New Orleans Saints
2014 Record: 7-9, missed playoffs, 3-2 in last five
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1st: 7th in DVOA* overall offense (9th pass, 9th rush) | 31st in DVOA* overall defense (27th pass, 32nd run)
2nd: Third-least effective defense in the NFL against WR1s (7.5 pass attempts per game, 79.9 receiving yards per game), worst in the NFL against receiving RBs (6.7 pass attempts, 53.6 yards), but best in the NFL against TEs (8 pass attempts, 38.6 yards), according to Football Outsiders’ defense vs. receiver types chart.
3rd: Key loss: TE Jimmy Graham | Key addition: RB C.J. Spiller
4th: Drew Brees burned a few daily fantasy owners last season, but the offense wasn’t the big problem for the Saints. Their defense was second-worst in the NFL and they were worst in the NFL against the run. It takes a lot to turn a defense around, but the Saints have revamped their roster in hopes of giving their fans hope in 2015. While the drama and conflict will be on that side of the ball, fantasy football players should be excited for the Drew Brees-led offensive unit. C.J. Spiller will be an interesting one-two punch with Mark Ingram, who had a career year in 2015. Second-year WR Brandin Cooks was on his way to a breakout rookie season before a broken thumb cost him the final six games of the season. He’s a smaller receiver, but his debut was eye-opening and he makes a good complement to Marques Colston who saw statistic declines across the board in his age 31 season, but he’s still 6-foor-4, 225 and Jimmy Graham won’t be there to steal all of the red zone opportunities. The other side of that coin: How does the Saints offense function without Jimmy Graham in 2015?
*Defense-adjusted Value Over Average, a Football Outsiders’ advanced NFL metric, measures a team’s performance on a per-play basis. The metric attempts to limit variance and provides a more realistic measurement of how good a team is regardless of matchup or situation, making it a strong indicator of future success. Read more about DVOA.