Fantasy Football

Moore, Saints strive for excellence

Sir Lancelot
Moore could see an extended amount of targets in 2012.
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Joel Beall

Joel Beall is a writer for FOXSports.com and WhatIfSports.com. He lives with a Golden Tee machine and a jump shot that’s currently broken. Reach Joel on Twitter @FOXSportsBeall.

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The Saints are to fantasy football what Anchorman is to comedy. (And in this comparison, I guess Drew Brees is Ron Burgundy. Though not the most apropos of appraisals, the thought of Brees rocking polyester suits, playing the jazz flute and conversing with dogs does bring a smile to my face. But I digress…)

Having a New Orleans entity on your roster seemingly provides leverage over the competition, especially in relation to the passing game. So what better way to conclude our conference news and notes preseason presentation than reflections on the team’s 2012 outlook with one of the squad’s main components, wide receiver Lance Moore.

Despite missing two games of action in 2011, the 28-year-old hauled in eight touchdown grabs for the second consecutive season for the Saints and posted respectable figures of 52 receptions and 627 yards. Yet, while Moore submitted over 900 yards and 10 scores in 2008, some pigskin pundits think the upcoming campaign will serve as his platform for prominence, as Robert Meachem's exodus opens the opportunity for additional targets in his direction. Flattered by the praise, Moore doesn’t necessarily concur with this assessment.

“I think everyone is going to step up and fill that role,” Moore said on Wednesday. “We got a great group of guys, very talented, to spread the ball around to, so that won’t be a problem.”

Highlighted by Brees’ record-breaking performance in 2011, it’s hard to envision a scenario in which this year’s edition of the Saints offense could surpass last season’s output. Nevertheless, it’s an ambition Moore and the offensive attack are striving to achieve.

“It’s about never settling, never being satisfied,” said Moore. “We know we did well last year, but there’s always room for improvement, cutting down on turnovers, etc., and I think we can do that.”

Yet for all their fireworks on the scoreboard, Moore understands it’s all for naught unless the team is still around in February.

“It’s all about that ring, that’s all that matters,” said Moore. “The numbers and stats are nice, but everyone here knows we’re in for the championship, and that’s our only priority.”

Thanks to Moore for taking time out of his hectic schedule, especially as the team is displaced during Hurricane Isaac. On to the news and notes from the rest of the NFC…

NFC East

- Prince Amukamara, though probably out for the season opener, could be back sooner than expected. And looking for a late sleeper at running back? David Wilson could be your man.

- Michael Vick is going down at some point. This, we know. So while most backup quarterback conversation is irrelevant in the fantasy forum, Nick Foles’ promotion to No. 2 on the Philly depth chart is noteworthy.

- Miles Austin has vowed to play in the season opener, which should diminish some of the concern his owners harbor toward his health. Also on the injury front, DeMarcus Ware reiterated that his hamstring won’t be a problem.

- WARNING: Don’t fall for this “Alfred Morris as the primary back” nonsense coming out of Washington. Oh, I have no doubt he’ll start in the Redskins opener, racking up 95 yards on 20 carries. However, knowing Mike Shanahan, he’ll get three touches the following week and won’t see the field until October. Why? Because Mike Shanahan hates fantasy football.

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NFC North

- Starting to think Ced Benson might be the steal of the offseason for the Pack. Man did rush for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons in Cincinnati, and with a viable pass game taking the heat off? Forget about it.

- Minnesota continues to struggle to find a dependable target opposite Percy Harvin. All that does is put fuel to the fire regarding my prediction of a Kyle Rudolph breakout year. And here’s your daily update on Adrian Peterson’s comeback and availability for Week 1.

- After Kevin Smith hurt his ankle last week, word on the street said the Lions were inquiring about available running backs. Though he’ll sit out Detroit’s final preseason game, looks like the team has faith in Smith’s readiness for Week 1.

- Brian Urlacher is close to getting back on the gridiron. Unfortunately, same cannot be said for Johnny Knox. By the way, I’m not the only one that sees “Johnny Knox” and thinks “Johnny Knoxville,” right? (Crickets) Right?

NFC South

- Perhaps I’m in the minority, but really believe Josh Freeman is due for a rejuvenation after a subpar 2011. With Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson and Dallas Clark at his disposal, as well as the dropping propensity of Kellen Winslow gone, thinkin’ big things for the Kansas State product.

- A look at the projected 53-man roster of the Panthers. After looking at the receivers, or lack thereof, for Carolina, have to like Greg Olsen’s opportunity to become the No. 2 target in the passing game.

- Hmmm, Jacquizz Rodgers sounds like he may get a few more touches than anticipated in Atlanta this season. Don’t drop Michael Turner in your rankings by any means, yet bump Rodgers into late-round consideration. Plus, while everyone is jumping at Roddy White and Julio Jones, don’t forget about Harry Douglas.

- In case the above transcript didn’t quench your Who-Dat thirst, a projection of the Saints’ 53-man roster.

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NFC West

- I’m not totally buying into this premise, but do think Randy Moss holds some value in deeper leagues for 2012. Unfortunately, his name recognition is vaulting his average draft position higher than his merit regulates.

- With TO gone, a few of you have asked for Seattle receiver suggestions. As this article points out, there’s too much parity to make a sound endorsement. But, because I’m the man of the people, do like me some Doug Baldwin in PPR leagues.

- Has there ever been a less-exciting QB battle than Skelton vs. Kolb? Can’t we just force Seattle to relinquish Matt Flynn to the desert now that Russell Wilson is their starter? Poor Larry Fitzgerald.

- Sad to see this transpire, as I really thought Danario Alexander would make a good pro. On a more positive front, Steve Smith continues to shine.

Tagged: Falcons, Bears, Cowboys, Lions, Packers, Rams, Vikings, Saints, Giants, Eagles, Seahawks, Buccaneers, Redskins, Panthers, Brian Urlacher, Drew Brees, Steve Smith Sr., Adrian Peterson, DeMarcus Ware, Lance Moore, Tim Hightower, Kevin Smith, Johnny Knox, Percy Harvin, Prince Amukamara, Jacquizz Rodgers, Doug Baldwin, Doug Martin, Alfred Morris

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