The New Orleans Saints wrapped up the 2021 campaign with a 9-8 record, which was a lot better than anticipated after starting quarterback Jameis Winston went down with an ACL injury seven games into the season.
The Saints will try to get back to their winning ways in 2022, but it will be with new head coach Dennis Allen after Sean Payton surprisingly stepped down after the regular season. Allen will have plenty of talent to work with though heading into his second stint as an NFL head coach.
Here’s a look at the projected depth chart in New Orleans heading into the new season.
- Jameis Winston
- Andy Dalton
- Alvin Kamara
- Mark Ingram
- Tony Jones
- Abram Smith, UDFA rookie from Baylor
- Michael Thomas
- Chris Olave, first-round pick from Ohio State
- Tre’Quan Smith
- Marquez Callaway
- Adam Trautman
- Nick Vannett
- Taysom Hill
Biggest offseason changes
Well, the new coach is definitely the biggest change in New Orleans. They also went and grabbed Andy Dalton to serve as Winston’s backup after several shambolic quarterback performances once Winston went down a season ago. Chris Olave is obviously the big name addition from the draft and should slot in immediately as WR 2 or 3 at the worst, behind Michael Thomas.
Biggest questions for fantasy football
The biggest question is if Allen, a defensive-minded coach, will be able to put together a prolific offense. He has pieces in Kamara and Olave. Winston looked really good too before his injury a season ago, so that should be fun to watch if he can return to that form. Another big question is Abram Smith. The UDFA from Baylor has no chance of taking Kamara’s spot, but he ran for over 1,500 yards in college a season ago and was projected by many as a fourth-round talent. If he has a good camp he could move up the depth chart quickly.
Also, with a new coach at the helm does that mean the weird Sean Payton love affair with Taysom Hill dies? Allen has already said he sees Hill as more of a TE than a QB and with Dalton to backup Winston, we may have seen the last of Hill taking reps at QB