Payton’s words could hint at fantasy issue

(Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

(Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Saints head coach Sean Payton discussed a number of topics Thursday during an interview at the NFL Scouting Combine, including rehabilitation updates on WR Marques Colston and RB Reggie Bush.

But it’s the player Payton didn’t mention who should have the most interest to fantasy leaguers.

Payton did have positive reports on Colston and Bush, both of whom are coming off knee surgeries. While neither will be at full strength in time for organized team activities on March 30, Payton did say that “everyone’s doing pretty good.” He also said that Bush was “way ahead of schedule.”

Payton also discussed the state of the team’s backfield, saying it’s “dying” to add a power running back either via free agency or the draft.

“People asked after we drafted Reggie, how’s this going to work,” Payton told the New Orleans Times-Picayune. “It very well can work. It did work. It’s worked for Tennessee this past season. It works for New York (Giants). It’s hard to have just one back in any offense. Immediately, the day we lose Deuce (McAllister) we go out looking for that profile.”

Interestingly, Payton failed to mention Pierre Thomas.

A fantasy sleeper down the stretch in 2008, Thomas was one of the NFL’s most productive backs during the second half of the season. But the fact that Payton didn’t include Thomas in the Saints’ backfield plans is a little curious.

Thomas was considered the favorite to start next season, but that could be tenuous at best. Using Payton’s comparison to the Titans, Bush would fill a Chris Johnson role. The role of LenDale White would be filled by that back the team is “dying” to add, which implies a player who isn’t on the Saints’ current roster.

So where does this leave Thomas?

Only Payton and his coaching staff knows. But this looks like a situation that fantasy owners need to monitor over the weeks and months to come.

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