Written by Frank Mazzola
When Robert Meachem found out he was going to play for the New Orleans Saints, he must have felt like he died and went to “Wide Receiver Heaven”. The Saints selected Meachem with the 27th overall pick at the 2007 NFL Draft, believing that he would, sooner rather than later, become a reliable counterpart to top-tier wideout Marques Colston and pass-catching running back extraordinaire Reggie Bush.
If anyone had questioned such an assertion, New Orleans could have merely pointed to the 125 catches and 17 touchdowns he logged during his collegiate career at Tennessee as reason for such optimism.
Meachem could hardly have landed in a better spot for a young receiver looking to prove himself. The Saints were fifth in the league in passing attempts prior to his arrival and, with arguably the league’s best quarterback in Drew Brees at the helm, they were obviously going to stay committed to an aerial attack. Even with the presence of Colston and Bush, there would still be plenty to go around in a cornucopia of fantasy goodness.
Unfortunately, Meachem underwent knee surgery his rookie year and was unable to partake in any of that bounty. When he returned the next year, he struggled with his route running and lost a golden opportunity to shine when Colston injured his thumb and missed four games. Lance Moore stepped up in the All-Pro’s absence and took the spotlight.
But when Moore struggled with injury issues this past year, Meachem finally got his chance to shine and posted respectable totals of 45 receptions and 722 receiving yards. More impressive than those, though, were the nine touchdowns he scored.
Even though he has only 57 career catches, Meachem clearly doesn’t need to touch the ball a whole lot to make a fantasy impact as he has scored on 21% of them (12 touchdowns). He is one of those rare players that are capable of scoring any time they get their hands on the ball.
Therefore, it stands to reason that, with a bigger workload, his fantasy value could grow exponentially if he can keep that percentage anywhere close to that mark.
While the odds of him continuing to score at that rate are slim, he has cemented a role for himself in the powerful New Orleans offense. Even better than that news, though, is that he still remains under the radar for a lot of fantasy players. He could prove to be a steal at this summer’s drafts.
Having just won the Super Bowl, don’t expect New Orleans to deviate from their program any time soon. They will continue to let Drew Brees fire away at will. In fact, Meachem’s only real downside is that, since Brees spreads the ball around so much, his output is likely to be inconsistent from week to week.
Therefore, he’ll be a high risk/high reward type of player...but he has the talent and the situation to produce Miles Austin-like statistics for some very lucky owner.
Look to draft Meachem as a WR3 as he should still be around further down the board. You’ll be happy you took the chance.
Originally published at Fantasy Football Trader