Sleepers, Busts and Bold Predictions: The 2024 New Orleans Saints


Welcome to Sleepers, Busts and Bold Predictions for the 2024 fantasy football season. Our Chris Meaney and Daniel Kelley are going to go team-by-team around the league all summer. They’ll pick sleepers, busts and bold predictions for each team. Sometimes they’ll agree! Sometimes they will go completely opposite one another! And that’s fine, because they’ll defend their positions, and you can decide for yourself who to side with. Up today: The New Orleans Saints.

Below, they tackle the team, starting with their picks in “The Answers,” then expanding on their picks in “The Explanation.”

2024 Sleepers, Busts & Bold Predictions: New Orleans Saints

The Answers

Favorite Sleeper

Meaney: Kendre Miller
Kelley: Taysom Hill

Biggest Bust

Meaney: Alvin Kamara
Kelley: Alvin Kamara

Bold Prediction

Meaney: Rashid Shaheed Leads New Orleans in TD Catches
Kelley: Cedrick Wilson Is a Top-50 WR

The Explanations


Meaney: Kendre Miller

Miller is not only a player I’m taking late in redraft leagues, he’s a player I’m buying and stashing in dynasty. Kamara isn’t a pending free agent, but he’s not happy with his contract. I fully expect him to be with the Saints come Week 1, but how productive will he be? The soon-to-be-29-year-old hasn’t been breaking tackles and running away from defenders like he used to. The Saints selected Miller in the third round last season, and while he showed very little in year one over eight games, don’t be surprised if he starts to cut into Kamara’s workload in his sophomore season. Miller had a game last season with 73 yards on 13 carries, and he had another game with four grabs for 53 yards. From a long-term perspective, Miller has three-down appeal. We may have seen a bit more from him last season if he stayed healthy.

Kelley: Taysom Hill

There are 11 TE-eligible players with at least 400 PPR points over the last three years. By current ADP, nine of them are in the top 16 tight ends drafted for 2024. One exception is Tyler Higbee (TE48), who tore his ACL in January and didn’t get his surgery until the end of February. The other is Taysom Hill:

  Player Team(s) PPR Points 2024 ADP
1 Travis Kelce KC 798.5 TE2
2 Mark Andrews BAL 627.0 TE4
3 George Kittle SF 601.7 TE8
4 T.J. Hockenson DET/MIN 579.7 TE15
5 Evan Engram JAX/NYG 509.7 TE7
6 Dalton Schultz DAL/HOU 502.0 TE13
7 David Njoku CLE 450.8 TE10
8 Cole Kmet CHI 449.6 TE16
9 Dallas Goedert PHI 442.5 TE12
10 Taysom Hill NO 411.0 TE29
11 Tyler Higbee LAR 407.5 TE48

Hill is obviously the most unique player around fantasy football in a lot of ways. He’s designated a tight end in most fantasy providers basically because “What the heck else do we designate him as?” Per PFF, he lined up as a quarterback on 115 snaps last year, a running back on 29, in the slot 130, out wide 71, inline 80. It’s like trying to figure out where to put a hot dog on a menu — do you classify it as a sandwich and get a bunch of weirdos yelling at you? Do you create its own category altogether?

(By the way, it’s very obviously a sandwich.)

Anyway, because we just don’t really know what to do with Taysom Hill, we don’t draft him highly, and he keeps beating expectations, including TE9 and TE12 finishes the last two years. He’ll be at least a mid-range TE2 if not better again in 2024, and again no one will draft him.


Meaney: Alvin Kamara

Kamara still has a bit left to give fantasy owners, but he’s been on the decline for a couple of seasons. After four seasons of 6.1, 4.6, 4.7 and 5.0 yards per carry to begin his career, Kamara has given owners seasons of 3.7, 4.0 and 3.9 (last season). He racked up 43 rushing touchdowns over those first four seasons, but he only has 11 on ground since. Kamara has had issues staying on the field, and he’s lost goal-line touches to Taysom Hill, who will no doubt be a thing again this season. Kamara was still a big player in the passing game last season, as he hauled in 75 of his 86 targets, but he only had one receiving touchdown to go along with a career-low 6.2 yards per catch. As mentioned, Miller is knocking on the door for touches.

Kelley: Alvin Kamara

Drew Brees has been gone long enough that we don’t really consider his on/off splits anymore, but Alvin Kamara probably does. Just look at it. First, his career numbers in years before and after Brees’ retirement:

Alvin Kamara Before and After Drew Brees Retirement
2017-2020 2021-2023
Yards Per Carry 4.97 3.87
Targets Per Game 6.82 5.61
Yards Per Target 6.90 6.07
TDs Per Game 0.97 0.46
PPR Points Per Game 21.58 16.57

And now, per the FTN Fantasy Splits Tool, his per-game numbers with and without Brees being active:

Without Drew Brees, Kamara is good! There’s no shame in a lot of that! With him, though, he’s a superduperstar, Christian McCaffrey before Christian McCaffrey. Now, Kamara is about to turn 29, has averaged under 3.9 yards per carry the last three years and is running behind maybe the worst offensive line in the league. Bail.

Bold Predictions

Meaney: Rashid Shaheed Leads New Orleans in TD Catches

The Saints lost Michael Thomas in the offseason, but they didn’t do a whole lot to replace him. New Orleans brought in Cedrick Wilson, they drafted Bub Means (fantastic name) late and they have sophomore wideout A.T. Perry. None of those guys move the needle for me. I expect Chris Olave to lead the Saints in targets, and he may just finish inside the top five overall. I’m definitely in on Olave, but I’m also in on Shaheed who comes with a ton of speed and is the deep-threat option in the offense. Shaheed rocked a 14.56 aDOT last season and had a healthy 15.6 yards per catch. He’s a bit boom or bust, but he came on strong last season when Thomas faded. Say what you want about Derek Carr, but he has a decent deep ball and is a very accurate QB. Carr’s 68.4% completion percentage ranked fourth in the NFL last season.

Kelley: Cedrick Wilson is a Top-50 WR

I was an early boarder of the Rashid Shaheed train. And I do think he can be a very good fantasy option. But I also don’t think the Saints will ever get him anything like 120 targets in a year — even last year, where the receiver room was “Chris Olave and whatever names we could pull out of a hat that week,” Shaheed could only get to 75 targets in 15 games. Michael Thomas left this offseason, and the team’s only significant offseason addition at receiver was Cedrick Wilson (unless you’re a big believer in Equanimeous St. Brown and/or rookie fifth-rounder Bub Means). Three years ago, Wilson had 602 yards and 6 touchdowns as a member of the Cowboys, after which he was a popular breakout fantasy pick as a result of signing with the Dolphins … for almost a week, because the team traded for Tyreek Hill six days after signing Wilson. Without Hill, maybe he’d have had a Dolphins breakout after all, but instead he totaled 432 yards and 3 scores over two seasons. Now in New Orleans, he’s not going to be a dynamo or anything, but Wilson should be at least a bye-week fill-in in 2024.

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