Brees continued his banner season in Week 12 by shredding the vaunted Green Bay secondary to the tune of 323 yards and four TDs in the Monday Night win. He's playing at a high level and he's matchup proof so even though the Bucs have the league's second-ranked pass defense (174.6 yards a game) there's no reason to worry about Brees. He'll deliver. He always does.
The Saints are hoping to get Bush back this week after he's been close to playing the past two games. His status could come down to a game-time decision, however, and there's also no way of knowing how healthy he'll be in his first game back from his knee injury. Plus the Bucs only allow 100.1 rushing yards a game. In other words, there's plenty of risk attached to Bush. If he returns, he should be played in PPR leagues but if you have a good alternative in standard scoring leagues, sitting Bush this week to gauge his health isn't a bad idea.
Thomas continues to make it quite clear he needs to have a bigger role in this offense. He looked terrific against the Packers, rushing for 87 yards and two TDs and catching three passes for 34 yards. He leads the Saints in rushing TDs with six and brings much more juice to the backfield than the old and sluggish Deuce McAllister. He's a strong flex play this week -- especially in PPR leagues.
McAllister scored last week to become the Saints' all-time leader in rushing TDs. Good for Deuce. However, he's still facing a four-game league suspension and even if he survives, he looks terrible running the ball. He averaged 1 YPC against the Packers and has rushed for only 41 yards the past three games. Even if he avoids the suspension this week, he's a poor fantasy option.
Colston isn't a big part of the Saints' passing game at the moment. Although he scored on a 70-yard catch against Green Bay, that was his only reception of the game. He's caught only four passes the past two games and Lance Moore has become Drew Brees' top target. Colston still could go off at any time so he's tough to sit, but he's more of a WR2 at the moment than a legit WR1. Plan accordingly this week.
Moore continues to deliver huge numbers. He went gonzo on the Packers in Week 12, catching five passes for 115 yards and a pair of scores. He's caught at least five passes in six of his past seven games and has scored in each of the past four. In other words, he's a Must Start in all leagues right now as he's become Brees' go-to guy in the passing game.
Shockey came to play in Week 12 against the Packers, catching five passes for 57 yards. He's caught 11 passes the past two games and appears to be gaining Brees' trust after some recent difficulties between the two. Shockey brings plenty of talent obviously and in this offense his potential is immense. Back in Brees' good graces, Shockey is a quality starting option again.
Hartley has taken full advantage of the Saints' explosive offense to put up quality points in his first three games. He scored nine points last week, primarily due to six extra points. He's a quality option every week in this offense so he's worth starting if you need him.
The Saints' defense looked much more active in Week 12 against the Packers, but on the road against a solid Tampa Bay team isn't a good spot for them. They give up 25.3 points per game and rank 22nd in total defense. Play it safe in this critical week and find a safer defense option.
Garcia had a solid game in Week 12 against the Lions, passing for only 165 yards but adding a pair of TDs. That was his first multi-TD game of the season which tells you all you need to know about Garcia's fantasy value. The matchup is sweet this week against a Saints' pass defense that gives up 235.1 yards a game, but this isn't a high-scoring offense by any means. Garcia will be asked to manage the game and throw when necessary. So despite the promising matchup, it would be unwise to expect him to go off. He'll be solid again. If that's enough for you this week, then he's worth considering as a starter.
Dunn has taken over as the primary RB with Earnest Graham lost for the season. He looked great in Week 12, rushing for 90 yards and a TD and catching five passes for 37 yards. He's a rock-solid RB2 in all formats this week against a soft New Orleans run defense that allows 110.8 yards a game. Dunnn will be good for 20-plus touches and another TD is extremely likely. Start him with confidence.
Cadillac made his season debut last week and in his first game back from a major knee injury he rushed for 27 yards on 16 carries. The fact he got that much work (thanks to the blowout win over Detroit) was a positive but fantasy owners shouldn't read too much into that. He's clearly the backup here and isn't a threat to Dunn's starting job. It's doubtful he'll get double-digit carries this week and shouldn't be started in any league.
Bryant had a quiet game last week despite the tasty matchup against Detroit, catching only four passes for 48 yards. That's one of the problems of being stuck in an offense with Jeff Garcia at QB -- there isn't much upside in the passing game. This is another great matchup against a Saints' secondary that gives up chunks and chunks of yardage in the passing game. So Bryant has a great chance to bounce back. He's well worth starting as a WR2 this week.
Hilliard returned to the land of the fantasy living last week, catching a pair of passes for 51 yards and a TD. That was only the third time in his past seven games in which he caught more than one reception. So he clearly isn't someone you can count on from a fantasy perspective. Keep him benched.
Galloway is the forgotten man in the Bucs' passing game. He didn't catch a pass last week for the second game in a row and has only four receptions in four games since returning from his leg injury. He should be kept on the Waiver Wire in all leagues.
Stevens took center stage at TE again last week for the Bucs, catching two passes for 29 yards and a TD. That counts for center stage in this passing game. He's only caught more than three passes in a game twice in the past seven so he's not a reliable starter. Look elsewhere if you can at the TE position this week.
Bryant continues to have a solid season. He scored eight points last week and has totaled at least eight in six straight games. He's rock solid and is looking good this week since the Bucs will be able to move the ball on this defense. Start him with confidence.
The Bucs have the league's fourth-ranked defense and are giving up only 16.4 points per game. They'll face a tough test against the high-flying Saints. This isn't an easy matchup by any means but this is a good defense playing at home so it's tough to advise sitting them against any offense. Be prepared for plenty of points allowed, but the Bucs' pressure will result in some sacks and 1-2 takeaways.