The good news for the Saints is that the remainder of the quarterbacks they’ll face in the 2016 season looks more manageable than it did going into this year.
NEW ORLEANS, LA – AUGUST 24: The Mercedes-Benz Superdome stands (CENTER R) downtown on August 24, 2015 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The site was used as a ‘shelter of last resort’ during Hurricane Katrina. The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, which killed at least 1836 and is considered the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history, is August 29. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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To date, based on up to date fantasy rankings from NFL.com the Saints have faced the overall number 7, 9, 14 and 21 ranked quarterbacks in the league. Some of these QBs obviously have elevated rankings based solely on their games against the historically bad Black and Gold defense.
Who Dat Dish examines the rest of the quarterback slate going into the season’s second quarter and ranks them from worst to first.
Oct 9, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Buffalo Bills outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander (57) brings down Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum (17) during the 4th quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. The Bills went on to a 30-19 win. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints will face the now Los Angeles Rams in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on November 27, the weekend following Thanksgiving. It’ll be a wait and see as to which Rams quarterback they’ll face.
With the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Rams took Cal quarterback Jared Goff. So far he hasn’t done much more than hold a clipboard while the number two pick Carson Wentz, has raised many questions about the validity of that number 1 pick.
Picked up by the Houston Texans out of the University of Houston in 2012 as an undrafted rookie free agent, Case Keenum has had a so-so pro career. He came over to the Rams when they traded a 7th round pick for him in 2015, and he has started every game in 2016 for Los Angeles.
To this point, Keenum is averaging a paltry 219.2 passing yards a game and has thrown 4 TDs and 5 INTs. If he continues at that level the Saints could easily see an unproven Goff in the Dome. At any rate, this appears to be the least effective quarterback group the Black and Gold will see for the remainder of this season.
Case Keenum has a current fantasy rating of 33, and Jared Goff is at 35.
Oct 6, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert (2) throws a pass against the Arizona Cardinals during a NFL game at Levi
The San Francisco 49ers are another team with ugly options at the quarterback position. Blaine Gabbert is the current starter but that could change at any time, as calls from the fans to start Colin Kaepernick are growing harder for the Niners coaching staff to ignore.
Gabbert has certainly been inconsistent in his brief career. The10th overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft out of Missouri by the Jacksonville Jaguars, Gabbert has never lived up to the hype. He was once considered the best QB available coming out that year. He was traded to the 49ers in 2014 for a 6th round draft pick.
He’s averaging a mere 178 yards a game passing and has thrown 5 TDs and 6 INTs. He’s currently the 30th ranked QB in fantasy. If Kaepernick supplants him as a starter, it could be a very different team the Who Dats face on the road on November 6.
Kaepernick has suffered career set backs of late and hasn’t helped himself with the distractions of his national news grabbing stance on the National Anthem. He’s the 40th ranked fantasy quarterback, but one has to think he’d be an upgrade over Gabbert at this point.
Oct 2, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Trevor Siemian (13) looks to throw a pass against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the first half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The Saints will face yet another toss up situation in the Dome on November 13 when the Broncos come to the Big Easy. Denver started the season with 7th round pick of 2015’s NFL Draft Trevor Siemian out of Northwestern.
At the 26th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Broncos selected Memphis quarterback Paxton Lynch but he wasn’t able to immediately take the starting spot. Siemian has, at times looked solid. Only due to injury, Lynch started for Denver in Week 5 and looked shaky at best in a loss to the Falcons.
Siemian seems to give the Broncos their best chance of winning for the time being, and it’s likely he’ll be who the Saints face in this contest. He’s currently ranked at number 32 in fantasy, and Lynch doesn’t have the numbers to crack the top 40.
Oct 2, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Cameron Heyward (97) sacks Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) during the second half at Heinz Field. The Steelers won the game, 43-14. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
It seems like Alex Smith has been around forever between his careers in San Francisco and Kansas City. He was the 1st overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft by the 49ers out of Utah. It would be a gross understatement to say his career has been disappointing.
Smith is what is commonly known in the NFL as a “game manager”. He’s seen as a quarterback who can play with a level of consistency without risking hurting the team. Not exactly what you want out of a 1st overall pick.
He’s averaging 214.6 yards per game in 2016 and has thrown for 5 TD and 2 INTs with a team known for defense and running the ball. He’s currently the 26th ranked fantasy quarterback, and the Saints will see him at Arrowhead Stadium on October 23rd.
Oct 9, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) looks to pass the football in the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Falcons defeated the Broncos 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Fantasy numbers are a fickle thing. Currently Matt Ryan is ranked the 21st best quarterback in fantasy football. His fantasy numbers have been hurt by his game in New Orleans and this past week against Denver.
“Matty Ice” has averaged 348 yards a game passing and has thrown 12 TDs to only 2 INTs. Yet the fantasy numbers are what they are. The running game is the focus of the Atlanta offense.
Nonetheless, the Black and Gold will see Ryan again on New Year’s Day in Hotlanta. Who Dat Dish would have to rank the Boston College product as the most dangerous quarterback the Saints will face in the remainder of this season, but the fantasy gods have spoken. He’s only ranked number 5 out of he next 10 the Who Dats will face.
Oct 10, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) scrambles while Carolina Panthers defensive end Mario Addison (97) pursues in the third quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jameis Winston, another 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft, this time by the Buccaneers in 2015 is quickly developing into a potential star. He’s having a fairly inconsistent season so far in 2016 but he’s certainly capable of becoming more.
As the Bucs continue to develop their offense around his abilities, the sky’s the limit.
The Saints will have to face him December 11th on the road and again, two weeks later, on Christmas Eve in the Dome. Hopefully those two games will matter for the Black and Gold that late into the season.
Winston is currently the 17th ranked fantasy quarterback.
Oct 9, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks to throw the ball against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of a game at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
Detroit’s Matthew Stafford is considered by many to be an elite NFL quarterback. Unfortunately, he plays in the same city that saw the talents of Barry Sanders go wasted in the ’90s.
He’s had to adjust this year to the loss of his favorite target, Calvin “Megatron” Johnson. But Stafford, the former Georgia Bulldog, has continued to make things happen in the Motor City.
Stafford is averaging 275 passing yards a game and has thrown for 10 TDs and 4 INTs.
He’s currently the number 16th ranked fantasy QB and the Saints will face him on December 4 in the Superdome.
Oct 2, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws the ball during the second half against the Los Angeles Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Carson Palmer has been around for a while. After winning the Heisman Trophy while at Southern Cal in 2002, he was the 1st overall pick in the NFL Draft by the Cincinnati Bengals.
He’s had a stellar NFL career with the Bengals and Cardinals and is a likely future Hall of Famer. Any team he’s on has to be considered a contender yet, to date, the Cardinals have underperformed and Palmer has had some injury issues.
Back up Drew Stanton filled in for him in Week 5 on a Thursday night. It was said, however, that had the game been on a Sunday, Palmer would have been the starter.
He’s the number 6 rated fantasy quarterback, and the Saints will face him on December 18 at University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Oct 2, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to pass in the second half against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Seattle Seahawks defeat the New York Jets 27-17. Mandatory Credit: William Hauser-USA TODAY Sports
Through Week 5 of the 2016 Season, Seattle’s Russell Wilson is the number 3 ranked fantasy quarterback by NFL.com.
In his rookie season in 2013, Wilson broke Payton Manning’s record for most TDs thrown by a rookie (26) and was named the Pepsi NFL Rookie of the Year.
The former Wisconsin Badger, a 3rd round draft pick, has taken the Seahawks to two Super Bowls, one of which they won.
One thing’s for sure, he’s given the New Orleans Saints fits and it always seems they’ve faced him on the road. Not this year.
The Black and Gold will face Wilson the day before Halloween in the Superdome. The four-year vet has been dealing with some leg injuries this season but that hasn’t affected his passing game, merely limited him as a runner.
Oct 2, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) attempts a pass against Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley (44) and strong safety Keanu Neal (22) in the third quarter of their game at the Georgia Dome. The Falcons won 48-33. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
The 2016 season has certainly been a disappointment to date for the Carolina Panthers. After a 15-1 2015 regular season, the Panthers were exposed in the Super Bowl by a dominant Broncos defense.
Newton was visibly shaken and, frankly, seemed depressed through most of that game and was sullen afterwards.
Starting off 2016 facing Denver again, that same Cam Newton seemed to return. But it’s undeniable that Newton is pure, raw talent. It’s just not always certain whether he will show up for game time.
He was out for Week 5 with a concussion he suffered in Week 4 and it remains to be seen how that will affect the rest of his 2016 season. But he’s a thorn in the side of the Black and Gold and they’ll have to face him twice if he’s healthy.
The number 2 ranked fantasy QB, behind Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers by the way, will be in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on October 16th and the Saints will travel to Charlotte for a Thursday Night matchup on November 17.