When Fleener came to New Orleans this off season, the idea was that the vertical threat could do a respectable Jimmy Graham impression and thrive while no longer having to compete with Dwayne Allen. It's seldom worked out that way, however. Fleener has pulled in 11 catches of 20 or more yards, but they've helped him top 75 yards receiving just twice all year. He faltered notably down the stretch, recording just eight catches and 84 yards combined during the season's final four games.
Fleener notched two catches on three targets for 30 yards in Saturday's 31-24 win over the Bucs.
The veteran tight end turned in another modest outing, as Brandin Cooks and Michael Thomas led the way for the Saints' pass catchers on the afternoon. Fleener has now seen three targets in three straight games, and has only five catches over that span. He's failed to score since Week 11 against the Panthers as well, making him an uninspiring option in Week 17 against the Falcons.
Fleener caught two of three targets for 10 yards in Sunday's win over Arizona.
Passes were flying all over the place on Sunday, but for the second consecutive week Fleener was often on the outside looking in on the action. The free-agent acquisition has stretched the field at times for the Saints, but has been held under 50 yards receiving in seven out of his last nine outings. Though he's been targeted in the red zone 12 times during that span, he's come away with just one score.
Fleener caught one pass on three targets for six yards in Sunday's loss to the Buccaneers.
Just when owners thought they could start trusting the athletic tight end, Fleener lays an egg at the worst possible time. With Josh Hill out for the rest of the season, Fleener should continue to see ample playing time, but inconsistency has been his bugaboo in a forgettable first season in New Orleans. Things likely will not get easier in Week 15 against an Arizona defense that has stymied tight ends all season.
With tight end Josh Hill suffering a broken right fibula in Week 13, Fleener could be in line for increased snaps. Fleener caught five passes for 86 yards during Sunday's loss to the Lions.
Fleener had been splitting snaps with Hill since Hill's return from injury in Week 6. Hill, however, is now likely out for the rest of the season. While blocking tight end John Phillips may see some additional playing time -- he played 19 snaps on Sunday -- Fleener should be the primary beneficiary, as he will likely see an increase in playing time with Hill out of the picture.
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||8||50||631||12.6||50||3||12||1||28|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||8||1||2||2.0||2||1||0||1|
|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||2||2.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
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|2016||New Orleans Saints||16||2||0||0||1||0||0||1||0|
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