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This one is a bit debatable. The basic premise of my arguments for each player is based on unrepeatable production. For my money, Darren Sproles was New Orleans' best weapon last year. He had almost as many receptions as rushes (86 and 87) and was their main return guy. He set an NFL record for all-purpose yards last season.
Ask Drew Brees how instrumental he was in his ability to break Dan Marino's passing record. Any football die-hard who understands the technical aspects of coverages and defenses know that the modern NFL offense really relies on the "space player" to try and get the offense going.
There are two main things that would normally deter me from any Saints back. First off, they use a three-headed attack, with Sproles, Pierre Thomas and former first-round pick Mark Ingram. Second, they lost Carl Nicks, possibly the best guard in the league and, more importantly, one of the best run blockers around.
I don't think this affects Sproles a ton because most of his production comes from the passing game. It's not like he'll get fewer than 87 carries. What I'm worried about is the fact that he averaged almost seven yards a carry.
Another thing is that there will be no surprises this season. Defense coordinators all around the league watched last year's NFC Divisional round and realized just how important this guy is to the Saints offense.
Whether Drew Brees may be missing parts of training camp, or Chase Daniel is the starter, the Saints' signal-caller will be trying to rely on a safety valve. And opposing defenses will key in on it. Sproles will get less space to run, and this could be devastating to his value.