- Scott Engel, ESPN Fantasy Games
Each Monday afternoon, the Fantasy Scout takes an early look ahead to the coming week and beyond. We give you the early lowdown on players to watch and consider emerging trends that will affect your fantasy strategy, even before the "Monday Night Football" game!
It's time to bench Joe Horn, and stop expecting the rebound campaign many of us were looking for this season. Preseason reports said Horn appeared healthy and rejuvenated, and was ready to develop a good on-field relationship with new quarterback Drew Brees. The Saints have been a great early-season success story, even though they lost to Carolina yesterday. But Horn simply hasn't been a major part of that success, especially from a statistical perspective. The Saints have used Reggie Bush to challenge defenses, and surprising rookie Marques Colston has started to draw the attention of defenses, but Horn still can't seem to get open regularly. And when he does catch the ball these days, he doesn't do much with it after the catch like he used to do. Injuries and age seem to have caught up to Horn. He caught five balls for only 63 yards on Sunday. He has yet to reach the 90-yard receiving mark in any game this season. Horn was outscored, in fantasy, by Peerless Price and Malcolm Floyd this week. The Saints spread the ball around a lot on offense, and that also hurts Horn's chances of being the featured target he was in the past. You shouldn't cut Horn outright, because he still will occasionally post decent numbers when you need a bye week fill-in. But pull Horn out of your starting lineup for sure. After four weeks, it's definitely time to give up on some guys no matter what they have done in the past. Horn is one of the bigger names on that list. It's clear that Colston is the top receiving threat for New Orleans now, even if many defenses still give Horn the respect of a No. 1 receiver. Horn might continue to face the other team's top cornerback often, and that means more mediocre fantasy performances are on the way. When he faces zone coverage, don't expect Horn to do too much after the catch if he finds a soft spot in the coverage.
Scott Engel examines the story lines from Sunday that will impact the following week.