New Orleans Saints News and Rumors
The latest NFL news and rumors for the New Orleans Saints. Stay up-to-date on Saints rumors, breaking news, player reports and whispered gossip from around the league.
Jonathan Williams to Fill the Mark Ingram Void?
August 22dd | 2018
ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett labeled running back Jonathan Williams as the leading candidate to fill in for Mark Ingram during the first four games of the 2018 season. Triplett’s comments came after New Orleans released veteran Terrance West on Tuesday, leaving Williams and rookie Boston Scott as the primary options to play thunder to Alvin Kamara’s lightning in the Saints’ two-back rushing attack. Ingram ran for 1,124 yards and 12 touchdowns in that role in 2017 but is suspended for the first four games of this year after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
A fifth-round draft pick by Buffalo just two years ago, Williams generated some fantasy buzz as a potential heir apparent to LeSean McCoy. As a junior at Arkansas in 2014, Williams rushed for 1,190 yards and 12 touchdowns, earning second-team All-SEC honors. However, his draft stock tumbled after a foot injury and subsequent surgery caused him to miss the entire 2015 season. After rushing for 94 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries as a rookie, Williams was surprisingly waived by the Bills at the end of training camp last September, eventually finding his way to New Orleans after a stint on the Broncos practice squad.
Though he never cracked the active roster for the Saints in 2017, Williams has impressed coaches this summer and saw reps with the first-team offense in New Orleans’ last preseason game. He gained 37 yards on eight carries in that contest and has a nice 12-63-1 stat line through two August games. Williams has quick feet and surprising elusiveness at 6’0” and 223 pounds, making him a prototypical NFL feature back. And while’s he’s no threat to unseat Kamara as the first option in the Saints backfield, Williams could be a valuable fantasy commodity over the first month of the regular season. He makes for an interesting short-term fantasy option that can be had at the end of drafts over the next two weeks and should be of particular interest to those selecting Ingram in the fourth or fifth round.
Saints Sign Running Back Shane Vereen
July 18th | 2018
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo is reporting the New Orleans Saints and free agent RB Shane Vereen, formerly of the New York Giants, have agreed to terms on a one-year deal on Wednesday.
Likely a one-year deal for the veteran minimum, Vereen is not a lock to make the Saints final 53-man roster for the 2018 season. In fact, since learning of Mark Ingram’s four-game suspension, Vereen is the second veteran rusher the Saints added — they also signed former Baltimore Ravens RB Terrance West. With Trey Edmonds, Boston Scott, Jonathan Williams and of course Alvin Kamara already filling out the depth chart with the before-mentioned players, I’m avoiding the New Orleans backfield unless their names are Kamara and Ingram. Though whoever emerges as the RB2 for the games that Ingram is out could be worth an add in deeper league formats, I’m not blowing a draft pick on one in July — there is too much uncertainty about who that player even is. But if Vereen does make this roster, he’d be one to keep an eye on. His skill set fits Sean Payton’s system and could be the PPR back should Kamara miss any time this season.
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