Fantasy Football Outlook: Jameis Winston as the Saints QB
Jon Impemba reacts to the Drew Brees injury news and breaks down the new Saints quarterback situation and fantasy impact.
It was a surprise to everyone yesterday when Jameis Winston started the second half for the Saints. We later found out that Brees was dealing with a rib injury and that he told Sean Payton he would not be able to play in the second half of the game. Well, now we know what that is. Per Ed Werder of ESPN, an MRI Drew Brees has multiple rib fractures on both his left and ride side as well as a collapsed lung which will keep him out of action for an undetermined amount of time.
More from @WerderEdESPN: Drew Brees is suffering from three fractured ribs on his left side and two on the right, possibly more. Doctors have cautioned Brees to be especially careful with the damage to his lung. https://t.co/6Ps1pPOfek— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 16, 2020
So, what does this mean for the quarterback position in New Orleans and how does it change the fantasy football landscape? Let’s take a look.
It was a surprise to many that the Saints signed Jameis Winston in the offseason following the departure of Teddy Bridgewater to the Carolina Panthers. The Saints have long given the impression that they liked Taysom Hill and some figured that with Bridgewater out of the picture that Hill would move into that back up QB role that had been vacated. Instead the Saints signed Winston who was not re-signed by the Buccaneers as they opted for Tom Brady instead.
Winston’s 2019 season was quite the roller coaster as he led the league in pass attempts with 626, yards with 5,109, yards per game with 319.3 and interceptions with 30. The last stat is the problem and one that has plagued Winston since entering the league. Winston’s often chuck it and pray style was one of the reasons that Tampa Bay was never able to get over the hump with him at quarterback.
So, will things be different with him in New Orleans now? In the second half of their Week 10 contest against the 49ers Winston was a pedestrian 6-of-10 for 63 yards while being sacked twice. The majority of his completed passes were dump-offs to Alvin Kamara which should shock nobody as most of the Saints offense this season has been centered around getting Kamara the football.
In Week 11 the Saints get a nice home matchup against a Falcons defense that ranks 27th in DVOA against the pass. This should be a great opportunity for New Orleans to stretch the field with Winston who certainly has greater arm strength than Drew Brees does at this point in his career. Having a healthy Michael Thomas should be an added bonus for Winston and while Thomas has done little since his return, this would be a matchup that the Saints should game plan to get him the football. With a full week of practice as the starting quarterback, this is a great time for Winston to not only prove he deserves to be a starting quarterback in this league but also be the Saints starting quarterback of the future with Drew Brees likely retirement coming soon.
Yup, while you know Sean Payton would love to have a healthy Drew Brees , you also have to think he is secretly excited about the prospects of getting Hill even more involved in the team’s offense with Brees now on the sideline. In Week 10, Hill had eight carries for 45 yards and was sacked one time. In the fourth quarter there was a drive where Hill was under-center for five of the plays, one of which had Winston spread out wide. Hill’s presence is going to hamper some of the fantasy upside for Winston, but it seems pretty clear, that the Saints like using Hill more as a gadget player than someone viewed as their long term answer at the quarterback position.
Winston is the man to own in fantasy as the replacement for Drew Brees . He figures to be one of the highest owned players on waivers this week and for good reason. The Saints upcoming schedule is fantastic for fantasy purposes as they face the Falcons twice, the Broncos, Eagles, Chiefs, Vikings and Panthers to finish the season out.