The Saints could choose to reduce the number of multiple tight end packages and go with more four-receiver looks against Detroit. That would mean increased snaps for Brandin Cooks, Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and Robert Meachem. It could also mean the Saints choose to activate a fifth receiver on game day -- either Joe Morgan or Nick Toon.
Graham's absence will increase the workload for Ben Watson and, to a lesser extent, Josh Hill. We'll start to find out this week if recent tight end acquisition Tom Crabtree will have a meaningful role in the offense.
Hill is more of a "move" TE than Watson, though it was Watson who was targeted heavily (7) when Jimmy Graham was injured. Hill has a couple of touchdowns on the season and can run. Hill played a season-high 32 snaps in Week 5, so he figures to get extra snaps with Graham out.
This is especially good news for rookie WR Brandin Cooks, who could get increased time as the team's WR2. Joseph Morgan and Nick Toon could also contribute at that spot though. Cooks is probably still a wait and see candidate for fantasy lineups to observe how the Saints use him. Most week Cooks will have boom-bust potential given the other targets in the Saints offense.
Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:30pm
Saints WR Joe Morgan is in a dogfight, though for the fourth and fifth roster spots with Nick Toon and veteran Robert Meachem (also known for his combination of excellent blocking and deep speed). It’s hard to imagine the Saints will keep all three of them, since they typically keep only four receivers active on game days. But it’s also hard to imagine any of the three getting cut just yet.
Saints WR Nick Toon said he feels more comfortable with each passing year, and he's started to put together the second of two nice offseasons. Toon was showcased often in the three days of minicamp practice, and outside of one bad drop, he put together several nice plays.
It's clear the Saints see potential in the relatively inexperienced receiver, who spent 2012 on injured reserve. HC Sean Payton didn't talk in terms of roster spots when asked about Toon. Instead, he said he envisioned a bigger plan for him.
"I would expect him to play a bigger role for our offense this season," Payton said. "He's doing well here in this offseason. His progress is important to us. With the loss of a number of players, particularly Lance Moore, I think you'll see more snaps for him and more opportunities."
Marques Colston, Kenny Stills and Brandin Cooks are considered locks to make the final roster, and the Saints typically carry five wide receivers, so Toon is competing with Robert Meachem and Joe Morgan (among others) for the final two spots. From a fantasy standpoint, he won't have much value if he's the Saints' WR4, but he's a player to monitor as the offseason (and attrition) wears on.
Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8:28pm
Saints QB Drew Brees on WR Nick Toon: "I think he has come along extremely well. I’ve been very impressed with some of the things I’ve seen from him out here. He’s another big target that can run well, he transitions very well for a big guy. You watch the way he catches the ball sometimes and it’s so confident, he goes and he goes after it and plucks it. He’s very natural and confident when he catches the ball which you like to see. I think he can have big contributions on this team. I know that it’s extremely competitive with the receiver position right now with a lot of guys fighting for spots but he’s certainly right in the mix.”
Tuesday, June 10, 2014, 1:31pm
Saturday, May 24, 2014, 11:02pm
If Nick Toon struggles this preseason and can’t secure a top-four spot in the rotation, then he might lose out to a younger player like Brandon Coleman for that fifth or sixth “redshirt” spot. But Toon has a much better chance of cracking the top four and actually seeing some significant playing time this year.
Sunday, May 4, 2014, 12:41pm
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett gives his thoughts on the team's receiving corps:
Nick Toon could have done more to force the Saints to keep him in the lineup when he had the chance (see: Khiry Robinson, Chris Ivory, etc.) And that’s what he’ll have to do this preseason. The Saints are still high on Toon’s potential, but he’ll have to earn his spot.
As for Joe Morgan, I had him written in ink last summer as the Saints’ No. 3 receiver after he did so well as both a deep threat and a developing blocker in 2012. Then he missed another full season with a knee injury. So it’s impossible to predict how quickly he’ll return to full health and shake off the rust.
It’s possible that Morgan and Robert Meachem will be competing for one spot since they both play a similar role – especially if the Saints add a speedy receiver in the draft. As usual, it will be one of the most intriguing position battles in camp.
Saturday, March 29, 2014, 7:38pm
Saints beat writer Mike Triplett answered a question about the team's WRs.
There’s probably a good chance the Saints will add another veteran. They showed interest in free agent Sidney Rice, and they could always re-sign Robert Meachem, whom they like for both his downfield speed and blocking ability. But those moves would be for depth. They’re certainly not in a panic over the top jobs right now. They’re very comfortable with Marques Colston and Kenny Stills as their two starters.
Saturday, January 4, 2014, 7:03pm
Sunday, December 29, 2013, 3:09pm
Sunday, December 15, 2013, 3:09pm
Sunday, December 8, 2013, 7:13pm
Monday, December 2, 2013, 7:42pm
RB Darren Sproles returns to the lineup.
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