Fantasy Football Blitz: Saints RBs marching to new beat

      November 16, 2012 @ 13:30:53 PDT

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New Orleans Saints RB Darren Sproles
Here he comes to wreck the day!

New Orleans Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael proclaimed that they'll employ the dreaded (at least for fantasy football players) "hot hand" system among his running backs. Increasing optimism that Darren Sproles (hand) will play in Week 11 means they may dress Mighty Mouse, Pierre Thomas, Mark Ingram and Chris Ivory.

Precisely the type of jazz fantasy postseason competitors requested, right?

As mentioned in this week's On Target, head coach Joe Vitt thought the running game was ignored during his suspension. He's trying to increase their rushing presence - a shocking development for these high fliers.

New Orleans won't suddenly become an old-school ground-and-pound club, but balance seems to be helping. They've won their last two games while plowing over the Philadelphia Eagles' waning Wide 9 and registering 28 hand-offs when they clipped the wings of the formerly unblemished Atlanta Falcons.

In fact, since Week 8, Saints marchers compiled the third most ground yards (290) and logged the sixth highest yards-per-carry average (5.6) in the NFL.

Since their legwork will remain secondary, it won't foul up Drew Brees' value, besides your lofty expectations of him sustaining another historic aerial pace.

This may, however, complicate Sproles' worth whenever he resurfaces. Logic dictates that fewer pass formations outside of third down might mean less work for No. 43.

New Orleans, at least per this Vitt interview, thinks Ingram still boasts stud potential. He looks a little healthier, sure, but I disagree. Take a big whiff of their first-round-pick justification. He'll continue to be defined by volume, which, even in this makeover, is hardly guaranteed with this squad.

Thomas is a better mix for a feature back that would fit all of the Saints' needs than these two. He's the snaps leader for this backfield in that time, but that unfortunately hasn't translated into production.

I can't quit the Ivory market. Even if his reps are limited, he has the best build to control the clock, and he mixes this with tackle-breaking and big-play ability. He's shown more polish in his running style, too, justifying New Orleans' insistence on retaining him despite rampant trade rumors.

What does the schedule say?

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About Tim Heaney

Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.

He appears frequently, including every Sunday, on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, as well as every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore.

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