2015 Outlook: Ingram has the leg drive to bowl over downfield tacklers and score from in close, and he catches well. But he's more of a veering runner than someone who cuts sharply, so there aren't many times that he makes yards on his own. Simply put, he gets stuffed too much for an RB who tips the scales at a compact and powerful 215 pounds. The Saints might emphasize the running game in 2015, and Ingram will be their sledgehammer, with free agent signee C.J. Spiller filling out a one-two punch. But beware: Sean Payton has never been the type to allow any single RB to dominate touches every week.
2015 Outlook: After being selected 20th overall in last year's draft, Cooks endured a roller-coaster rookie season. He finished three different weeks among the top-13 fantasy WRs and ranked outside the top 32 in five other outings. (He also missed the final six games with a thumb injury.) Inconsistency aside, Cooks still ranked as the 26th-best WR in standard leagues and 22nd in PPR prior to his injury. Perhaps more important, from Weeks 1 to 11, only Jimmy Graham garnered more targets than Cooks. With Graham and Kenny Stills having been traded this offseason, it's clear the Saints are betting big on Cooks' potential.
2015 Outlook: Times have changed in New Orleans. Jimmy Graham is gone, and Brees' receiving corps consists of a declining Marques Colston and a bunch of unproven young guys. Meanwhile, RBs Mark Ingram and C.J. Spiller are present -- and expensive. Brees tied for his fifth pass-yardage title in 2014, but it might have been his last. We expect the Saints to balance out an offense that threw 63 percent of the time last year, fifth most in the NFL. High volume has covered up the fact that Brees' play has dipped below elite levels; his 6.95 yards per dropback in 2014 was his lowest mark since 2010. If the volume slides, Brees might look like a decidedly mortal fantasy QB.
2015 Outlook: The last time Sean Payton had a thunder-and-lightning RB tandem that led to fantasy glory for both rushers was in 2006, when Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush each posted top-15 fantasy seasons. Since then, the Saints haven't carved out major roles for both a power back and a quick pass catcher. In 2015, though, Spiller will join Mark Ingram and look to fashion such an arrangement. There will be some weeks when Spiller explodes in the box score, but we expect him to max out between 10 and 12 touches per game, meaning he should continue his history as one of fantasy's premier roller-coaster rides.
2015 Outlook: After restructuring his contract this offseason, Colston returns to the Saints past his prime. The 10-year vet has spent the better part of his time in New Orleans helping owners cash in, never finishing worse than 33rd among WRs and ranking inside the top 20 six times. But his fantasy standing has declined as his age has increased; after finishing 11th among WRs in both 2011 and 2012, Colston regressed to 25th and 30th the past two seasons. With Jimmy Graham and Kenny Stills both traded this offseason, Drew Brees will certainly rely more on Colston. But the 32-year-old's days of being an every-week starter are over.
2015 Outlook: We like Robinson, maybe more than the Saints do. The 220-pounder has a unique ability to make himself compact before uncoiling all of his power as he drives through tacklers. Ask Falcons safety William Moore how hard Robinson hits: The two collided in the hole in Week 16, and Moore needed shoulder surgery as a result. Nevertheless, the Saints re-signed Mark Ingram and brought in C.J. Spiller, so Robinson seems destined for third string once more. He won't touch the ball more than a few times per game unless someone ahead of him on the depth chart gets hurt.
2015 Outlook: It's an understatement to say that the Saints' TE position has fantasy potential. Jimmy Graham saw at least 120 targets in four straight seasons before New Orleans shipped him to Seattle over the winter. Will Hill take over exactly where Graham left off? Well, he did score five times in 2014 and flashed some exceptional wheels doing so, but he's a virtual unknown as a route runner. There's bound to be major hype this summer because Drew Brees needs receiving weapons and Hill has great measurables. But he's so raw it probably makes sense to consider him a high-upside flier rather than a top-10 option.
2015 Outlook: Thomas lost five games to shoulder and rib injuries last year, and the Saints cut him amid their salary cap troubles. Yes, he's entering his age-30 season, but when he was on the field in 2014, Thomas looked pretty much the same to us. He's nasty on the perimeter when defenses lose track of him, and he's always been a tough guy to bring down. He averaged 2.6 yards after contact per touch last season, behind only Marshawn Lynch and LeGarrette Blount. Some team will surely sign Thomas this summer and install him as its receiving back. He's got the skill and savvy to become a valuable handcuff.
2015 Outlook: The Saints' defense wasn't significantly affected by an offseason full of shake-ups, but LB Curtis Lofton did jump ship to Oakland. That Raiders team was the only one to score fewer fantasy points than New Orleans last season. The Saints generated a minimal pass rush with just 34 sacks and were even worse against the run. Only the Giants yielded more yards per carry (4.8), and no team gave up more 20-plus-yard carries (19). Even with FS Jairus Byrd back from the knee injury that sidelined him for 12 games last season and the addition of rookie LB Stephone Anthony, the Saints will struggle to be fantasy-relevant.