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Colston, Meachem could head in opposite directions

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Dan Parr
Associate editor

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Posted July 28, 2011 @ 11:32 a.m. ET
By Dan Parr

Saints WR Marques Colston has been one of the most consistent receivers in the league since he burst onto the scene in 2006 as a seventh-round pick. The 28-year-old has made at least 70 catches for 1,023 yards and seven touchdowns in four of his five NFL seasons.

It's made him a dependable player for fantasy owners and the Saints' leading receiver in all but his injury-shortened ’08 season.

He's undergone several surgeries over the years — five on his knee during his NFL career, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune — including a right knee surgery this offseason that has been described as a microfracture procedure. Colston has proven he can bounce back from health issues, and indications are his recovery from the latest surgery went well, but the wear and tear shouldn't be ignored.

I don't get the sense that Colston is on the verge of a huge dropoff. He can still be a very solid No. 2 fantasy receiver. I do, however, think we've already seen his most productive season.

He's entering the final year of his contract, and the Times-Picayune has reported that Colston could hold out of training camp and demand a new deal.

Extended time away from camp would open the door wide open for Robert Meachem, who has had health issues of his own. He had surgery on his left ankle after last season and said the ankle bothered him throughout the ’10 campaign.

It may explain why his production declined after many figured it would keep rising after his best season to date in '09.

Regardless of whether Colston holds out or not, Meachem is a sleeper to monitor in fantasy leagues.

Entering his fifth NFL season, Meachem is ranked 50th among receivers on the PFW fantasy draft board and Colston comes in at No. 15, but expect Meachem to close the gap in the rankings between he and Colston.

Don't even rule out Meachem surpassing Colston's production, at least in yards. Meachem is a big-play threat with good speed and picks up yardage in chunks.

He's not as proven as Colston, but his best season is likely still ahead of him.

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