Fantasy Football: Game of the Week Preview

Jim Harbaugh’s team makes a return trip to the Superdome
for the first time since their Super Bowl loss in February. The
opponent might be different, but the memory of that building will
stick with the 49ers forever.

As for the team who calls New Orleans their home, the Superdome
is filled with moments of extraordinary victories and
record-setting performances.

Drew Brees has been a catalyst for a majority of those happy
times for Saints fans. After going through a season without head
coach Sean Payton, they have rekindled their magic and propelled to
first place in the NFC South.

These former divisional foes will now clash, yet again, in
America’s Game of the Week on FOX.

Players to start:

Quarterback – Drew Brees

Brees trails only Peyton Manning in fantasy football points.
Even though San Francisco has allowed 211 passing yards per game
(ninth-best), Brees is a must-start in every game the Saints
play.

In my Week 10 starts and sit gallery, I posted that owners
should bench Kaepernick. I wasn’t exactly going out on a
ledge with that prediction, as his 49ers were up against a
Panthers’ defense that was the fourth-best squad in the
passing attack. This week, CK7 will face the third-best passing
defense.

Running back – Frank Gore and Darren
Sproles

The Saints are great against the passing game this season, but
23rd against the run (117.7 yards per game). While Gore
hasn’t rushed for over 100 yards since October 13th,
he’s rushed for four touchdowns in the past three games.

Mark Ingram was the best running back last week as he rushed for
145 yards and a TD on 14 carries. However, the Saints are still a
passing-oriented offense. This season, Drew Brees is averaging 40.3
pass attempts per game which puts New Orleans fifth-most in the
league. In PPR leagues, Sproles is 15th on the list of fantasy
running back point totals.

Wide receiver – Marques Colston and Kenny
Stills

The Sunday night game against the Cowboys was a great example of
why you start the Saints receivers…in favorable matchups.
Dallas is ranked 32nd in passing defense while San Francisco is
ninth. That being said, I would advise starting Colston. He’s
healthy and was the most targeted receiver last week. In deeper
leagues, Stills is also a reliable option this Sunday. He has
scored four TDs in the past four games.

Anquan Boldin started the 2013 season with 13 catches for 208
yards and one TD. Now, owners wish they would’ve traded
Boldin (and probably Kaepernick). Other than the fact that he
hasn’t recorded more than 90 receiving yards in a game since,
Boldin only has one touchdown outside of the opener. Mario
Manningham was targeted a team-high six times on Sunday when he
returned from a knee injury. In deeper leagues, you can consider
him in the flex spot in the lineup.

Tight end – Jimmy Graham and Vernon
Davis

Graham has 10 touchdowns in eight games. Also, in those eight
games, Graham has reached the 100-yard plateau five times.
He’s a machine and the best tight end in the game today. If
he’s wearing pads, Graham should be started in any and all
formats.

The importance of Davis to the 49ers offense is no secret. With
the starting tight end, Kaepernick has a QBR of 81.7 and 13.1
without Davis. He’s the blue blanket and Kaepernick might as
well be nicknamed “Linus.” After leaving last
week’s game with a concussion, Davis says that he is now
fine, even though he didn’t practice on Tuesday.

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