Saints DT Sheldon Rankins is active for tonight's game against the Cowboys. It will mark his 1st game back since suffering a torn Achilles' tendon in last year's playoff victory over the Eagles. We'll see how much playing time Rankins is ready for. He remained limited in practice this week.
The Saints this week placed DT Nick Fairley on the non-football injury/illness list. That deactivates him for the 2017 season, and he's likely done for good, according to the Times-Picayune. Doctors diagnosed Fairly with a heart condition this offseason, and the team reportedly sought out multiple opinions before making the move. It's a particularly unfortunate scenario considering that Fairley had just earned a big new contract after a bounce-back 2016. For fantasy purposes, it at least becomes easier to envision a worthwhile role for 2nd-year DT Sheldon Rankins.
The Saints on Saturday activated DL Sheldon Rankins after he missed the 1st 7 games with a leg fracture. The 1st-round pick can only help the front 7 of 1 of the league's worst defenses. New Orleans will not have ILB James Laurinaitis any more this season, though, after placing him on IR with a groin injury. Laurinaitis has offered little value to the team or fantasy owners since arriving after the Rams dumped him in summer. His deactivation makes Nathan Stupar more interesting in IDP leagues as a potential full-time player the rest of the way.
According to multiple reports, Saints rookie DT Sheldon Rankins left the practice field on a cart Monday morning. We'll keep an eye out for updates on the 12th overall pick. Losing him would deal a potentially big blow to a team defense that stunk last year but has some hope for at least a bit of big-play upside in 2016.
Update: NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Rankins is expected to hit IR with a broken fibula.
The Saints chose DL Sheldon Rankins with the 12th pick in the NFL Draft. Rankins should fit well as the 3-4 DE across from Cameron Jordan and significantly strengthen the New Orleans front. He'll make for an interesting option in IDP rookie drafts.