This season will be my 18th year of playing fantasy football. The last several seasons would suggest that you probably shouldn't listen to what I have to say and I'd agree with that. I think I know the Saints, though.
Quarterbacks: Drew Brees is a superstar in the NFL, in fantasy football, in real life. He should be the first quarterback taken in any draft and should go for the most in fantasy auction dollars. He does well in any scoring system. He throws for a lot of yards, a lot of touchdowns, and a lot of completions. If that weren't enough, he also completes a lot of long passes for the leagues who reward those. If you can get him, he'll pay off. Fantasy starter.
Running Backs: The Saints go four deep at running back. Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram, and Chris Ivory will all get touches this season if they all stay healthy. They represent the new thinking in the NFL. There are not that many workhorse running backs in the league so more and more teams are going to the committee approach. These four guys are hardly ever on the field for two consecutive plays. You will be disappointed if you grab any of them expecting consistency. I would rate them in this order. Sproles, Thomas, Ingram, Ivory. Sproles and Thomas will get you some rushing and receiving yards and touchdowns. Ingram and Ivory are mostly involved in the running game. Any of them could surprise you with a big game. It is hard for me to tell anyone what to do with these guys. Fantasy spot duty.
Wide Receivers: Marques Colston, Devery Henderson, and Lance Moore will get most of the snaps in the Saints offense. Colston is, by far, the most productive and consistent of the bunch and he should be a mid to high number 2 WR on most fantasy football rosters. Moore and Henderson will have some good games but they are not as consistent. It's not their fault. The Saints offense is just very diverse. The fourth and fifth WRs are still to be determined but I wouldn't take them unless there is an injury on one or more of the other three or unless there is an unexpected emergence in training camp. Don't laugh. Colston was an unexpected emergence. Colston is a fantasy starter. Moore and Henderson are fantasy spot duty. Everyone else is iffy.
Tight Ends: Jimmy Graham is a superstar tight end already and he is going to get better. He still thinks too much, still runs the wrong route occasionally, and still has footballs clank off of his helmet or shoulder pads because he's not looking for it when he should. His regular season numbers were 99 receptions, 1310 yards, and 11 touchdowns. Those are big numbers for a wide receiver. They're gigantic numbers for a tight end. He should be the first taken. He's better than the Pats' Gronk. Graham is a fantasy starter. The other tight ends on the Saints roster aren't worth talking about.
Kicker: Garrett Hartley and John Kasay will have a competition this training camp. If that competition is over when you go to draft/auction, it's still not safe to pick the winner. The Saints don't kick as many field goals as other teams. They kick more extra points but you don't really want that in a fantasy placekicker. I'm giving Kasay the slight edge here. Hartley has the stronger and younger leg but he's also apparently a bit of a knucklehead that they can't keep on the field. The pattern has been that Hartley starts the season and has a rough spot. The Saints call in a veteran to either help him through it or to take over. If that's not frightening enough to keep you from grabbing these guys, let me add this: The Saints have almost zero patience with kickers. Hartley has made two game winners and missed two game winners. The two misses were awful. Fantasy spot duty.
Defense: They figure to be somewhat improved but they also figure to be in some shootouts. They give up a lot of yards and points, regardless. They haven't done much in the turnover department since their Super Bowl year. I suppose all of this could change this year under Steve Spagnuolo but I wouldn't count on it. Fantasy spot duty. at best.
Special Teams: Sproles is a good punt and kickoff returner. The coverage units are pretty good but not great. They benefit from Thomas Morestead kicking off and punting. He leads the league in kickoff touchbacks pretty much since he's been in the league and he's a pretty decent directional punter. Fantasy starter.
If your league combines defense and special teams, I'd relegate the Saints D/ST to fantasy spot duty.
45 days until football season ...