Shark Bites for New Orleans Saints 2019 | Shark Bites | Draft Sharks

Shark Bites

The Saints on Thursday signed WR Rishard Matthews. The former Dolphin, Titan and Jet tallied 65 and 53 receptions in his final 2 full seasons with Tennessee. But he disappeared while splitting last year between the Titans and Jets, following summer knee surgery. Matthews is a fine shot for the Saints to take. His signing, though, could be a hedge against Cameron Meredith's health and/or slow development by Tre'Quan Smith. We'll see how the corps sorts out this summer. It's also worth noting that among last year's Saints, only Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara topped 35 receptions. TE Ben Watson ranked 3rd at 35.

The Saints have signed RB Buck Allen. The 27-year-old mustered just 3.7 yards per carry across 4 seasons in Baltimore. He was better in the passing game, tallying 35+ catches in 3 different campaigns. But he averaged just 6.3 yards per catch, failing to reach even 5.7 in each of the last 3 years. Allen figures to battle RBs Dwayne Washington and Devine Ozigbo for a roster spot in New Orleans. And if he makes the team, he'd need an injury to Alvin Kamara or Latavius Murray to have a shot at fantasy value.

Saints WR Cameron Meredith has agreed to take a $2.1 million pay cut, according to ESPN's Field Yates. That means he'll earn just $1.3 million in 2019 salary. That doesn't bode particularly well for the 26-year-old's outlook. Meredith appeared in just 6 games last year and caught a mere 9 balls. The fact that he was willing to take a roughly 62% pay cut rather than test the market suggests he's not overly confident in the knee that basically cost him the past 2 seasons. We'll see about Meredith's progress through the offseason and training camp, but he's not worth drafting in early best-ball formats -- perhaps near the end of the FFPC 28-rounders. If Meredith remains limited heading into 2019, Keith Kirkwood and Tre'Quan Smith could benefit.

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The Saints are set to sign TE Jared Cook, according to NFL Network. No word yet on the terms of the deal. Cook is coming off the most productive season of his career, posting a 68-896-6 line in Oakland and finishing 5th among TEs in PPR points. He might not see another 101 targets this year behind target hog Michael Thomas in what's become a run-heavy Saints offense. But Cook could be even more efficient with his targets going from Derek Carr to Drew Brees. He looks like a rock-solid TE1 with top-5 upside.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Saints have agreed to a 4-year, $14.4 million deal with RB Latavius Murray. That positions him as the replacement for Mark Ingram, who will also hit unrestricted free agency Wednesday. Murray sports a similar skill set and should present a fantasy outlook similar to Ingram's. Of course, Ingram's inconsistent workload was the frustrating thing for fantasy owners. As long as his ADP remains modest, however, Murray will make sense as an RB3 or even an RB4 in fantasy football drafts.

QB Teddy Bridgewater is set to re-sign with the Saints, despite receiving a more lucrative offer from the Dolphins, according to NFL Network's Jane Slater. "I’m told Bridgewater values the locker room culture and prospect of one day becoming the Saints starting QB," Slater adds. With Drew Brees now 40, Bridgewater's shot shouldn't be too far away. He remains a nice stash in dynasty leagues.

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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 Jets have signed WR Rishard Matthews, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Matthews had a falling-out with the Titans but tallied 1,740 yards and 13 scores across 2016 and 2017. It's a nice addition for the WR-needy Jets, but Matthews has a ways to go before he's a fantasy option again. He has a brand new offense to learn, and he's joining a team that ranks in the bottom half of the league in pass attempts, yards and TDs. He's only worth adding in the deepest of fantasy leagues.

 
 
 

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