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.