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New Orleans Saints Fantasy Football News | Shark Bites

Fantasy Football News 2021

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The Saints grabbed Ohio State LB Pete Werner in the 2nd round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Werner posted solid production over 3 starting seasons, especially the 15.5 tackles for loss and 13 passes defensed. He proved above average in speed score and agility. We'll see about his fit in the New Orleans LB corps.

The Saints picked DE Payton Turner with the 28th pick of the 2021 NFL Draft. Turner endured some injury issues in college after being a late-bloomer in high school. But he led this edge class in solo tackles per game (3.4) and tackles for loss per game (2.1). He joins a Saints defense that just lost Trey Hendrickson in free agency. Turner figures to start 3rd on the DE depth chart -- at best -- behind Cameron Jordan and Marcus Davenport. (New Orleans exercised the 5th-year option on Davenport on Thursday.)

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport's "read" is that Jameis Winston has the "leg up" on the Saints' starting QB job. Rapoport adds that there will be a competition between Winston and Taysom Hill this summer but that Winston "really impressed in practice" last year. Hill reportedly stepped in when Drew Brees went down only because HC Sean Payton had promised Hill that he'd get an opportunity. This will be 1 of the biggest training camp battles to track -- not only for Winston and Hill's fantasy values, but also Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara's.

The Saints have released LB Kwon Alexander. It's not a surprising move. The veteran was set to make $13.2 million and $13.5 million in the final 2 years on his contract and suffered an Achilles' tendon tear in Week 16. We'll see whether he's ready to play for anyone in 2021.

QB Jameis Winston has inked a 1-year deal with the Saints that's worth "up to" $12 million, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. This move has been the league's worst-kept secret. Winston attempted just 11 passes for the Saints last season, but HC Sean Payton must have liked what he saw from the former #1 overall pick throughout the year. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said yesterday that Winston is the Saints' "likely starter" this season -- but ESPN's Dianna Russini reported earlier today that Winston and Taysom Hill will compete for the starting job. Whoever is under center in New Orleans will have easy QB1 upside.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the Saints have been working with QB Jameis Winston on a new contract and that he's hearing Winston will be the "likely starter" for New Orleans in 2021. The 2 sides obviously have to actually consummate that with a deal, but this is enough to make us push Winston up the QB rankings a bit -- and Hill down -- for our best-ball drafts.

ESPN's Mike Triplett reports that the Saints plan to release LB Kwon Alexander. The veteran was set to make $13.4 million in 2021 and tore his right Achilles' tendon in Week 16. So this move comes as no surprise. We'll see if he can make it back to the field in a significant role for any team in the coming season. Long-term, there's still time for the 26-year-old to round back into form. He remains stashable if your IDP dynasty league is deep enough. Alexander's release plus Trey Hendrickson's impending free agency should help New Orleans find snaps for Zack Baun in his 2nd season.

According to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic, the Saints are “extremely high” on 2nd-year TE Adam Trautman. Duncan went so far as to name Trautman as his top “breakout candidate” for next season. As a rookie, the Dayton product saw just 16 targets behind Jared Cook. But he caught 15 of them for 171 yards (11.4 YPC) and 1 score. Duncan fully expects the cash-strapped Saints to move on from the high-priced Cook, who’s coming off a down season. Trautman, meanwhile, makes sense as a fringe TE2 or TE3 target in early FFPC drafts.

The Athletic's Larry Holder believes there's a "strong likelihood" that QB Jameis Winston will be the Saints' starter in 2021. It's an opinion, rather than a report -- but noteworthy nonetheless from a long-time Saints beat writer. New Orleans opted to start QB Taysom Hill instead of Winston when QB Drew Brees missed time this past season. But Holder says the Saints love Winston's arm talent and football IQ and believe HC Sean Payton can "mold" Winston to fit the system. We're a bit skeptical that Hill won't get a shot in 2021 considering he's due to make nearly $11 million. Winston, meanwhile, is set to become a free agent in March, so we'll see how aggressive the Saints are in bringing him back.

Bills WR Kenny Stills has been promoted from the practice squad for Sunday's AFC Championship vs. the Chiefs. It's an indication that WR Gabriel Davis (ankle) won't play, although that's still not official. Signed just a few weeks ago, Stills is unlikely to have a big role in Kansas City.

Saints WR Michael Thomas will "likely" have surgery this offseason to repair a torn deltoid and other injured ligaments in his ankle, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports. Thomas hurt that ankle in Week 1, didn't return until Week 9 and played the rest of the way with pain medication, per Schefter. It's safe to say that Thomas was never at full strength after the opener. Assuming better health, he'll be a prime 2021 bounce-back candidate.

Saints QB Taysom Hill (knee) and RB Latavius Murray (quad) are inactive for tonight's game vs. the Bucs. QB Drew Brees and RB Alvin Kamara will pick up extra snaps.

Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) has been activated from IR. So he'll return for Sunday's game against the Bucs after missing the last 3. Smith figures to re-join Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders in 3-WR sets and has some appeal as a cheap DFS play.

Saints QB Taysom Hill (knee) returned to a limited practice on Friday and is listed as questionable for this weekend's game vs. the Bucs. The versatile Hill's absence would be a tangible blow to New Orleans' offense -- but boost the outlooks for QB Drew Brees and RB Alvin Kamara.

Saints QB Taysom Hill (knee) missed his 2nd straight practice on Thursday. He banged up a knee early in last weekend's win over the Bears but was able to return. We'll see what he does on Friday and how he's listed on the final injury report for Sunday's game vs. the Bucs.

Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith (ankle) returned to practice on Wednesday. He's eligible to come off IR for this weekend's game vs. the Bucs, although it's still unclear if he'll be ready. We'll keep you updated.

Saints RB Alvin Kamara and WR Michael Thomas are officially active for today's game against the Bears. Both were expected to be ready, but it's nice to get confirmation.

Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports that the Saints have returned RB Alvin Kamara to the active roster. That indicates he's all set to face the Bears on Sunday. We'll watch for any reports to the contrary, but Kamara should be ready for fantasy use. We'll also see just how he splits work with Latavius Murray after being out the past week-and-a-half following a positive COVID test.

The Saints have added WR Michael Thomas to the active roster, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. That comes as no surprise after a practice week filled with positive reports. Thomas looks ready for Sunday's game against the Bears.

Saints QB Taysom Hill (concussion) put in full practices on Thursday and Friday and isn't listed on the final injury report for Wild Card Weekend. He'll play his usual gadget role vs. the Bears on Sunday.

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