Since Drew Brees retired, the Saints have struggled to maintain their relevance. During Brees' tenure, they secured four consecutive playoff berths from 2017-20 but have failed to reach the postseason since his departure. Despite finishing with a 9-8 record last season, they missed the playoffs for the third straight year. If the Saints can't reclaim the top spot in the NFC South, Dennis Allen's third season as head coach might also be his last.  

Below the CBS Sports Fantasy staff will take a look into the Saints' entire team outlook including changes to the top of the depth chart that matter for Fantasy, a burning question for Fantasy Football managers that needs to be answered, a review of their draft class, strength of schedule, and individual player outlooks for all of the notable Saints players who may end up on your Fantasy rosters.

Saints 2024 lineup changes

1/1/2024Week 1 2024 (proj)
QBDerek CarrDerek Carr
RBAlvin KamaraAlvin Kamara
WRChris OlaveChris Olave
WRRashid ShaheedRashid Shaheed
WRA.T. PerryA.T. Perry
TEJuwan JohnsonJuwan Johnson

Burning question: Can Derek Carr become more than a stopgap QB for the Saints?

At first glance, Carr's stats from last year seem solid. However, his QBR of 56.5 ranked 16th among NFL quarterbacks, and the Saints were only 20th in yards per completion. Despite having speedy receivers like Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed, the Saints didn't consistently challenge down the field. If Carr can't produce more explosive plays through the air, there's a chance the Saints' fifth-round pick, Spencer Rattler, could see significant playing time as the starting quarterback. Rattler possesses impressive arm strength and accuracy, particularly on deep throws, making him a good fit for the Saints' offensive scheme and personnel. To secure his QB1 position beyond this season, Carr needs to lead the Saints to a strong start and guide them to the playoffs for the first time in four years.    

2024 NFL Draft class

114Taliese FuagaOLOregon St.
241Kool-Aid McKinstryDBAlabama
5150Spencer RattlerQBSouth Carolina
5170Bub MeansWRPittsburgh
5175Jaylan FordLBTexas
6199Khristian BoydDLNorthern Iowa
7239Josiah EzirimOTEastern Kentucky

Saints 2024 schedule

1Sep 8, 2024vsCarolina1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
2Sep 15, 2024@Dallas1:00 pmFOXAT&T Stadium
3Sep 22, 2024vsPhiladelphia1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
4Sep 29, 2024@Atlanta1:00 pmFOXMercedes-Benz Stadium
5Oct 7, 2024@Kansas City8:15 pmESPNGEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium
6Oct 13, 2024vsTampa Bay1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
7Oct 17, 2024vsDenver8:15 pmAMZNCaesars Superdome
8Oct 27, 2024@L.A. Chargers4:05 pmFOXSoFi Stadium
9Nov 3, 2024@Carolina1:00 pmCBSBank of America Stadium
10Nov 10, 2024vsAtlanta1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
11Nov 17, 2024vsCleveland1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
13Dec 1, 2024vsL.A. Rams4:05 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
14Dec 8, 2024@N.Y. Giants1:00 pmFOXMetLife Stadium
15Dec 15, 2024vsWashington1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
16Dec 23, 2024@Green Bay8:15 pmESPNLambeau Field
17Dec 29, 2024vsLas Vegas1:00 pmFOXCaesars Superdome
18Jan 5, 2025@Tampa BayTBARaymond James Stadium

Saints 2024 player outlooks

By Dan Schneier and CBS Fantasy staff

QB Derek Carr

Carr returns as the QB1 for the Saints in 2024 after he restructured his contract this offseason. Carr finished the 2023 season averaging just the 24th-most Fantasy points per game at QB, but he did provide managers with spike weeks. He finished as a top-12 QB six times, including three of the last four Saints games. Carr provides no rushing upside, however, and at this stage of his career projects best as a QB2. He should only be rostered in deep one-QB formats and as a QB2/3 in two-QB and Superflex formats.

QB Spencer Rattler

Rattler fell in the 2024 NFL Draft all the way into Day 3 when the Saints finally grabbed him in the fifth round. Rattler has exceptional arm talent and made plays under difficult circumstances at South Carolina (he was pressured on over 40% of his dropbacks in 2023), but he failed to live up to his prospect hype and doesn't offer much upside as a rushing threat at the NFL level. He is not worth rostering unless he gets significant playing time, and he's only worth considering in two-QB rookie-only drafts starting in Round 4.  

RB Alvin Kamara

Kamara was one of the best value picks in all of Fantasy Football in 2023, but a declining efficiency level and a potential holdout might make drafters leery to trust him again. While it was excellent that Kamara led all RBs with a whopping 6.62 targets per game last season, Kamara still lost out on short-yardage touchdowns to Taysom Hill and also proceeded to notch a third consecutive season without a rush of over 30 yards. Kamara also did not have a catch of 30-plus yards in 2023, the first time that happened in his career. While his efficiency is down, his volume has been and still figures to be good, especially in an offense called by new coordinator Klint Kubiak. But if Kamara follows through with a holdout after missing the last day of mandatory minicamp, worries about Kamara being good in his age-29 season will only grow. Naturally, if Kamara's contract issues are resolved then he should still be a PPR fiend worth taking as a relative bargain around No. 50 overall as a Round 4-5 pick. Kubiak's system does fit Kamara nicely, so hopefully he's there. The chase for Kamara does fade in non- and half-PPR formats, pushing him into absolute Round 5 territory, so check your scoring before drafting him.

RB Kendre Miller

It was a disappointing rookie season for Miller after he suffered an early-season injury. Miller played more than 30% of the team's snaps just three times in his rookie year. However, when Miller returned to action, he posted an above-average forced missed tackle rate. Miller will benefit from the addition of Klint Kubiak as offensive coordinator because he is installing a zone blocking scheme that perfectly fits the RB's skill set. It's possible he forms a 1-2 punch with Kamara and jumps Jamaal Williams on the depth chart. Miller is a high-upside flyer to draft in the final rounds in all formats.

WR Chris Olave

Olave was a popular breakout candidate heading into 2023 but ultimately failed to live up to the hype and scored just the 19th-most Fantasy points per game. However, Olave did command the 13th-most targets per game with a 40% air yardage share. Both the targets and air yards suggest the breakout is still in play and it just might happen one year later. Olave will have working for him an added year of rapport with Derek Carr, no Michael Thomas to compete with for targets, and possible positive touchdown regression coming his way. Olave is coming off the board in the back end of Round 2 or early Round 3 and should provide a WR2 floor with the upside for more.

WR Rashid Shaheed

Shaheed profiles best in standard scoring leagues as a big-play threat, but even then his scoring is unpredictable. He finished with just the 49th-most Fantasy points per game among wide receivers. Shaheed will get some run as a field stretcher to help open up space in the middle, but he is not on the Fantasy radar and shouldn't be rostered in standard leagues.

WR A.T. Perry

Perry entered the NFL as an older rookie and first made his impact in Week 10 with a TD grab. He finished the season strong with two TDs in his last game and three total over his last three games. Perry could carve out a role as a red-zone specialist in 2024 but he is not worth rostering in Fantasy leagues unless he earns more playing time.

WR Bub Means

The Saints selected Bub Means in the fifth round of the 2024 NFL Draft, and it's possible he's able to work his way into three wide receiver sets as a rookie. The Pitt product has prototypical size at 6-foot-1 and 212 pounds and his value is more likely to come on deep balls, which likely makes him a better fit for the QB that just left New Orleans (Jameis Winston) than current starter Derek Carr. Still, Means has untapped potential as a developmental project behind Chris Olave, and he's worth consideration in Round 5 of rookie-only drafts.  

TE Juwan Johnson

Despite flirting with Fantasy relevancy and preseason hype, Johnson has struggled to find any consistency. Getting hurt this offseason won't help things. Johnson averaged the 18th-most Fantasy points per game in PPR and has struggled to earn a consistent target share throughout his career. Volume has been a big factor in Johnson's lack of consistency. In 2023, he averaged the 26th-most touches among TEs but was under three touches per game. He also averaged just the 19th-most targets per game at TE. Furthermore, Johnson hurt his foot in June and did not have a timetable for his return. It all points to Johnson not being on the Fantasy radar in 2024.

K Blake Grupe

Grupe finished as the ninth-best kicker in 2023 in large part to his 14 field goals of more than 40 yards. If the Saints continue to fit a similar profile to 2023 in the 2024 season with a strong defense and Derek Carr as the starting quarterback, Grupe will once again push to finish inside the top 10 at the kicker position. He is a fine kicker to grab at the end of your drafts to start.

Saints DST

The Saints finished as the ninth-best DST in 2023 despite combining for just three defensive and special teams touchdowns and just 34 sacks thanks to 29 takeaways. Turnover regression makes the Saints a risky bet to repeat as a top-10 DST in 2024, but the addition of Chase Young in free agency could provide the uptick in sacks needed to keep them in the DST1 discussion. The Saints are a fine DST to draft if you wait until the final pick to grab your DST.