Saints TE Ben Watson (appendicitis) is out for Sunday's game against the Rams. He's averaged just 2.2 targets per game over the last 5 while playing less than 50% of the offensive snaps, so it's not a major loss. Josh Hill should serve as New Orleans' lead TE this weekend, and TE Dan Arnold figures to be active after being a healthy scratch in the Divisional Round.
Saints TE Dan Arnold is inactive for today's game against the Bucs. He wasn't on the injury report, so it looks like he's a healthy scratch. That's a surprise after Arnold's role had grown in recent weeks. His absence leaves Josh Hill and Ben Watson at TE. Neither is a reliable fantasy play.
The Saints have released TE Coby Fleener. Frankly, we're surprised this move wasn't made earlier in the offseason. Fleener totaled just 72 catches and 5 TDs across 27 appearances over the past 2 years in New Orleans. He sustained what he said was the 5th concussion of his career last season and will turn 30 in September. Fleener figures to get a shot elsewhere but is a poor bet for 2018 fantasy relevance. The Saints, meanwhile, are left with Ben Watson and Josh Hill atop the depth chart. Watson looks like the early favorite for targets, despite going on 38 years old. He caught 61 balls in Baltimore last year and posted a big 74-825-6 line with the Saints back in 2015.
Saints TE Josh Hill broke his fibula in Sunday's loss to the Lions, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. That'll end his 2016 season. Hill's absence should give TE Coby Fleener a boost in playing time the rest of the way. His 67.2% snap rate yesterday was his highest since Week 3.
Saints TE Josh Hill injured his ankle on a 2nd-quarter catch against the Lions and did not return. He was in a walking boot and on crutches afterward. TE Coby Fleener benefitted from Hill’s absence, finishing with 5 catches on 7 targets for 86 yards. We should get an update on Hill tomorrow.
Saints TE Josh Hill injured his ankle in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Lions. He headed back to the locker room and is officially questionable to return. His absence would be good news for TE Coby Fleener.
The Saints on Friday retained TE Josh Hill by matching the offer sheet that he signed with the Bears. ESPN reported that the 3-year deal could be worth as much as $7.5 million, with $3.25 million guaranteed. That's a fairly significant amount when you consider the 5-year, $36 million deal ($18 million guaranteed) that New Orleans already gave TE Coby Fleener. The addition of Fleener lowers the ceiling on Hill, but the fact that the Saints matched suggests they still like the guy that HC Sean Payton talked up last offseason. Hill's return might also lower the ceiling a bit on Fleener, though he's a near lock to sit among our top 10 TEs when the 2016 fantasy football projections come out.
The Bears have signed Saints restricted free-agent TE Josh Hill to a 3-year offer sheet worth "close" to $2 million per year, according to insider Brad Biggs. New Orleans now has 5 days to match the offer or lose Hill. Considering they don't have much cap space and handed TE Coby Fleener a 5-year, $36 million deal earlier this month, the Saints seem unlikely to match. That'd ship Hill to Chicago, where he'd compete with TE Zach Miller for snaps and targets. Hill was a hot name in fantasy circles around this time last year but was beat out by Ben Watson and finished with a 16-120-2 line. Despite totaling just 36 grabs through 3 seasons, Hills remains an intriguing prospect. He turns 26 in May, goes 6'5, 250 pounds and is a plus athlete.
TE Ben Watson has agreed to a deal with the Ravens, according to insider Jeff Zrebiec. It's a strange move from both sides. Watson was a strong fit in New Orleans, where he just posted a career-best 74-825-6 line. Baltimore, meanwhile, spent a 2nd-round pick on TE Maxx Williams a year ago and got a solid 2nd season from TE Crockett Gillmore. Of course, Williams had a disappointing rookie campaign, and Gillmore underwent offseason surgeries on both shoulders. Still, Watson figures to find himself in some sort of committee in 2016. None of Baltimore's TEs project as weekly fantasy starters. Meanwhile, Saints TE Josh Hill might get another chance to capture the starting job.
Saints TE Ben Watson (knee) is questionable for Sunday's game against the Jaguars after missing some practice time this week. His matchup makes him worth waiting for if you don't have a better option on your roster, but the 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff means that you'll need to secure an insurance option from 1 of the late-afternoon or primetime games. QB Drew Brees' questionable status adds risk as well.
Saints insider Nick Underhill calls TE Josh Hill's performance in training camp so far "underwhelming." He wasn't very involved in the passing game early, missed a few days with an undisclosed injury and dropped the 1st pass thrown to him on Monday. Hill is listed as the #2 TE behind Ben Watson on New Orleans' initial depth chart. We'll see if he can pick things up in preseason action, but Hill looks like just a late-round flier in fantasy drafts right now.
Saints TE Benjamin Watson has been the standout out his position so far in training camp, according to Larry Holder of The Times-Picayune. Offseason fantasy darling Josh Hill has missed time with an undisclosed injury, helping Watson get more 1st-team reps. But Holder writes that Watson "received plenty more opportunities in the passing game even when Hill was healthy" in spring workouts. The 34-year-old TE has always presented good speed and athleticism for his position and has scored 4 TDs among just 39 catches over his 2 Saints seasons. Even if Hill passes Watson on the depth chart once he returns, Watson at least stands as a reason to temper your fantasy expectations for Hill.
Saints insider Mike Triplett does not expect a "major breakthrough" from TE Josh Hill this season. Hill has been 1 of the hottest names in fantasy circles over the past few months, with his ADP rising into the 10th round. He'll present weekly upside as a plus athlete playing with Drew Brees. But Saints insiders don't expect him to be a big part of the offense. He'll likely slot in behind Brandin Cooks, Marques Colston and C.J. Spiller in the target pecking order. And Triplett even suggests that TE Ben Watson will be more involved in the passing game than most expect. Hill is a fine TE2 -- especially in best-ball leagues -- but don't overpay for him.
Saints insider Mike Triplett expects the team to use a "committee approach" to replace TE Jimmy Graham. There's been buzz in fantasy football circles about TE Josh Hill after he scored 5 times in limited action last year and drew praise from HC Sean Payton after the season. But he's a former undrafted free agent with just 20 catches through 2 seasons. Hill is certainly worth sticking on watch lists but is just a late-round flier for now. His fantasy stock will get a boost if New Orleans doesn't add a TE early in this spring's draft.
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