Dez Bryant has finally found himself a home for 2018. The ex-Cowboy has been patrioling the free agent waters, waiting for the right team and the right deal and he’s seemingly found that with the New Orleans Saints:
Saints reached agreement with former Cowboys’ WR Dez Bryant, per source. He will sign Thursday.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 7, 2018
Bryant is a Saint.
There are plenty of teams that could have used Dez but landing with the Saints is pretty ideal for a 30 year old wide receiver with a bunch to prove.
Now that Dez is back in the NFL and joining a very explosive offense, is he worth adding in fantasy leagues?
Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
We know Bryant isn’t the same down-the-field threat he once was, but that doesn’t mean he’s got nothing left in the tank. I think he’s got a lot left in the tank. And there aren’t many players in the league that love proving people wrong more than Dez Bryant (Steve Smith and Adrian Peterson are also on that list in cause you were wondering).
I would be interested in Dez no matter where he signed but joining New Orleans—and more importantly Drew Brees and Sean Payton—has me feeling, dare I say, a little excited because I can bet you Dez is going to be the next in the long, rich Saints’ tradition of big bodied slot receivers. From Marques Colston to more recently Brandon Coleman, the Saints love putting big, physical receivers in the slot and exploiting that mismatch. They did it with Michael Thomas last year, lining him up in the slot 52% of the time. Now Payton has all 6-foot-2, 220 pounds of Dez to box out much smaller slot corners.
Obviously Dez won’t be seeing a boat load of targets given that he’ll be sharing an offense with Thomas and Alvin Kamara. But don’t let that deter you as there’s a noticeable drop off between Thomas and Kamara and the rest of the team in terms of targets and receptions (Kamara is second on the team with 66 targets, Ben Watson is third with 32). There’s definitely an opening for a third receiver to step in and have a meaningful role.
Right now Dez has WR3 value in my book. He’s likely to see a regular workload and hopefully a couple of end zone targets which could lead to some touchdowns here and there. If you’re struggling at receiver and could use a boost, snag him. He’s not worth adding just for adding’s sake right now, though that could quickly change if Brees shows a propensity for targeting him in the red zone.
This does temper my Tre’Quan Smith hype as he’s likely now to solely be a boom-or-bust deep threat, a la Ted Ginn. Dynasty leagues, obviously hold onto him and even keep him for a little bit in re-draft. But I wouldn’t be actively looking to add him right now with this news.
What do you think Dez Bryant’s fantasy value will be this year?