WR Keith Kirkwood - New Orleans Saints
|6-3, 210||Born: 12-26-1993||College: Temple||Drafted: ---|
He is listed as out on this week's official injury report.
News you need to know
General News (Fri Jan 18): is out for this week's game.
General News (Thu Jan 17): did not practice on Thursday.
General News (Wed Jan 16): did not practice on Wednesday.
Week 20: vs Los Angeles Rams
FBG says: Good matchup. Drew Brees remains a deadly-accurate passer and is fresh off arguably the best season of his Hall of Fame career - from an efficiency standpoint, at least. During the regular season, Brees set career highs in completion percentage and adjusted net yards per attempt, all while posting his best touchdown rate since 2011. That said, he's no longer the true catalyst for the Saints' offensive dominance. The ground-based Saints, who have won 14 of their 16 competitive games, now prefer to control games thoroughly on the ground. Since Week 5, when Mark Ingram returned and helped stabilize the run game, Brees has averaged just 31 attempts and 250 yards a game. He's still as efficient as they come, as displayed in last week's win. After missing badly on a deep ball on the game's opening play, Brees hit on 28 of his final 37 passes (76%) and helped drive the rallying victory. His sharp underneath passing routinely extended Saints drives and produced a pair of short touchdowns. Still, for as long as the Saints can help it, they'll continue to ride the ground game and ask as little of their undermanned passing game as possible. Michael Thomas remains a monstrous presence for Brees; he's caught 84% of his targets on the season and averaged 93 yards per game. Thomas terrorized the Eagles for 171 last week, accounting for 57% of team yardage through the air. And the last time he faced these Rams, Thomas broke loose for 211 yards on 12 receptions. But beyond him, Brees' receiving corps is made up entirely of situational weapons. Ted Ginn remains a fairly solid presence, but there's little else to rely upon. Explosive rookie Tre'Quan Smith has averaged 15.2 yards per catch over his debut season but caught just 7 balls over the past 6 weeks. The tight ends contribute little to this offense, with a handful of undrafted guys rounding out the rotation. To make fantasy players truly happy, Brees will need to feed Thomas relentlessly while finding his supporting receivers (and running back Alvin Kamara) for a handful of splash plays and touchdowns. All of that could easily come to pass, but if the Saints are dominating on the ground, there will be big volume questions at play. Brees remains an ideal NFL quarterback, especially for this time of the year, but is no longer dependable for week-winning fantasy production. The Rams entered 2018 with a fully-rebuilt pass defense, freshly stocked with superstars Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib at cornerback and Ndamukong Suh on the line. Combined with the presence of Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and a few intriguing secondary prospects, they looked destined for a dominant year against the pass. But thanks to injuries and awful play from Peters, these Rams have been worked over routinely through the air, and enter Sunday with a shaky outlook against Drew Brees and company. The Rams closed the regular season just 21st in the league in net yards allowed per attempt. Of their 17 opponents (including last week), 9 have topped 260 yards and 8 have thrown multiple touchdowns. Peters has been the biggest culprit; playing through injury for much of the season, he's been beaten frequently down the field and failed to provide the big-play presence he did in Kanas City. Talib's late-season return from injury has been a boon, and slot specialist Nickell Robey-Coleman has been dominant all year against inside receivers. But the Rams will need all hands on deck to have any real hope of slowing the Saints down Sunday. When these teams met in a Week 9 shootout, Brees completed 25 of his 36 throws for 346 yards and 4 touchdowns. Top receiver Michael Thomas ran wild through the secondary that day, posting 211 yards and 1 score over 12 receptions. This is a star-studded unit, but one that's wholly beatable by laser-efficient downfield passers like Brees.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs WR 1, WR 12, WR 24, WR 36
Keith Kirkwood's percentile rank in each category, among WR with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2018 Week 19 vs PHI (2 / 2 / 8 / 1 rec)
The Saints receivers did not have a great game against the Eagles, and Kirkwood would be no exception if it had not been for his touchdown reception. He caught both of his targets for under 10 yards, but his first catch was the most important. He got the Saints on the board with a 2-yard touchdown in the first half. Kirkwood cut inside and the broke back out when Brees pumped the ball. The fake to Thomas got the whole defense to bite and Kirkwood was wide open going towards the corner of the end zone. From there it was an easy pitch and catch for the score. With the return of Ginn and the focus on the rushing attack, Kirkwood is not expected to see a lot of action going forward. He will be highly touchdown dependent next week against the Rams.
2018 Week 13 vs DAL (3 / 1 / 30 / 1 rec)
There were not a lot of big plays for the Saints this week on offense, but Kirkwood provided the lone one. He was responsible for the 30-yard touchdown catch, but that was the only reception he pulled in from his 3 targets. Kirkwood ran a go route up the seam and caught the perfect pass from Brees. It would have been the perfect play had it not been a mistake. Both Kirkwood and Smith ran to the exact same spot and pulled 4 Dallas defenders to the area. It took a perfect throw from Brees to make the touchdown work, but someone ran their route wrong. Kirkwood now has a touchdown in back to back games and has seen 3+ targets in his last 3 games. This role could be diminished if and when Brandon Marshall finally suits up.
2018 Week 12 vs ATL (3 / 1 / 5 / 1 rec)
After being called up from the practice squad recently, Kirkwood is seeing more work in the Saints offense. He was third on the team with 3 targets this week, but only managed to catch a single ball. There is a clear disconnect with Brees as the pair missed on passes that would normally easily be caught by a receiver and quarterback who have worked together extensively. Kirkwood added his first career touchdown on a 5-yard bullet from Brees in a goal to go situation. Kirkwood ran a shallow out route and Brees put it low enough for Kirkwood to make a sliding catch and the defender unable to make a play. The area was cleared out by Carr on the outside and Kirkwood ended up with the score. Brandon Marshall is expected to cut into the playing time of Kirkwood and there is even the potential that he ends up back on the practice squad.