Thanks for submitting your New Orleans Saints questions to me on Twitter. Send ‘em anytime @MikeTriplett.
@MikeTriplett: You were right to start this question with, "After Brandin Cooks ..." to keep me from tying up a three-paragraph love letter on Cooks' breakout potential. After that, it's pretty close between C.J. Spiller and Mark Ingram. I'm really excited to see what Spiller will do in this offense as both a runner and receiver - mostly because you can tell that Sean Payton is really excited about the possibilities when he talks about Spiller. I think Spiller and Ingram will be very close in total yards from scrimmage - right around 1,000 yards each, with Ingram gaining almost all of those yards as a rusher and Spiller having a pretty even split between rushing and receiving yards. Spiller will get a boost in point-per-reception leagues. Ingram will probably score more TDs, though. I projected the total touches for Ingram, Spiller and Khiry Robinson earlier this year while also breaking down the Saints' history of using running-back rotations. As long as Marques Colston stays healthy, he won't be too far behind those guys in production. He has been good for 900-plus yards and 5 TDs in each of the past two years, and that actually could increase with red-zone favorite Jimmy Graham now gone. But health is definitely a question mark for Colston in Year 10. I've written a lot about Josh Hill this summer, as well. I think he'll pop up on the fantasy radar since he'll get an opportunity at more touches with Graham gone. But I'm not expecting a major breakthrough. I think Hill's 5 TDs last year were a bit misleading since he was usually benefitting from being the "open man" on those plays instead of a red-zone monster. He had only 14 catches overall. I actually think tight end Benjamin Watson could be a sleeper late-round pickup in deeper leagues and during bye weeks, etc. Watson might have led the Saints in catches during the OTA and minicamp practices that were open to the media. He won't have a breakout year at age 34, but he'll be regularly involved. And last but not least, pay attention to whomever wins the No. 3 and No. 4 receiving jobs this summer because they'll post numbers in this offense. Right now, Nick Toon has the edge on that No. 3 job, with youngsters Brandon Coleman and Seantavius Jones and veterans Josh Morgan and Joe Morgan all in the mix, as well.
@MikeTriplett Fantasy Question. After Cooks, where you you rank the Saints in order of value?(Spiller,Ingram,Colston,Hill,)Whose a wildcard?- Ryan K (@ryan_la_sports7) June 19, 2015
@MikeTriplett I know you've talked about it a little bit already but, considering how important of a position the mike backer is, how - 6ix (@whodatnation31) June 19, 2015David Hawthorne to earn significant playing time. It's definitely possible for a rookie to play that important signal-calling role. Former Saints MLB Curtis Lofton did it right away when he began his career with the Atlanta Falcons. In fact, we've seen it a lot in the NFC South with Carolina's Luke Kuechly, Tampa Bay's Mason Foster and Atlanta's Paul Worrilow in recent years. We just haven't seen it much in New Orleans, where they've always valued having a vet in that role, from Mark Simoneau to Jonathan Vilma to Lofton. Coaches have definitely talked up Anthony's ability's as a leader and an intelligent player, though, so I think he's got a great chance to break that mold.
@MikeTriplett Do the Saints use analytics of any sort? Do they use player-tracking info (like NBA does) during training camp and/or games? - BPB (@Kikuyu09) June 19, 2015@MikeTriplett: Yes. In fact, Payton talked about some of those innovations while at an analytics conference earlier this year. And he told a funny story about how offensive tackle Zach Strief said the offensive linemen would walk in circles during camp to get their step counts up. The Saints have always been willing to entertain cutting-edge technology, including the way they compile player and scouting data, etc. And Payton said one day he envisions being able to use virtual-reality simulators for quarterbacks like they have for pilots.