Week 8 fantasy football: Saints turning into self-imploding top fraternity
By BRYAN RUBIN
College Contributor Network
Week 8 will be dedicated to the fraternity that is quickly losing its favorability.
Since Sean Payton became the New Orleans Saints' head coach in 2006, the organization has consistently been a winner. In the last seven years, the team has averaged 10.4 wins and 5.6 losses per season, while reaching the playoffs five times, including a Super Bowl victory over Peyton Manning's Colts in 2009.
Known for a potent offense and an electric home-field advantage, the Saints have always been a better version of the Atlanta Falcons, its NFC South rivals, proving it year in and year out. The team turned Darren Sproles, an undersized third-string running back, into a fantasy PPR monster and Lance Moore and Robert Meachem, pretty average receivers, into routine third wide receivers.
But all goods things must come to an end, just like raging music festivals where no one wants to go home. (Disclaimer: for some reason, everyone at these festivals becomes best friends with the complete strangers around them. They are not your best friends. You do not know them. Stop sharing water and spreading germs. It's gross.)
So far in 2014, the New Orleans Saints' window as a top organization in the league, appears to be closing amidst its 2-4 start, due to an inconsistent offense led by Drew Brees (14th-ranked fantasy quarterback) and a dismal defense (31st-ranked fantasy defense). With the Green Bay Packers coming to town this weekend for Sunday Night Football, its going to take a stellar performance and serious luck for the Saints to remain relevant in 2014. I wish them the best of luck.
It's a common known fact that a top tier fraternity, however, does not rely on luck. The chapter rules its campus and is a perennial powerhouse. They are known for always throwing the best parties and recruiting the top freshmen on campus. They happily dominate the university in all aspects of social life. However, it just takes one down year for the tides to turn and that's what we might currently be seeing with New Orleans.
The Saints were used to always having the best parties, but never had to rely on them. Between Bourbon Street and prime time games at the Superdome, the team was always rocking at home. But with an 0-3 road record so far, it needs its home-field advantage now more than ever.
The organization is also used to being very successful in the draft. Between wide receiver Marques Colston, (seventh round in '06), tight end Jimmy Graham, (third round in '10), defensive end Cameron Jordan (first round in '11) and wide receiver Kenny Stills, (fifth round in '13), New Orleans has hit the rookie jackpot on numerous occasions. But Brandin Cooks, its first round pick in '14, who was supposed to be a stud, is only a few more bad games away from being borderline unplayable in fantasy.
Regardless if you are a Saints fan or not, it's easy to see that the team's reign might be coming to an end. Rob Ryan's ball-hawking defense that gave opposing quarterbacks nightmares last season, holding them to 13.56 fantasy points per week (fifth-best in NFL), is now a lead-blowing, self-imploding disaster. While Drew Brees, the third-rated fantasy quarterback in the preseason, has put up less points than Eli Manning, Tony Romo and Joe Flacco this season. Come on man!
It's do-or-die for the 2014 Saints this weekend. Who dat? We will find out on Sunday Night.
Bryan Rubin is a senior at Syracuse University. He once ate Chipotle three times in one day and woke up at 3:46 a.m. on a Wednesday morning to make a roster move to his fantasy football team (while his friends were sleeping) to avoid wasting his No. 1 waiver claim. Follow him on Twitter: @bryan_rubin