Jan 11, 2014; Seattle, WA, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Darren Sproles (43) runs the football against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half of the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Fantasy Football: Drew Brees loses weapons with releases of Sproles and Moore



With NFL free agency set to begin on Tuesday, fantasy football owners can start seriously getting excited for the 2014 season.

With that being said, there have been some salary cap releases that should peak everyone’s attention, most notably in New Orleans, where the Saints have had to part ways with a pair of weapons for franchise quarterback Drew Brees.

Jan 4, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore (16) during warmups prior to playing the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2013 NFC wild card playoff football game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Saints defeated the Eagles 26-24. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mike Triplett of ESPN.com, the Saints will continue their roster overhaul by releasing running back Darren Sproles if they’re unable to trade him, according to multiple media reports.

Sproles, 30, has been one of the Saints’ most dynamic offensive weapons the past three years. His release would come as an even bigger surprise than the recent decisions to part ways with receiver Lance Moore.

By taking Sproles and Moore out of the Saints offense, Brees loses a lot of production.

Though he started to decline last season, during his three years in New Orleans, he has amassed 1,067 rushing yards, 1,981 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns. However, Sproles played in only about 33 percent of the Saints’ offensive snaps during the 15 games in which he was active last year. And his numbers in 2013 (220 rushing yards, 71 receptions for 604 yards, four total touchdowns) were slightly down from past years.

The Saints have also been shopping running back Pierre Thomas, so expect the Saints offense to have a new look this season.

The moves in the backfield alone means that running backs Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson should have increased fantasy value.

As for Moore, the former undrafted rookie out of Toledo ranks among the top five receivers in Saints history in receptions (346) and touchdown catches (38) to go along with 4,281 yards.

Moore had his first 1,000-yard season in 2012. His role diminished last season after he missed three weeks with a hand injury. When he returned, he was used primarily as the team’s No. 3 receiver, having fallen behind rookie Kenny Stills.

Moore finished the regular season with just 37 catches for 457 yards and two touchdowns.

Stills should be rising up draft boards, but overall the Saints’ offense doesn’t look to be as deep and explosive on paper minus the additions.

However a lot can change between now and then and come March 11, it is officially football season for fantasy owners.

 

Tags: Darren Sproles Drew Brees Fantasy Football Lance Moore New Orleans Saints