The Saints wide receiver issues have been abundant this offseason. First, Emmanuel Sanders was released in March in an effort to get under that cap, then the Michael Thomas situation cropped up. Thomas underwent surgery in June, meaning he will likely not be available until at least Week 7. Deonte Harris also faces a possible suspension for a DUI arrest in July. With all these absences among WRs, Marquez Callaway seems in line to be the main beneficiary.
The second year player has been very impressive in camp so far, and had 3 catches for 61 yards all on one drive in the Saints preseason opener against the Baltimore Ravens. With Thomas out of the lineup, Callaway is listed as the WR2 behind Tre’Quan Smith, who has had injury troubles of his own this offseason. He has far and away been the Saints best looking WR since camp started, and showed more of the same on Saturday night.
Now wearing no. 1, Marquez Callaway was the no. 1 graded offensive player in yesterday's game against the Ravens.— PFF NO Saints (@PFF_Saints) August 15, 2021
Callaway earned an 89.3 OVR grade, after posting his 3 catch/61 yards stat line.
His 15.8 yard average depth of target was also encouraging to see.#Saints #WhoDat pic.twitter.com/58TnEAp2zd
But will this offseason hype translate into fantasy production? I think he certainly garners a draft pick now, but you should be sure you have more reliable options ahead of him. I would not yet draft Callaway to be a starter on a fantasy roster, but rather as a stash/depth/handcuff option in the later rounds.
I would not take him unless you have three other WRs drafted, but I would expect a decent amount of production at least until Thomas returns. The problem for Callaway is that he will not have Drew Brees throwing the ball to him this season. With Taysom Hill or Jameis Winston at the helm, I do not see the Saints throwing nearly as much as they did with Brees, meaning Callaway could see limited targets each week.
Treat Callaway like a high end WR2 on a decent passing offense on draft day, but be sure not to let him get away if you are high on him, as he very well could be one of the biggest steals of the season if he is an integral part of the offense. Regardless, Callaway has certainly played himself into fantasy relevance this offseason, and he is someone you should not ignore in the later rounds of your draft, or in free agency following the draft, as his most productive weeks will be early in the season.
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