The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Week 2 New Orleans Saints vs Los Angeles Rams Sunday afternoon game on September 15, 2019 at 4:25 pm ET.
New OrleansRank@LA RamsRank
25Implied Total28
2821Points All./Gm2717
5910Opp. Plays/Gm6419
39.0%16Opp. Rush %35.9%14
61.0%17Opp. Pass %64.1%19
  • Seven of the nine games played in Los Angeles last season went over the game total, the highest rate in the league.
  • When the Rams were at home in 2018, the averaged combined score was 63.8 points, the most in the league. It was 58.7 points per game if you remove the 105-point game versus the Chiefs.
  • The Saints scored on 58.1% of their possessions on the road last season, the highest rate in the league.
  • Todd Gurley played 70.1% of the offensive snaps and handled 55.6% of the backfield touches in Week 1.
  • Gurley played 86.3% of the team snaps and handled 85.9% of the backfield touches while active in 2018.
  • Alvin Kamara played 50 snaps and 75.8% of the team snaps in Week 1, his highest totals in a game since Week 4 of last season.
  • The Saints allowed 175 yards from scrimmage (23rd in Week 1) and 140 rushing yards (26th) to running backs in Week 1 after ranking second in yards from scrimmage (96.7) and first in rushing yardage (55.9) in 2018.

Trust (spike production for that player)

  • Alvin Kamara: If the Saints are going to use Kamara in a fashion similar to what they did in Week 1, then he has a shot to lead the position in scoring. These teams have met three times over the past two seasons with Kamara having yardage totals of 111, 116, and 188 yards with fantasy point totals of 22.1, 33.6, and 36.8 points. 
  • Drew Brees: In the game with the highest game total of the week, just about everyone is in play. I can see this game going under as these teams have scored 49 and 46 combined points outside of their 80-point shootout in Week 9 a year ago and are familiar with one another, but there’s still firework potential here as well. There’s no way I’m leaving Brees on the shelf here, but Brees has one mega game versus the Rams and two pedestrian ones in the three times these teams have played over the past two seasons. In the one game in Los Angeles, Brees threw for just 246 yards and one touchdown and was the QB19. 
  • Michael Thomas: The same goes for Thomas, who had a 12-21-1 line when these teams met in the regular season a year ago (without Aqib Talib active) but has lines of 4-36-0 and 5-52-0 in the other two meetings between these teams in the games noted above.
  • Jared Goff: Goff has thrown for 297, 391, and 354 yards in those three games, but dragged his end-of-season slump from 2018 into Week 1 of 2019. Goff has now thrown one or fewer touchdown passes in eight of his past nine games played. In Week 1, he had an aDOT of just 6.6 yards (25th) after a 9.3 mark in 2018 and an 8.5 aDOT in 2017.
  • Brandin Cooks: After a let down in Week 1 (2-39-0 on six targets) he is in a spot to bounce back. Cooks posted lines of 7-107-0 and 6-114-1 in the two meetings between these teams a year ago while the Saints allowed a 14-216-3 line to Houston wideouts in Week 1.
  • Cooper Kupp: Kupp played 89.6% of the snaps in Week 1, showing he was not going to be on any snap-based restriction to start the season after a Week 10 ACL injury in 2018. Kupp was targeted 10 times with a 4.4-yard average depth of target, however, and managed just 46 yards on seven catches. In two games against the Saints, he has lines of 5-89-1 and 8-116-0 and has the best individual matchup of the trio of wideouts in the slot versus P.J. Williams

On the Cusp (proxy of a player’s average)

  • Robert Woods: He paced the team with 13 targets in Week 1, catching eight passes for 70 yards. Woods has at least five catches or 70 yards now in 18 of his past 20 games played.
  • Jared Cook: He led all tight ends with 24 routes run from the slot, but managed just three targets in his debut with the Saints. Opposing teams targeted their tight ends at the highest rate in the league against the Rams in 2018 and that mark was eighth in Week 1. 
  • Todd Gurley: We were so spoiled by Gurley that a 101-yard game on 15 touches feels like he didn’t even exist. But I get the chagrin as Gurley was not used near the goal line and received just one target in the passing game, which are the two hallmarks to his game that made him such a fantasy juggernaut over the past two seasons. The interesting part of Gurley’s usage in Week 1 was that he was rested in parts of the games early on and then used as the “closer” to ice the game. The passing targets were likely fluky, however, as Gurley did run 29 pass routes, which was ninth among all running backs. That said, we need those catches and touchdowns to make him a justifiable RB1 and not just a hollow-yardage RB2 option.

Bust (down-week production for that player’s standards)

  • Ted Ginn: As usual we like to target him in the Superdome. In 10 career games on the road with the Saints, Ginn averages 3.1 receptions for 39.2 yards per game with two touchdowns.

If You Must (intriguing bench option or deeper league play) 

  • Latavius Murray: In play for a touchdown as always, but he played just 18 snaps in Week 1 and had just eight touches (two receptions). We’re going to need to see a larger, more consistent role to make him more than a dart throw at a touchdown.
  • Malcolm Brown: Brown is more Latavius Murray than Murray was in Week 1. Brown had 11 carries for 53 yards and had two of the three team carries from the 5-yard line and in during Week 1. If that usage remains similar, he is a FLEX option for touchdown chasers, but he also did not have a single target on just six pass routes.

More Week 2 Fantasy breakdowns from The Worksheet:

TB at CAR | SF at CIN | LAC at DET | MIN at GB | IND at TEN | NE at MIA | BUF at NYG | SEA at PIT | DAL at WAS | ARI at BAL | JAX at HOU | KC at OAK | CHI at DEN | NO at LAR | PHI at ATL | CLE at NYJ