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Stop That Hype Train! Cameron Meredith


There are many reasons to be excited for the prospects of Cameron Meredith coming into the 2018 season. He is on an offense in New Orleans headed by the most accurate passer of all time. He will likely slide into the number three wide receiver position which was held down badly last season by the combination of Willie Snead and Brandon Coleman.

He also has a true elite receiver across the field in Michael Thomas, who in 2017 had more receptions with 104, more yards with 1,245 and more touchdowns with five than Cameron Meredith has his entire career. This will draw the majority of coverages away from Meredith this season with the Saints.

So why then, if he has all of these things going for him should we be leery of his performance this season? Simple. There are two big reasons to be worried.

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All That Glitters Is Not Gold

The first of these reasons is his season-ending knee injury suffered before the 2017 season with the Chicago Bears and if he is going to be able to return fully healthy. With the decision to let Alshon Jeffrey walk to Philadelphia, Meredith was anointed as the Bears' number one receiving option before the injury last season, but we never saw it come to fruition as his season ended before it started. He could have been a great weapon for Mike Glennon and Mitch Trubisky to go with Jordan Howard and a top-10 offensive line had he been on the field, but we just don’t know what could have been. This makes his value undetermined coming into this season.

The other reason for concern is his lack of real production when he has been on the field in his career. In 25 career games, he has a total of 77 receptions for 1,008 yards and only four touchdowns. The numbers should improve with Drew Brees and not Jay Cutler behind center, but again we have to see how much the numbers rise. The Saints also have a lot more weapons to get the ball to with the likes of Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram in the backfield to compliment Michael Thomas, Ted Ginn and Ben Watson in the receiving game.

Meredith could very easily get lost in the mix as Brees is known to spread the ball out and not concentrate on one receiver. If 2017 is any indication, we may also see a large reduction in pass plays as a more run-heavy offense was utilized due to the talent of Kamara and Ingram. The Saints won the division with this approach after three straight 7-9 seasons and to revert away from this game plan in 2018 after such success would be a step backward.

Nothing is wrong with hyping up a player, especially one going to a new team with a better offense than their previous team. Cameron Meredith could very well exceed the hype which is being placed upon him, but he could also fall short of these lofty aspirations. With Ted Ginn still a deep threat and Ben Watson returning after a few years away, targets, although plentiful, will be spread around the field.

It is quite conceivable that Meredith matches his career numbers in one season this year and the Hype will have been justified. But it is just as likely he throws up a 35 reception for 400 yards and one touchdown line making him a bust at his current draft price. If you are going to draft him in fantasy drafts, do so, but make sure you do so with his floor in mind and not based on his ceiling as is done with so many Hyped players.

He could be a great late round wide receiver five target with the upside of a high-end wide receiver three upside if things fall his way. More likely, he will finish as a wide receiver four within the balanced offense of the New Orleans Saints.

 

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