Shark Bites

Saints WR Keith Kirkwood (calf) is inactive for today's NFC Championship game against the Rams. He played 69% of the offensive snaps last week -- 2nd most among New Orleans WRs. So his absence should mean more playing time for Ted Ginn and especially Tre'Quan Smith. Ginn remains the better fantasy bet, but Smith is an intriguing DFS flier.

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.

QB Drew Brees, RB Alvin Kamara and WR Ted Ginn are all healthy scratches for today's meaningless finale against the Panthers. RB Mark Ingram and WR Michael Thomas are active, but don't expect them to play. Dwayne Washington figures to serve as New Orleans' lead back, with Tre'Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood, Austin Carr and TommyLee Lewis at WR.

Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater will start this weekend's finale against the Panthers, HC Sean Payton said Friday. So QB Drew Brees will get the day off. We'd expect the same for RBs Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram and WR Michael Thomas. Dwayne Washington figures to serve as New Orleans' lead back vs. Carolina, with Tre'Quan Smith, Keith Kirkwood and Austin Carr handling most of the WR duties. It's unclear how much WR Ted Ginn will play after returning last week.

Saints QB Drew Brees said there's "no doubt" QB Teddy Bridgewater will play against the Panthers on Sunday. “It’s just a matter of how much." The last time the Saints had the #1 seed locked up heading into the finale, Brees didn't play a single snap. Don't expect to see much, if any, of him this weekend. Bridgewater is in play for DFS tournaments, although he probably won't get to throw to guys like Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara.

The Saints have activated WR Ted Ginn (knee) from IR. Insider Nick Underhill reports that he's expected to play against the Steelers on Sunday. Ginn has been sidelined since Week 4, hauling in 12 of 22 targets for 135 yards and 2 scores before going down. “He’s a guy that runs, and I know he’s been working hard with the trainers and doing everything that he can to get prepared for this opportunity to come back," HC Sean Payton said Thursday. It's unclear how snap will be divvied between Ginn, Tre'Quan Smith and Keith Kirkwood behind Michael Thomas. Thomas is the only Saints WR that can be trusted in Week 16 fantasy lineups.

11:12am EST 12/9/18

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.

Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) isn’t listed on the final Week 14 injury report. After sitting out on Wednesday, he put in full workouts on Thursday and Friday. Keep him glued into fantasy lineups for a plus matchup vs. the Bucs.

Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) returned to a full practice on Thursday. His absence on Wednesday was precautionary. Thomas is safe to keep in fantasy lineups for a mouth-watering Week 14 matchup vs. the Bucs.

Saints WR Michael Thomas missed Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury. We haven't seen anything specific on the issue, which appears to be new but didn't keep him from playing 51 of 52 offensive snaps against the Cowboys last Thursday night. We'll certainly watch Thomas' participation the rest of the week.

Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith (foot) put in a full practice on Wednesday and isn't listed on the final injury report. So he'll play against the Cowboys on Thursday night. The last time we saw the rookie, he was exploding for a 10-157-1 line vs. the Eagles. It's worth noting that Smith has struggled on the road this season, but he'll be playing indoors in Dallas.

Saints WR Tre'Quan Smith (foot) remained limited in Tuesday's practice. His status for Thursday night's game against the Cowboys remains murky. We'll get another update on his status tomorrow.

An MRI confirmed that Saints WR Dez Bryant tore his Achilles in Friday's practice. He's done for the season just a day after signing with New Orleans. Bryant turned 30 a few days ago and was already in decline prior to this injury. He faces a tough road to re-emerge as a real-life and fantasy football asset. The Saints will move forward with WRs Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith and Austin Carr.

Saints WR Dez Bryant suffered an injury in Friday's practice that the team believes is a torn Achilles, according to NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. That'd end Bryant's 2018 campaign before it ever started -- and might put an end to his career. We'll update his status when we learn more.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says it'd be "incredibly ambitious" to expect Saints WR Dez Bryant to play against the Bengals this weekend. Bryant will officially sign on Thursday, giving him just 2 days to practice with his new team. So a Week 11 debut in a big game against the Eagles seems more likely. Michael Thomas, Tre'Quan Smith and Austin Carr figure to serve as New Orleans' top 3 WRs in Cincinnati on Sunday.

Saints WR Cameron Meredith needs arthroscopic knee surgery, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, and will be placed on IR. It's unclear if the surgery is to the same knee in which Meredith tore the ACL and MCL in August 2017. It's not a major surprise that this turned out to be a lost season for him after that multi-ligament tear. He inked a 2-year deal with New Orleans, so we'll see if he can get healthy and make an impact in 2019. Meredith is still just 26.

WR Dez Bryant has finally found a home, inking a 1-year deal with the Saints. The 30-year-old looked like a player in decline last season, averaging a career-low 12.1 yards per catch. He seems best-suited as a possession receiver at this point, which is the role he might be stepping into with the Saints. Bryant would look good as a big slot WR between Michael Thomas and Tre'Quan Smith. From a fantasy perspective, Bryant figures to duke it out for targets with Smith behind top dogs Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Dez is worth adding in most fantasy leagues, but we'd consider him just a WR4 for now. We'll see how quickly he can settle into the offense. Smith's value takes a considerable hit with Bryant's arrival.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that Saints CB Ken Crawley will be inactive for Sunday night's game against the Vikings. Crawley didn't appear on the injury report at all this week, so it's pretty clear that newly acquired CB Eli Apple is immediately replacing him in the starting lineup. Crawley was just a low-level IDP option anyway, so drop him if you've had him on board.

The Saints have placed WR Ted Ginn on IR. We still don't have any details on his knee injury or whether he's a candidate to return after 8 weeks. But Ginn should be dropped in all fantasy leagues. Rookie WR Tre'Quan Smith is the bigger winner here, as he figures to take over Ginn's role on the outside. He played 67% of the snaps and hauled in all 3 of his targets for 111 yards and 2 scores with Ginn out in New Orleans' last game. WR Cameron Meredith is also a candidate for increased volume.

Saints WR Ted Ginn (knee) remained sidelined on Wednesday. He missed New Orleans' last game and evidently still isn't ready after the bye week. With Ginn out back in Week 4, rookie Tre'Quan Smith played 67% of the offensive snaps and hauled in all 3 of his targets for 111 yards and 2 scores.

 
 
 

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