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Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 15

Wired: Top NBA Pickups Week 15
Danny Green is suddenly on fire, while Bobby Portis and several centers are also coming on. NBA Waiver Wired takes a look at hot free agents.
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Ben Watson (illness) did not play in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

It is an unceremonious end to a long and successful career -- Watson has already said he plans to retire following the season. Drafted No. 32 overall by the Patriots way back in 2004, Watson caught 530 passes for 5,885 yards and 44 touchdowns across 15 years with four different teams. The best of those fantasy efforts came in his age-35 season in 2015 when he came almost out of nowhere for a 74/825/6 campaign. Watson is not headed to the Hall of Fame, but the two-time finalist for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award had a quality career.
Jan 20 - 8:35 PM

Garrett Griffin hauled in 2-of-2 targets for 12 yards and a touchdown in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

With the Saints down both Ben Watson and Josh Hill, Griffin stepped up with a five-yard touchdown at the end of the first quarter, just the second catch of his career. It is not likely that catch is the start of a great fantasy career, but it is worth noting the Saints' tight-end depth chart is wide open.
Jan 20 - 7:35 PM

Dan Arnold failed to haul in either of his targets in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

Arnold was a popular cheap DFS option this week, so it was painful to watch him drop a touchdown on the opening drive and even worse to see fellow tight end Garrett Griffin come up with a short touchdown later in the quarter. A former receiver, Arnold showed some flashes as a pass catcher this season, hauling in 12 passes for 150 yards and a touchdown, but he was also a healthy scratch at times late in the year and the playoffs. Perhaps he gets a shot with Ben Watson expected to retire, but it is more likely the Saints bring in outside help.
Jan 20 - 7:34 PM

Tre'Quan Smith hauled in 1-of-2 targets for 10 yards in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

It is a fitting end to a mostly down rookie season for the third-round pick. Smith did flash his upside with two monster games -- 3/111/2 against Washington in Week 5 and 10/157/1 against the Eagles in Week 11 -- but he caught just 15 passes for 159 yards and two scores in his other 13 games even with Ted Ginn out most of the year. Smith remains a good Dynasty hold, but it is not a given his role will expand in 2019.
Jan 20 - 7:33 PM

Ted Ginn hauled in 3-of-6 targets for 58 yards in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

Ginn was mostly quiet in this one, but he managed to come down with a 43-yard jump ball at the two-minute warning to help set up what probably should have been the game-winning score -- a missed DPI a few plays later gave the Rams life. Ginn missed most of the season with a knee injury suffered in Week 4, but he still managed 17 catches for 209 yards and two scores in five games. Owed just $2.5 million in the final year of his deal, Ginn should be back with the Saints next season if he wants to keep playing.
Jan 20 - 7:33 PM

Michael Thomas hauled in 4-of-7 targets for 36 yards in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

After going for 211 yards and a score his first game against the Rams this season, Thomas appeared to be on his way to another big day when he got loose for a 19-yard gain on third down in the first quarter. He was mostly bottled up from that point on, however, and Drew Brees underthrew him on what should have been an easy touchdown. It was a tough end to a great season for Thomas, who caught nine more passes than any other player in the league and set a wide receiver record with an absurd 85 percent catch rate. Thomas likely will not match that level of efficiency in 2019, but he will be a solid WR1 in fantasy drafts. Headed into the final year of his rookie deal, the Saints should look to lock up their No. 1 receiver this offseason.
Jan 20 - 7:32 PM

Alvin Kamara rushed eight times for 15 yards and hauled in a team-high 11 catches for 96 yards in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

Kamara easily led the team in catches and targets, and he dominated the first drive of the third quarter with four catches and another target at the two. The passing game usage is not a surprise after the versatile runner posted his second 81-catch season in a row in 2018, turning that work into 709 yards and four scores. That passing usage stuck around despite a bigger role in the rushing game -- 194/883/14 in just 15 games -- even after Mark Ingram returned from suspension. With Ingram headed to free agency, the workhorse role Kamara occupied the first four weeks could be the norm next season. He will be in the top-five pick conversation in fantasy drafts this summer.
Jan 20 - 7:30 PM

Drew Brees completed 26-of-40 attempts for 249 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception in the Saints' NFC Championship loss to the Rams.

Brees did not have a bad game, but the offense struggled to get much going after the first quarter. Even his long completion to Ted Ginn probably should have at least been batted down. That said, there was not much he could do about his interception in overtime. Brees was hit while throwing, and the pass fluttered in the air and into the arms of a defender. Especially since the Saints were a terrible no-call away from winning the game in regulation, it was a tough end to an MVP-caliber season from the just-turned-40-year-old. Even with a slow finish to the year, Brees managed 3,992 yards, 32 touchdowns, and just five interceptions, good enough for a QB8 finish. That is around where he should be drafted in 2019, the final year of his current deal.
Jan 20 - 7:29 PM
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