Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/18/12

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 24: Drew Brees #9 (R) and Mark Brunell #11 of the New Orleans Saints celebrate after their 31-28 overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings during the NFC Championship Game at the Louisiana Superdome on January 24, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

New Orleans Saints - 27, Carolina Panthers - 35

While it looks like it’s time for Saints fans to panic, not so for the fantasy owners of Drew Brees (325 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs).  Even when he struggles, Brees is still a pretty good lock for 300+ yards and at least one TD as we saw in this game.  We’d still like to see the Saints throttle someone, so luckily Brees and company get the Chiefs next weekend.

Cam Newton (324 total yards, 2 TDs) had a very efficient day, completing 14 of 20 passes for over 250 yards passing.  He also showed his usual dangerous self, rushing for over 70 yards and a score.  This is more like what owners expect, so hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the Panthers.

Once again, Jimmy Graham (7-71, 1 TD) was Brees’ favorite target out of the receivers.  Owners who drafted Graham early this year are going to be treated to this kind of afternoon as the norm, so it would seem.  Outside of Graham, only Marques Colston (3-49) had anything resembling a decent fantasy day, and even then just barely in PPR leagues. 

Steve Smith (3-104) only caught 3 passes, but they went for over 100 yards, making his day worthwhile fantasy-wise.  Brandon LaFell (6-90) had his second straight solid fantasy game and is starting to be a decent flex option each week.

Once again, the Saints had a true committee approach to the running game, and this is one of the few games where there are more than one decent fantasy option.  Pierre Thomas (9 car., 110 yards; 4 rec., 33 yards) ended up with over 100 rushing yards, while Darren Sproles (13 rec., 128 yards) was the top target in the passing game with over 100 receiving yards. 

A week after completely abandoning the running game, the Panthers got back to it and found fantasy success for DeAngelo Williams (14 car., 69 yards, 1 TD) and Jonathan Stewart (11 car., 51 yards; 1 rec., 17 yards, 1 TD) both.



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