Watson had three catches on five targets for 19 yards in Sunday's win against the Browns. The Saints' starting tight end played 54 of the team's 66 offensive snaps, but mustered little production. That said, Watson was one of only four Saints who saw more than one target and he should have had a bigger day, as quarterback Drew Brees overthrew him on what would have been a wide-open two-yard touchdown in the first quarter. Watson remains a decent, albeit unexciting, starting option at tight end in many fantasy leagues.
Watson wasn't present at Thursday's practice, Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Watson's absence from the final practice before Saturday's exhibition versus the Chargers is an ominous sign for his availability. In the end, though, the Saints should clarify the status of their starting tight end, whether he's dealing with an injury, a personal matter or something else. Once the regular season rolls around, he'll be aiming to replicate his 74-825-6 line from his previous stint with the Saints in 2015.
Watson could be utilized as a downfield receiver this season, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. A beat reporter's speculation about player usage isn't usually noteworthy, but Katzenstein's reporting aligns with similar accounts about Watson, who has looked as spry as ever in training camp at 37 years old. Moreover, the prediction that Watson could help stretch the field is hardly out of left field. The Coby Fleener experiment was a failure, but up until the last two seasons, tight ends have been heavily featured in the Saints offense under head coach Sean Payton. Although it seems likely that Watson has lost a few steps as he enters his 15th NFL season, he certainly has familiarity with Payton's offense and is only three years removed from catching 74 passes for 825 yards and six touchdowns with Brees in 2015. Watson's upside may be limited due to the number of weapons in the New Orleans offense, but the veteran should be a solid option for tight-end-needy owners late in drafts.
Watson started Friday's preseason game against the Cardinals, but he didn't draw any targets on 18 snaps. After missing the first week of the preseason with an undisclosed injury, Watson returned to practice last weekend and proved his health Friday night. He figures to get plenty of snaps on a team without much talent at his position, but it would be unwise to expect a reprisal of his 2015 target count (109) from his last stint with the Saints. In addition to being three years older, Watson is now part of a far more balanced team.
Watson (undisclosed) returned to practice Saturday, Joel A. Erickson of The Baton Rouge Advocate reports. Watson suffered the undisclosed issue during Monday's practice, but the veteran tight end appears to have avoided anything serious in this case. After a one-year stop in Baltimore, the 37-year-old tight end is expected to head his position group again in New Orleans this season, with Josh Hill and Michael Hoomanawanui serving as his primary backup options.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|4||09/30||@New York Giants||1||1.00|
|9||11/04||Los Angeles Rams||28||10.00|
|14||12/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||27||10.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||63||45||449||3||24||9.98||62|