Superdome | Thursday, September 09 | 8:30 p.m. EST (NBC)
Pick: Saints 31, Vikings 27
260 pass yards, 2 pass TD, 2 INTAfter going after Favre and hitting him hard in the NFC Championship game, expect the Saints to test his injured ankle early and often. Still, Favre threw for 310 yards in last year's NFC Championship game loss.
3 rec, 25 rec yards, 110 rush yards, 1 rush TDPeterson had 122 yards rushing and three TDs in last year's NFC Championship game, but was involved in three fumbles. He should get his yards if he hangs onto the ball.
1 rec, 5 rec yards, 10 rush yardsYoung begins the season as the No. 2 running back, but didn't win a third-down role. He may not be on the field much.
6 rec, 90 yardsWith Sidney Rce's injury, Harvin's role in the offense will grow. He looks healthy for this game despite August migraine issues as the Vikes say he'll also return kickoffs.
6 rec, 70 yards, 1 TDBerrian enters 2010 as Minnesota's top target with Sidney Rice out after hip surgery. He had 9 receptions for 102 yards in the NFC Championship game against the Saints, but will be more of a focus for New Orleans' offense this time around.
3 rec, 35 yardsCamarillo will be the No. 3 and slot receiver for his new team and also return punts.
3 rec, 35 yards, 1 TDBrett Favre's favorite red zone target had 83 yards receiving in last year's NFL Championship game. Expect Favre to look his way several times.
3 PATs, 2 FGsThe Vikings had no trouble moving the ball against the Saints in their last meeting, rolling up 475 yards on offense. The Saints' defense will have a noisy Superdome crowd behind them, but the absence of play-making safety Darren Sharper is a big loss.
3 sacksThe Vikings held the Saints to 257 yards of offense in the NFC Championship game and Drew Brees under 200 yards passing. They'll be hard pressed to duplicate that sucess even with all but one starter returning.
300 pass yards, 3 pass TDA big Week 1 rematch with the Vikings should have fantasy owners licking their chops after Brees' three TD performance against Minnesota in the NFC Championship Game last season. The Vikings have a good pass rush, but their secondary is vulnerable.
3 rec, 20 rec yards, 45 rush yards, 1 rush TDMost per-touch metrics suggest that Thomas should have a larger role in the Saints' offense, but will Sean Payton make it happen? Minnesota is a tough matchup for most backs, but Thomas had 99 yards from scrimmage and two TDs in the NFC Championship Game.
3 rec, 20 rec yards, 25 rush yardsWith a strong preseason, Bush could be primed to take on a larger role in the offense, especially as the Saints are looking to replace the touches given to Mike Bell last season. Still, he's had 10 touches just once since Week 3 of last season.
5 rec, 100 yards, 1 TDRobert Meachem's emergence might mean even less attention for the talented Colston, but there should be plenty to be had in this shootout.
4 rec, 75 yards, 1 TDShowed signs of being more consistent during the second half of last season. Like teammate Marques Colston, Meachem has the combination of size and speed to be a productive player most weeks even with limited targets.
3 rec, 40 yards, 1 TDThe difficult thing with Henderson is using him on the weeks where he makes a big play or two. His downfield speed is problematic for opposing defenses and the Vikings allowed four 40-plus yard passing plays last season.
3 rec, 35 yardsDon't be fooled by the name. Shockey's situation with the Saints is much different than his role with the Giants earlier in his career. He's still a threat in the red zone, but Shockey hasn't gone over the 50-yard mark since Week 8 of last season.
4 PATs, 1 FGWhat's not to like? Hartley is kicking at home, which happens to be indoors, and he's going to continue reaping the benefits of the Saints' high-octane offense. A Thursday night shootout seems very likely, and that bodes well, even for the Lonesome Kicker.
5 sacks, 2 INT, 2 FumblesThe Vikings had no trouble moving the ball against the Saints in their last meeting, rolling up 475 yards on offense. The absence of play-making safety Darren Sharper is a big loss.
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