In the coming days the Saints will release veteran receiver Marques Colston. Sympathetic, sentimental Saints fans will shed tears over the move -- we're talking about a long-standing member of the team here.
But the reality is the Saints, who are still in a salary cap quagmire, can use the $3.2 million in cap space they'll save from cutting Colston more effectively elsewhere on the roster.
Fantasy owners have known for a while that Colston's play has declined. His playing time started to dip a little in 2013 and by 2015 it fell off a lot -- 60.3 percent of potential snaps for the Saints according to ProFootballFocus.com. Injuries have taken a toll on Colston, but we knew back in 2014 that time was short with him when coach Sean Payton said his snaps needed to be monitored, even in practice.
Colston's height still makes him a mismatch for opponents, particularly as a third or fourth receiver in the red zone. But he's simply no longer worth the salary. Maybe the Saints call him up later this season and bring him back at the veteran minimum, if another team doesn't do it first. But even if he ends up in an offense he's familiar with (Detroit) or with a team in need of inexpensive and experienced wideouts (Baltimore), his statistical ceiling can't be any higher than 50 catches, 600 yards and five touchdowns. He fell below those numbers in 2015.
Meanwhile, let the sleeper buzz begin on Brandon Coleman, a 6-foot-6 receiver who had a few flashes with the Saints last season but wound up barely playing at all (37.2 percent of snaps). If he lines up in the slot like Colston did, he'll pick up plenty of mismatches against slower or shorter defenders. We'll see if the Saints try to improve his route-running, which is crucial out of the slot, but a year's worth of part-time work should help Coleman elevate to a No. 3 receiver role behind Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead. He'll be a trendy late-round pick this summer.
Everything else with the Saints should remain steady. Cooks and Snead are still in position to lead the team in targets from Drew Brees. Heck, they might see an improvement in targets if Coleman doesn't come through. Cooks will be selected as a top-15 receiver and Snead as a middle-of-the-draft pick. Tight end is up in the air with Benjamin Watson a free agent but if he's back then he'll be viewed as a late-round choice. Brees, meanwhile, shapes up as one of Fantasy's best bargains -- nobody will think his numbers will fall apart just because Colston's gone.