When it comes to fantasy football, at least, the New Orleans Saints’ Jimmy Graham is officially considered a tight end. And that makes him one of the 10 most valuable options in 2014, according to ESPN.com's fantasy staff.
ESPN unveiled its first set of fantasy rankings for the 2014 season on Tuesday, now that the draft has passed. And Graham is ranked 10th overall -- a first-round pick in most leagues.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees is ranked 17th overall, third among all quarterbacks. (I'll go along with that based on the Saints' home-road splits, but certainly not because I expect Brees to slow down anytime soon. If the Saints indeed stick with their run game a little more this year, maybe Brees settles for 4,900 passing yards instead of another 5,000.)
After that, there is very little certainty among the Saints’ fantasy prospects, since they spread the ball around so evenly to all of their running backs and receivers.
Pierre Thomas is 30th among running backs, followed by Khiry Robinson at 41 and Mark Ingram at 46. All three would be substantially higher if the backfield wasn’t so crowded, but it’s hard to argue with the rankings since they should all share touches pretty evenly (as fantasy analyst Matthew Berry and I discussed recently).
Marques Colston is 29th among receivers, followed by Brandin Cooks (55th) and Kenny Stills (63rd). I think Cooks could be a steal at that spot -- but I understand the ranking since it’s impossible to rely on consistent results from any one player in the Saints’ deep offense.