[NOTE: Since this article was published, the Saints announced that Willie Snead is a game-time decision on Monday Night Football. If you choose to go the Willie Snead route, it is advisable to get Mohamed Sanu (55% owned on Yahoo!) or Michael Thomas (46% owned) as a backup option.]
One of the pleasant surprises of the early NFL season, Snead has become one of Drew Brees’ favorite targets and becoming a hot fantasy football commodity early in the season. He broke out huge week one with 172 yards and a score and followed that up with a less impressive but still great 54 yards and a touchdown against the Giants. This Sunday he takes on the Falcons and is a player you should work to make room for in your lineup.
As previously mentioned, Snead is averaging over 100 yards and a touchdown in this young season. What’s especially encouraging for Snead is the seventeen targets, one behind Brandin Cooks. This is good news for Snead’s productions going forward since targets are the main indication of fantasy production opportunity. His seventeen targets put him tied for twenty-fourth in the league, alongside Dez Bryant and Doug Baldwin. Not bad company for Snead to be keeping.
The man passing Snead the ball, Drew Brees, is also a football dynamo within the friendly confines of the Super Dome. He is a much more efficient passer at home as compared to the road (344 yards/2.8 TDs/0.64 interceptions for 31.06 fantasy points per game at home compared to 294/1.62/0.96 for 21.59 FPPG on the road). That’s an extra fifty yards and a score at home for his receivers. Undoubtedly, that means that Snead will have a game closer to his week one performance than his week two performance. At least, he will be given the opportunity to succeed.
There’s also the little issue of the Falcons secondary. They have a stud in Desmond Trufant who is going to be taking care of Brandin Cooks, most likely. That leaves the rest of the Falcons DBs to try to stop Snead and the gang. Week one the Falcons were incapable of shutting down Mike Evans and last week the secondary receivers had a day (both Michael Crabtree and Andre Holmes scored touchdowns). They have a great CB in Trufant, but not much else behind him to help stop any secondary receivers.
It’s easy to be itchy about Snead’s potential production this week, and for the rest of the season. He could easily be a flash in the pan. I don’t believe he is based on his targets from last season. He’s simply a player taking the next step. Even if you don’t believe that, he is taking on this Falcons team with Home Drew Brees throwing him passes. He’ll have a big game Sunday, and you should get him into your lineup.