Emmanuel Sanders Fantasy Outlook Gets a Boost After Signing With Saints

Jason Schandl
Emmanuel Sanders' fantasy football value for 2020 gets a nice boost from his signing with the New Orleans Saints in free agency.
Emmanuel Sanders' fantasy football value for 2020 gets a nice boost from his signing with the New Orleans Saints in free agency. / Michael Zagaris/Getty Images

Emmanuel Sanders' 2019 season was nothing to write home about, but it's hard to put too much blame on his shoulders.

He opened the year with a washed up Joe Flacco throwing him the ball in Denver, catching 30 passes for 367 yards in his first seven games. He then had to learn a new offense when he was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, catching 36 passes for 502 yards while struggling with injuries.

He has a new home again in 2020, having signed with the New Orleans Saints in free agency, and that landing spot is perfect for his fantasy football value.

Drew Brees may be nearing the end of his career, but he averaged 294.1 passing yards per game in his 10 full contests in 2019, which would have been a top-five mark in the NFL (overall he finished 8th with 270.8 per game, despite getting in only 5 attempts before suffering his injury in Week 2).

Sanders will of course play second fiddle to Michael Thomas, who caught an absurd 149 balls in 2019, but he should still be able to carve out a nice workload. Thomas hasn't had any real competition at WR the last few years, with Ted Ginn Jr. and Tre'Quan Smith serving largely as non-factors.

We've seen Brees support multiple fantasy-relevant WRs at the same time in the past (Thomas, Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead each saw over 100 targets in Thomas' 2016 rookie season), and we should see a return to this style of play with Sanders finally giving Brees a second viable WR to pair with Thomas.

Sanders isn't a high-upside option — barring injury he's still a distant No. 2 to Thomas at WR, while Alvin Kamara and Jared Cook will continue to see plenty of volume. With an accurate passer like Brees, Sanders' ability to work on short and intermediate routes should get him plenty of high-percentage looks though, and he will have an especially strong floor in point-per-reception (PPR) fantasy football leagues.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.