like the found with Colston but I highly doubt they use a high pick on offense.
Jeremy Shockey: He always gets hyped up, but he never really performs to the high level. He is another player that benefits his team much more than a fantasy team. I would stay away from him and take my chances on some other tight ends.
David Thomas: He had some good games but similar to Shockey and every other player on the Saints all the ball movement hurts their overall value.
I could see the Saints using a pick on a tight end. This would be something worth keeping an eye on. If the Saints got a hybrid tight end they could have a great weapon over the middle.
Matt Ryan: Looking for a bounce back year from Ryan here. If Turner can stay healthy he could have an excellent season. I see him as a Top 12 quarterback. The Falcons have some good weapons, but they could use another weapon or two. Ryan has all the ability to be a good quarterback in the NFL and I think this year he will get back on the path this season.
Michael Turner: I’d say it’s a make or break year for Turner. He had an excellent season 2 years ago and we banged up in the last season. Is he going to become an injury prone back who frustrates owners on a weekly basis or will he be the stud from the prior year? Only time will tell, I would look at Turner in the back half of the first round in redraft leagues.
Look for the Falcons to avoid running back in the draft with Jerious Norwood and Jason Snelling on the squad. With an injury to Turner look for either back to gain value.
Roddy White: He is a low end WR1 and a high end WR2. He has homerun speed and good hands. Expect north of 1000 yards and somewhere between 8-11td’s if he remains healthy.
Michael Jenkins: He is ok at best. Not really worth owning in my opinion. There are much better second wide receivers and I just can justify using a pick on him.
Look to see the Falcons to pick someone in the draft, but I don’t expect them to have much impact in their first year. They would be worth a roster stash.
Tony Gonzalez: Top 5 tight end for the better part of his career and its not going to change this year. Draft him with confidence in any and all formats.
Look for the Falcons to try and get someone to back up Gonzo, he should carry no value but could be worth a look as a roster stash depending the choice.
Matt Moore: I think he could be a big sleeper and will need to fight off anyone who is brought in. They could be a dark horse team to make a play for a young quarterback. Keep an eye on Moore and he might be worth a pick up in a dynasty format.
Watch them on draft day I think they are dark horse team to move up and get a QB. They don’t have a first round pick but crazier things have happened.
DeAngelo Williams/Jonathan Stewart: Both are starting caliber running backs and the Panthers love to run the ball. Both running backs have value and will see their value skyrocket if one of the backs gets hurt. They same skyrocketing in value will happen if one of the two backs gets traded but I don’t see that happening.
I doubt the Panthers look to a running back in the draft. With a lack of picks there is no reason for them to pick a player at the position they are the strongest at.
Steve Smith: He could be a surprise pick this year. Moore and Smith have a good rapport and they could really create some sparks. Look for a bounce back year for Smith.
Dwayne Jarrett: If they let him play he could prove to be a breakout player. Keep an eye on him. He has good hands and good body skills.
They could look to pick up another wide out in the draft. It is hard to project their picks because they don’t have any early picks and guessing this year’s draft is a huge crap shoot.
None of their tight ends are really worth owning they don’t pass enough to make a tight end relevant. They would prefer to go to the ground or throw the ball to the sure handed Smith.
Josh Freeman: He is a youngster and just learning the ropes. It doesn’t help that he has no wide outs that are worth what they are getting paid. He is worth holding if you have space on your dynasty team. Don’t draft him in a redraft league.
They are not going to grab a QB in this draft
Derrick Ward: He could be good if Williams goes down and gets to shoulder the load. He is a player to grab on a flyer and keep a close eye on.
Cadillac Williams: He shares the duties with Ward and the Buc’s don’t really run the ball all too well. I’d like to see him succeed after his rough knee injury but it’s much more likely that Williams and Ward both remain fantasy irrelevant.
Too many holes elsewhere to use a pick on a running back.
Run away from here… there wide receivers are terrible and should not be selected unless your league is super super deep. If they get a WR in the 2nd round he could be worth grabbing. The Bucs are very very bad and they will have very few if any fantasy relevant players.
Kellen Winslow Jr.: He is about the only player worth owning on the team. He will get his catches and he will score a few times. I feel he is in the top 10 but I would not reach for him due to the fact that teams will be keying on him this year. They say a young quarterback’s best friend is his tight end and Winslow is a very good tight end when healthy.
The Buc’s will use a majority of their picks to build up there awful defense and offensive line.
What do you think of the NFC South and how the teams in the division will attack the draft? We’d love to hear your comments below.