Bill Feig/Associated Press
Drew Brees threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns—breaking the all-time record for passing yards in a career in the process—and completed passes to nine different receivers if the one he caught himself is included.
Michael Thomas was his normal productive self with four catches for 74 yards, but Tre’Quan Smith (three catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns), Cameron Meredith (five catches for 71 yards) and Benjamin Watson (four catches for 30 yards) were also involved.
Here is a fantasy reaction for the trio.
Tre’Quan Smith and Cameron Meredith
Both Smith and Meredith benefited from Ted Ginn Jr.’s absence, considering the Ohio State product is usually the deep threat who finds openings from the additional defensive attention Thomas draws.
Smith likely isn’t on many fantasy radars as a rookie who had one catch for 18 yards entering Monday’s game, but the third-round pick took full advantage of no Ginn and averaged 37 yards per reception. He proved he can be a deep threat as well, which follows since his speed stood out when he posted a time of 4.49 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.
He also capitalized on all three targets, which was business as usual:
Adam Levitan @adamlevitan
Tre’Quan Smith has been targeted 24 times this preseason & regular season. It’s resulted in 19 catches, 318 yards and 3 TDs.
New Orleans Saints @Saints
Tre’Quan Smith grabs his second touchdown of the game! ⚜️ #WASvsNO https://t.co/FRY166v8G7
Smith is not someone to immediately insert into your lineup—especially when Ginn returns to his usual role—but he is a waiver-wire candidate in deep leagues as someone to stash and unleash in the future if this was a sign of things to come. He is owned in just 1 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues and readily available in a productive Saints offense.
As for Meredith, he is more of a name player even though he missed the 2017 season with the Chicago Bears because of a torn ACL and MCL.
New Orleans brought him in for depth on a receiving corps lacking a game-changing presence outside of Thomas, but Smith’s potential ascension hurts his fantasy ceiling, as does Alvin Kamara’s typical involvement in the passing attack. There are only so many throws to go around, and Ginn will eventually factor back into the offense as well.
While Meredith had 888 receiving yards on a lackluster Bears depth chart in 2016, he has been buried in New Orleans and had 32 receiving yards and 11 receiving yards in his other two games outside of Monday.
He is still worth stashing, though, based on his previous production, especially since his best game came when he was the furthest removed from his knee injury. Like Smith, Meredith is available as a waiver-wire target and owned in just 11 percent of Yahoo fantasy leagues.
The fact that tight end is not as deep as wide receiver is the only thing going for Watson as a fantasy weapon at this stage.
He has largely been an afterthought in the Saints offense and has 44 or fewer receiving yards in four of the team’s five games this season. He is yet to find the end zone and is past his prime at 37 years old.
While Watson was productive in 2015 on the Saints with 825 receiving yards and six scores, he missed the 2016 campaign with a torn Achilles. He doesn’t have the same explosiveness at this point of his career after the setback and didn’t do much to bolster his stock in Monday’s blowout win.
Watson is not worth starting unless you are in a serious bind at tight end because of injuries or bye weeks.