New Orleans Saints 2020 Team Overview
Saints 2020 Team Overview
Gayle Benson. The original owner was Tom Benson but Gayle received the principal owning rights from Tom when Tom passed away in 2018.
Gayle has had a lot of run in with the laws over her interior design company. She has also been married 3 times.
The grandchildren of Tom Benson challenged Tom’s decision to give the Saints to Gayle by saying that he wasn’t mentally competent at the time of him creating the will.
Gayle also owns the NBA franchise, New Orleans Pelicans.
Mickey Loomis. Loomis has been with the Saints since 2000. In 2002 he became the General Manager.
Before New Orleans he worked with the Seattle Seahawks for 15 years. Since 2013, Looms is now executive vice president and general manager.
Tom Benson also made Loomis executive vice president of the New Orleans Pelicans. It’s safe to say that Gayle and Tom thought very highly of Loomis and he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Loomis has won 1 super bowl with the saints as GM. He has also managed many Saints’ playoff teams.
The Saints have been up and down since their super bowl victory. They have finished 3 years in a row as the division winner.
However, 3 seasons in a row before those 3 seasons, the Saints missed the playoffs with identical records of 7-9.
They still believe to be on the upswing and are looking for super bowl glory once again.
Sean Payton. Payton has been the head coach of the Saints since 2006. So he and GM Mickey Loomis have almost worked side by side for both of each others time in New Orleans.
Payton bounced around various offensive coaching positions in college and NFL in the 1990’s.
In the early 2000’s he got his first offensive coordinator job with the New York Giants. He then worked briefly with the Dallas Cowboys before getting the head coaching job with the Saints.
Payton has won 1 super bowl with the Saints. He has made the playoffs 8 times and if you exclude the 2005 season, his Saints teams have always finished with 7 wins or more.
So the Saints are always going to be competitive. Payton is a very arrogant coach.
He has this aura about him that he knows more about calling offensive plays then anybody else. I am pretty sure he has called the offense for the Saints almost if not every year he has been in New Orleans.
He is a very aggressive play calling and sometimes puts his team in bad situations due to his playcalling.
However, Payton is a really good play caller and his offenses have always been near the top of the NFL.
Fantasy Outlook for the Saints
QB: Drew Brees
Drew looked a little off last year with his arm strength. This could be a reason why he had his highest completion percentage in his career in 2019 because he was throwing a lot of short passes.
That still didn’t slow him down. He still averaged over 20 fantasy points a game. He had an injury that made him miss 5 games but he still finished with 27 touchdowns. It’s truly remarkable how effective he is.
Brees was on pace for 40 touchdowns. I wouldn’t bet against Brees and Payton in 2020. They are going to come up with a way to make this offense very effective like they have for the past 15 years. Brees hasn’t finished in the top 5 fantasy quarterbacks in awhile but he is always in the top 10. I believe Brees finds himself back in the top 10 in 2020.
He is being drafted around the 7th or 8th round. That is a great spot to take him. Keep your eye on Brees and don’t let him slip past you if you are the type of drafter that likes to take all RB’s and WR’s with your first 7 picks.
RB: Alvin Kamara
I keep going back and forth on whether or not Kamara is my #1 back in my rankings. I know Latavius Murray will take a lot of carries from Kamara and potentially goal line touches too but Kamara is special.
He only started 9 games last year and still had 81 receptions. He ironically also had 81 receptions in his 1st and 2nd seasons.
Go figure, right? Kamara is the 2nd best receiving option for Drew Brees. Brees’s arm strength looked considerably weaker last season.
Kamara should easily have over 100 receptions this year. I don’t think he will reach a 1,000 yards rushing or else he would probably make the 1,000 yard rushing and passing yards club. I think Kamara easily gets to 12 touchdowns this year too.
The biggest motivation in taking Kamara is that he is playing in his contract year. Money is usually these players biggest motivation.
I expect Kamara to cash in on his pay day in 2020. If he falls to you at the 5th pick then count your blessings.
RB: Latavius Murray
Murray is being drafted around the 10th or 9th round in fantasy mock drafts. I don’t know how I feel about that. I am in the business of not drafting waiver wire players.
I only draft players I know for sure will play for me at one point or another. Murray might have good matchups but he will probably only get 12 touches a game.
I need players that are for sure going to get close to 20 touches a game. You are basically praying for a touchdown every time you play Murray.
That is never a fun situation to be in. Draft running backs early and often so that you don’t have to decide if your back up running back will be Latavius Murray or Tarik Cohen.
WR: Michael Thomas
Thomas is the safest wide receiver to draft in fantasy. It used to be Julio Jones but Thomas has passed Julio in that regard.
I still believe Julio is the best wide receiver in the NFL but Thomas and Brees have a special connection that is going to generate more points then Matt Ryan and Julio Jones will create in 2020.
Even with Brees weaker arm, I don’t anticipate Brees having any problem with his accuracy in short to mid range throws.
Thomas is such a big body that he is going to come down with any ball that Brees throws. With all of this said, Thomas will not be on my team in 2020.
I don’t draft Wide receivers in my 1st or 2nd rounds.
Go running backs and win your fantasy leagues. It’s very hard to win your fantasy league with bad running backs.
WR: Emmanual Sanders
Sanders will be 33 years old this season. The Saints have a pretty old team in general. Sanders is being drafted around the 8th round in fantasy drafts.
I think this is a little too high for me to take Sanders. I know Sanders looks pretty good with the Saints because the Saints lacked a true 2nd receiver last season and now Sanders fits that mold.
However, Sanders has never had a lot of touchdowns and has played with Big Ben and Peyton Manning.
He has only ever had over 80 receptions in a season once. I think I can get better value in the 8th, 9th and 10th round from other recievers.
I think Sanders gets 85 receptions for 900 yards and 7 touchdowns in 2020.
TE: Jared Cook
Cook is another old vet on the Saints roster who turns 33 this season. He had one of his best seasons last year and it definitely had a lot to do with the Drew Brees affect.
I think Cook has another good to great year. His usage was down in some games last year but he got his usage up once Brees returned from injury.
Cook is being drafted around the 7th round in fantasy mock drafts. I think this is way too high to take a tight end if you haven’t gotten one of the top 5 tight ends.
I would definitely pass on Cook since he is only available in the 7th round or better. There are better tight end selections then cook in the 10th round and later.
Saints Offensive Preview 2020
Offensive: I am most confident it is still head coach Sean Payton. The offensive coordinator is Pete Carmichael.
Carmichael has worked with Drew Brees in San Diego and has now been with Brees for almost his entire career.
Carmichael is heavily involved in preparing game plans and drawing up X’s and O’s. However, I am most confident that Sean Payton is still going to be callin plays in 2020.
I can’t find anything that is saying Payton will be calling plays in 2020 but there is no reason to believe Payton will not be calling plays this season.
Payton’s offenses are revolutionary to the NFL. Since Payton has joined the Saints in 2006, he has only had 2 season where the Saints finished outside of the top 10 in total points in the NFL. It’s pretty remarkable the consistency he has been able to produce.
Payton has had top 10 rushing offenses before but is primarily known for having great passing offenses.
A lot of that has to do with Drew Brees being his QB but Payton even had great passing offenses with the New York Giants.
Recently with the Saints, Brees has gotten older and the Saints have run the ball a lot more then in seasons past.
They also get creative by using 2 quarterbacks in the same play at times.
There really isn’t much more to say other then this offense will for sure be another top 10 scoring offense in 2020 as long as Payton is calling the plays.
Saints Defensive Preview 2020
Dennis Allen is the defensive coordinator for the Saints and has been since 2015. In the 3 seasons prior to 2015, Allen was the Raiders head coach.
Before his time with the Raiders, he used to be the secondary coach for the Saints during their superbowl season. So this isn’t Allen’s first time working under Sean Payton. This is a very stable close knit organization and coaching staff.
These faces have worked for each other for a very long time. His first 2 seasons as DC with the Saints, Allen had one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
The previous 3 seasons, Allen has turned the Saints defense into a respectable group. They are still not an elite group but they have good qualities.
The last 2 seasons they have done a great job at stopping the run.
However, Allen’s defenses in Denver, Oakland and also here in New Orleans have ranked near the bottom of the NFL in defending the pass.
Last season they were 20 against the pass and also allowed the 11th most passing touchdowns. Allen’s defense last year 10th best in takeaways and 13th best in total points against.
Allen has never had a top 5 defense and the only thing he has done really well as defensive coordinator has been to stop the run the past 2 seasons. He also had the 3rd most sacks in 2020 last season too.
Now let’s look at the players that helped with that 3rd place finish.
The D-line’s best player is defensive end Cameron Jordan. Jordan will be 31 this season and has played his entire career with the Saints.
He had 15.5 sacks last season and stuffed about every other stat category. He plays alongside 3 other first round draft picks.
The other defensive end is Marcus Davenport. Davenport was drafted by the Saints in 2019. He only had 6 sacks last season but his season was cut short by a lisfranc injury.
His offseason has gone well in his eyes and his injury has healed. This will be his 3rd year in the NFL and he looks to have a good year according to his D-line coach.
The Saints still want more production from him and they should feel that way because they traded future 1st round draft picks in order to move up in the 2018 NFL draft to select him.
Everyone around the Saints defense and coaches feel that this year could be the yera Davenport breaks out.
One of the starting Defensive tackles is Malcom Brown. Brown came from New England and signed a 3 year deal $15 million dollar deal in 2019.
Brown was great against the run and also added 2 sacks. The other D-lineman that rotate in next to Brown on the inside is David Onyemata and Sheldon Rankins.
Rankins was the other former 1st round draft pick and he is a very stout run defender as well. Rankins has had 3 lower body injuries in the past 4 seasons.
He will only play about half of the snaps in games this season.
The other player to get the other half of the snaps will be Onyemata. Onyemata just signed a 3 year deal in March 2020 wirth $27 million dollars.
This is a lot of money for a role player like Onyemata. Onyemata says he could have gotten more money on the market but said that the Saints D-line is a brotherhood and he felt very comfortable playing in New Orleans.
Onyemata is a very good run stuffer but then also had 3 sacks last year.
The most important thing to note out of the D-line section is that Onyemata referred to the Saints D-line as a brotherhood.
There is nothing more powerful in football then players genuinely wanting to play hard because of their teammates. This is a sign that this D-line should have another great year in 2020.
The linebackers are led by Demario Davis. Davis has always been a top 10 inside linebacker in the NFL for the past 5 or 6 seasons.
Last season he was an All Pro. He had 4 sacks and 12 pass break ups. Davis is a sure tackler as well.
The most important thing about Davis is that he wants to get even better. Last season he called his linebacker coach during the bye week and asked how he can be better.
Davis will be 31 this season but I am confident he will have another great year due to his work ethic. The other linebackers are all very worthy NFL linebackers.
They are Kiko Alonso, Alex Anzalone, Craig Robertson and Anthony Chickillo. They also drafted Wisconsin Linebacker, Zack Baun in the 3rd round in the 2020 NFL draft.
Baun was thought by many scouts to go in the 2nd round and even potentially in the late 1st. Baun fell due to some reason that I can’t remember.
Baun has all the measurables and will most likely start next to Davis during some point of the 2020 season due to the uncertaintiy and age of the other linbackers.
Kiko Alonso just reworked his contract to play on a reduced base salary and has over $4 million dollars in incentives for the 2020 season.
He didn’t start many games last season and also tore his ACL in the playoff lost to Minnesota. He will compete against the rookie and Anzalone.
Anzalone is projected to be 1 of the other starting linebackers next to Davis but he has had a lot of trouble staying healthy.
Anzalone is most recognizable due to his long blonde hair flowing from his helmet. Anzalone was a 3rd round pick out of Florida in 2017.
He is a pretty good linebacker but again he has barely been on the field his first 3 seasons. This group, if healthy, will be a very strong unit.
I am high on the rookie Baun. I also like Anazlone and Alonso. Should be a very good unit in 2020, especially against the run.
The secondary is led by cornerback Marshon Lattimore. Lattimore was a 1st round draft pick by the Saints in 2017.
He had an amazing rookie season, a pretty good sophomore season and last year he had a season that was a little lower than the standard he holds himself to. Lattimore is really good in man coverage.
He should have a better 4th year this year. His secondary coach is really good and challenges him daily.
The other starting cornerback is Janoris “jackrabbit” Jenkins. Jenkins is going to be 32 years old this year. He has had a lot of success in his NFL career.
He just signed a 2 yeard deal worth $16 million dollars. That is putting a lot of faith into a 32 year old cornerback.
He had 5 interceptions last year, 4 of them with the Giants. He came over late to the Saints but played well for them.
I think Jenkins is very good against a lot of receivers but he will struggle against Mike Evans, Julio Jones and other taller, bigger receivers.
The last cornerback worth noting is Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. CGJ had an emotional draft in 2019. He thought, and so did a lot of other scouts, that he was going to be drafted in around the 2nd to 3rd round.
He didn’t end up getting drafted until the 4th round. He was a safety, corner hybrid at the university of Florida. He plays a lot of slot corner on passing plays for the Saints.
He has a really good rookie season with the Saints. He says he is on a mission to make every team feel that they made a mistake in not drafting him.
This trio of corners will probably be the best the Saints have put on the field in a very long time.
Overall, I still am not blown away by this group. They will be an above average unit but I don’t think they will be a top 5 elite corner unit.
The last position to look at is safety. The 2 starting safeties will be Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins. Williams is most known for completely missing Stefon Diggs in the Minnesota Miracle play.
However, Williams is becoming a really good NFL safety. Williams is a great center fielder in tracking down the ball and also breaking up passes.
He is coming to the end of his contract so his motivation for a huge pay day is there. The other safety next to him is Malcolm Jenkins.
Jenkins is going to be a 33 year old veteran in 2020. He has been an incredible safety for the Philadelphia Eagles but played his first 5 seasons in New Orleans.
He was still disruptive for the Eagles last season and also made a lot of tackles. He is an intense person and demands that everyone on his defense gives their all every play.
He will provide great leadership in 2020. It is hard to say where his play will be at 33 years old but I think he plays well.
Overall, the most scary thing to this defense is that they have 4 key starters who are above 30 years old.
They also have other players that have had trouble staying healthy. If all of these players can stay healthy and play 85% of their games then this will no doubt be a top 10 defense. Potentially even a top 5 defense.
I still really like this unit a lot and think at worst they finish as a 15th best defense in 2020.
Fun Facts About Coaches:
Joe Lombardi is the Quarterbacks coach and he is the grandson of Vince Lombardi who is the person named after the Super Bowl Trophy.
Contract Year Players:
LB: Demario Davis
FS: Marcus Williams
RB: Alvin Kamara
Saints Offensive Line Preview
The Saints have a top 10 and probably even a top 5 offensive line in the NFL for 2020. They easily have the best Tackle duo in the NFL with Terron Armistead and Ryan Ramczyk.
Both Armistead and Ramczyk are fantastic in pass protection and are equally impressive in their run blocking.
Erik McCoy is the starting center and he was a rookie last year. McCoy was the 2nd round pick in the 2019 draft for the Saints.
McCoy did really well last year too both in pass protection and run blocking. The Guard position is not very clear on how good they will be this year.
In the 2020 draft the Saints took Cesar Ruiz in the first round and he played center at Michigan. Cesar is slated to play right guard next to Ramczyk.
Cesar was really good at Michigan and Guard is definitely the easiest position on an NFL line to transition from college ball. We will monitor how well he progresses.
If he doesn’t pan out then the Saints have depth with James Hurst. The last position is left guard which is played by Andrus Peat.
Peat according to pro football focus is the worst graded Saints offensive linemen. This is interesting to note because the Saints coaching staff and front office don’t think this about him.
I say this because he just signed a 5 year $57 million dollar contract with the Saints in March of 2020. Peat only gave up 3 sacks last year and also only 3 penalties.
I think Peat will be just fine this year with his new big pay day. This O-line group will allow Drew Brees and Alvin Kamara to have a great fantasy season.