Saints 34, Bucs 17

Saints vs. Bucs 2: Good, bad and ugly

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The Saints got back in the win column by dominating a lesser talented division rival this week. Here's what I thought of the Saints' move to 8-2:

The Good

-Michael Thomas and Drew Brees are perhaps the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver duo in the league. Brees was 28/35 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, while Thomas had eight catches for 114 yards and a touchdown. Thomas is still leading the league in receptions and yards, despite Brees missing a chunk of the season.

-The defense came up big depite giving up over 300 yards. They had two sacks, four interceptions (one returned for a touchdown), and limited the Bucs to only 36 yards rushing. After last week's performance against the Falcons, it was important for the defense to step up.

-Sean Payton made a concerted effort to get Alvin Kamara the ball. Whether it was rushing, receiving, or on returns, Kamara was heavily involved in the gameplan. 26 total touches for 155 yards altogether.

The Bad

-Giving up 313 yards passing to Jameis Winston and the Bucs was terrible. Sure Marson Lattimore was out this game, but this defense has too much talent to give up that many yards through the air.

-Speaking of giving up passing yards, Cameron Brate had 10 catches for 73 yards. Tight ends haven't really been a problem for the Saints, but it was today. Moving forward, they need to do better about giving up the easy stuff underneath, especially to tight ends.

-The longest run recorded was a 14-yarder by Kamara. The team only totaled 109 yards on the ground, which is uncharacteristic of them since they committed to the run more a few years ago. They are used to averaging upwards of 130 yards a game on the ground.

The Ugly

-I think it may be time to invest high picks on linebackers. The current linebackers on the roster are pretty good, but the only real playmaker is Demario Davis, who's already 30. Where's the young playmakers at linebacker? There are none. Hopefully Alex Anzalone can turn into something.

-As I mentioned earlier, Marshon Lattimore missed this game. Some of the guys that filled in lately, such as CJ Gardner-Johnson, have done an okay job at best. There's no replacing one of the better young cover corners in the game. Gardner-Johnson had a couple rookie mistakes, but looks like he'll be a player, just not yet.

-Speaking of young guys needing to step up, I sure hope Marcus Davenport removes himself from the back of the milk carton soon! When a team gives up the type of draft capital the Saints did to draft you, you have to produce. Far too often Davenport has been a no show in the stat column and on film. Two first round picks and a mid rounder were used to get him and he's so far playing like a fourth rounder.

Last week, the Saints were outplayed by a then 1-7 division rival. This week, they decided to dominate a 2-7 division rival. Brees and the gang returned to form against the Bucs and have a firm grip on the NFC South thanks to the Falcons dismantling of the Panthers, who the Saints play next week. If they win next week, they can wrap up the division crown and start taking aim at a first round bye in the playoffs. Here's to consistency and health down the stretch.

Photo by New Orleans Saints/Facebook

These are my very early ranks, so keep in mind I post these on Thursday. Make sure you check the injury report on Sunday for players that have missed practice. If it doesn't look like a player will play this week, I typically won't rank him. Keep in mind, these are PPR rankings, and don't forget to set your lineup for Thursday Night Football.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5 FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

@JoshJordan975

@Moneyline975

@JerryBoKnowz

QB

Photo by:Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

1 Lamar Jackson

2 Drew Brees

3 Patrick Mahomes

4 Deshaun Watson

5 Ryan Tannehill

6 Jimmy Garoppolo

7 Russell Wilson

8 Jared Goff

9 Dak Prescott

10 Aaron Rodgers

11 Jameis Winston

12 Derek Carr

13 Kyler Murray

14 Kirk Cousins

15 Matt Ryan

RB

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1 Christian McCaffrey

2 Chris Carson

3 Ezekiel Elliott

4 Dalvin Cook

5 Derrick Henry

6 Leonard Fournette

7 Saquon Barkley

8 Alvin Kamara

9 Austin Ekeler

10 DeAndre Washington *This will change if Jacobs plays.

11 Nick Chubb

12 Melvin Gordon

13 Aaron Jones

14 Todd Gurley

15 Mark Ingram

16 James White

17 Phillip Lindsay

18 Miles Sanders

19 Joe Mixon

20 Raheem Mostert

21 Devin Singletary

22 Kareem Hunt

23 David Montgomery

24 Le'Veon Bell

25 Devonta Freeman

26 Marlon Mack

27 Kenyan Drake

28 Patrick Laird

29 Adrian Peterson

30 Duke Johnson

WR

Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

1 Michael Thomas

2 DeAndre Hopkins

3 Julian Edelman

4 Julio Jones

5 Tyreek Hill

6 Robert Woods

7 Chris Godwin

8 D.J. Moore

9 Davante Adams

10 Keenan Allen

11 Allen Robinson

12 Kenny Golladay

13 Stefon Diggs

14 Cooper Kupp

15 Jarvis Landry

16 Amari Cooper

17 Courtland Sutton

18 Michael Gallup

19 Emmanuel Sanders

20 A.J. Brown

21 Dede Westbrook

22 Odell Beckham

23 Deebo Samuel

24 Darius Slayton

25 Christian Kirk

26 D.K. Metcalf

27 Tyler Lockett

28 Mike Williams

29 John Brown

30 Zach Pascal

31 Tyler Boyd

32 Sterling Shepard

33 Terry McLaurin

34 Marquise Brown

35 Cole Beasley

36 Curtis Samuel

TE

1 Travis Kelce

2 Zach Ertz

3 George Kittle

4 Darren Waller

5 Hunter Henry

6 Austin Hooper

7 OJ Howard

8 Tyler Higbee

9 Ian Thomas

10 Jack Doyle

11 Mike Gesicki

12 Jacob Hollister

DEF

1 Ravens

2 Patriots

3 Steelers

4 49ers

5 Bills

6 Chiefs

7 Packers

8 Seahawks

9 Saints

10 Vikings

11 Chargers

12 Bears

Kicker

1 Justin Tucker

2 Wil Lutz

3 Greg Zuerlein

4 Harrison Butker

5 Robbie Gould

6 Mason Crosby

7 Matt Gay

8 Jake Elliott

9 Jason Myers

10 Ka'imi Fairbairn

11 Younghoe Koo

12 Michael Badgley


That will do it. Good luck this week and when in doubt, start your studs.

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