All You Need Is Olave
Coming into the season, Chris Olave was one of my favorite rookies in the 2022 rookie class. He showed elite traits during his time at Ohio State, was selected incredibly high in the draft by the New Orleans Saints and was deemed the most “pro-ready” WR by most analysts in the industry. New Orleans was the perfect landing spot for Olave since he has a gunslinger QB in Jameis Winston to push him the ball down field and doesn’t need to assume the alpha role in the offense playing alongside Michael Thomas.
During his senior season at Ohio State, now dubbed WRU, Olave hauled in 65 passes for 936 yards and 13 TDs. You might initially look at the stat line and come away unimpressed, but remember he was doing this alongside several WRs who were drafted or will be drafted highly in the NFL. Teammate Garrett Wilson was selected ahead of Olave at 10th Overall in 2022, and Junior Jaxon Smith-Njigba is the early favorite to be the #1 WR off the board in 2023. This WR corp. was so deep and talented it forced Jameson Williams to transfer out, who was an elite talent in his own right, and a first-round selection in 2022.
Olave started slow Week 1 with only 3 targets against Atlanta but has quickly become the #1 target in the Saints’ offense, commanding an absurd 13 targets in each of the last two weeks. Olave was a prime buy-low candidate coming off his Week 2 performance where he received the 13 targets, and an insanely high 300+ yards, but the box score didn’t reflect a dominant performance, since he only hauled in 5 catches for 80 yards. However, the writing was on the wall for Olave to break out in a big way in Week 3, given the culmination of his talent and opportunity, and we saw Olave explode in Week 3 for 9 grabs and 147 yards. Olave has yet to score in his rookie season, but it’s real hard to imagine there won’t be positive regression and he collects touchdowns in bunches over the remainder of the season.
Heading into Week 4, Michael Thomas is slated to miss the game this week and he hasn’t been the model of health recently either. Thomas missed pretty much the entirety of the last two seasons and is already dealing with injuries now. We’ve seen Olave produce big numbers alongside Thomas, and with Thomas sidelines, I imagine the opportunity for Olave grows even larger. For the rest of the season, I would confidently rank Olave inside the Top 24 WRs with upside for even more if Thomas misses extended time. It might seem like buying high on the rookie, but I would push all the chips in and get this guy on your roster as much as possible.
When you’re setting those line-ups this week and every week, flipping between those start/sit decisions, just remember the famous words of the beloved Beatles, All You Need is Olave!