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Two-A-Days: 2010 New Orleans Saints Season Preview

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Justin Boone - TSN.ca Staff
8/31/2010 10:59:23 AM
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Get ready for the 2010 NFL season with TSN.ca's team-by-team previews. From August 24 through to the start of the NFL season on September 9, TSN.ca gives you an in-depth look at each NFL club as we edge closer to Kickoff Weekend.

Has the Super Bowl celebration party stopped yet in New Orleans? Every time Drew Brees was seen in the off-season he was on top of a parade float or passing out copies of this year's Madden game, which he graces the cover of. Aside from the Madden curse, the Saints may need to worry about the Super Bowl hangover and whether they can stay hungry after reaching the pinnacle of the mountain in such dramatic fashion.

There have been plenty of odd sights on Bourbon Street over the years, but the Lombardi Trophy being held high was certainly one for sore eyes. With all the devastation that has been experienced by the people in Louisiana, the way they rallied around the team gave the new meaning to the term fan loyalty. The story of the Saints Super Bowl victory is one that will go down in the ages, but in a 'what have you done for me lately?' league the Saints past accomplishments mean nothing once they step on the field to kick off the 2010 campaign.

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 2010 PREVIEW

Team Page | 2010 Schedule | Roster

Stadium: Louisiana Superdome
Owner: Tom Benson
GM: Mickey Loomis | Coach: Sean Payton
Super Bowl wins: 1

Arrivals:
DE Alex Brown, LB Clint Ingram, FB Jason McKie, DE Jimmy Wilkerson, QB Patrick Ramsey

Depatures:
RB Mike Bell, OT Jammal Brown, QB Mark Brunell, RB Kyle Eckel, DE Charles Grant, LB Scott Fujita

2010 DRAFT CLASS

ROUND PLAYER POS. SCHOOL
1 Patrick Robinson CB Florida St.
2 Charles Brown OT USC
3 Jimmy Graham TE Miami
4 Al Woods DT LSU
5 Matt Tennant C Boston College
7 Sean Canfield QB Oregon St.

Reasons For Optimism... Drew Brees thoroughly enjoyed his first off-season as Super Bowl champion, but now he returns to work as one of the best quarterbacks in the game. His offence lost backup battery ram running back Mike Bell and offensive tackle Jammal Brown who a good chunk of last year's schedule anyways.

Outside of that, the unit remains intact with running backs Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush carrying the rock, and receivers Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore spreading the field. Points will not be hard to come by for the Saints.

Reasons For Pessimism... A championship team always has to deal with turnover and the Saints were no exception. While the offence minimized their losses, the defence was hit hard with defensive end Charles Grant and linebackers Scott Fujita and Mark Simoneau all leaving via free agency.

With safety Darren Sharper potentially missing the first six weeks of the season, the defence that proved to be so opportunistic in 2009, may have to find a new identity this season. Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams has already gone on record saying he will continue to be aggressive with his play calling, a mentality that can pay huge dividends or can bankrupt a defence.

Reasons For Realism... Head coach Sean Payton will need to find a way to motivate his troops for the rigours that come with a season as defending champions. Their offence is still potent, but the Saints will be hard-pressed to repeat, if for no other reason than the parity that exists in the current NFL. Dynasties are few and far between and while New Orleans should return to the post-season, even that is not a guarantee. Catching lightning in a bottle is a feat not easily reproduced.

FANTASY FOCUS
By: Scott Cullen

PROJECTED STARTERS

POS. PLAYER RATING POS. PLAYER RATING
QB Drew Brees 96.50 LDE Alex Brown 82.65
RB Pierre Thomas 76.50 DT Sedrick Ellis 73.35
FB Heath Evans 67.50 DT Remi Ayodele 63.50
TE Jeremy Shockey 76.00 RDE Will Smith 84.35
WR Marques Colston 78.50 OLB Scott Shanle 69.00
WR Devery Henderson 74.75 MLB Jonathan Vilma 84.25
LT Jermon Bushrod 67.00 OLB Jo-Lonn Dunbar 59.65
LG Carl Nicks 82.70 CB Jabari Greer 71.00
C Jonathan Goodwin 81.75 SS Roman Harper 67.40
RG Jahri Evans 87.70 FS Darren Sharper 80.35
RT Jon Stinchcomb 85.60 CB Tracy Porter 72.00
Players are graded out of 100, based on statistical production with the following guidelines for the rating:
90-100 - All-Pro players | 80-90 - Pro Bowl players | 75-80 - Very Good starters
70-75 - Solid starters | 65-70 - Marginal starter/Very good reserve 60-65 - Average reserve
| 55-60 - Developing player, spot duty | 55 and under - Not ready

Scott Cullen's Fantasy Take: The defending champs have a lot of continuity from last year's team, so there's a lot to like. Drew Brees has passed for more than 4300 yards in each of the last four years, throwing for 34 touchdowns in each of the last two. He's one of the best.

With Brees orchestrating the show, Marques Colston is a prime wide receiver option, while Devery Henderson, Robert Meachem and Lance Moore can all be significant performers from time-to-time.

He gets banged up at times, but Jeremy Shockey still does enough to be a No. 2 tight end on fantasy teams.

RB Pierre Thomas could be in line for a breakthrough season if he can handle a heavier workload. A 1,000-yard season seems well within his grasp. While there is plenty of sizzle to Reggie Bush's game, his yards from scrimmage has dipped from 1307 as a rookie to 725 last year, his fourth season.

Defensive ends Will Smith and Alex Brown are both productive enough, even though neither is an elite sacker. MLB Jonathan Vilma has been good for 100 tackles every year he's been healthy and defensive backs Tracy Porter and Roman Harper are both quality options.

Two-A-Days: 2010 NFL Season Previews.

Read more of TSN.ca's fantasy analysis on the NFL.

Drew Brees (Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

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(Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
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