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Jameis Winston, Marquez Callaway's Fantasy Outlooks After Saints' 2nd Preseason Game

Adam WellsAugust 24, 2021

New Orleans Saints quarterback Jameis Winston (2) warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Jac ksonville Jaguars in New Orleans, Monday, Aug. 23, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
AP Photo/Derick Hingle

Whether or not Sean Payton is ready to call the competition over remains to be seen, but Jameis Winston made a strong case to win the New Orleans Saints' quarterback competition on Monday night. 

Winston went 9-of-10 for 123 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars. 

Marquez Callaway, who was on the receiving end of both scores, made a name for himself with 104 yards on five catches on balls thrown by Winston. 

ESPN @espn

JAMEIS TO MARQUEZ … AGAIN 😀<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@saints</a>) <a href="https://t.co/FazwnM3SaD">pic.twitter.com/FazwnM3SaD</a>

What does all of this mean for your fantasy team? 

Well, it's complicated because of Payton's indecision. The Saints head coach has been giving conflicting information regarding when he will name a starter. 

After telling Peter King of NBC Sports he hoped to decide between Winston and Taysom Hill before Saturday's preseason finale against the Arizona Cardinals, Payton told reporters prior to Monday's game he didn't have a timeline. 

β€œI don’t have one,” Payton said. β€œI don’t have one right now. Before we play the first game.”

Just watching what Winston did in his three drives against the Jaguars, it's hard to believe he's not a better option than Hill given their respective skill sets. 

ESPN @espn

JAMEIS WITH A DOT TO MARQUEZ CALLAWAY 🎯<br><br>(via <a href="https://twitter.com/Saints?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Saints</a>) <a href="https://t.co/BeYIaxvuFk">pic.twitter.com/BeYIaxvuFk</a>

Winston has always been a highly volatile player in the NFL. He's most famous for being the only player in league history to throw 30 touchdowns and 30 interceptions in the same season (2019 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers). 

As bad as that season was from a real-life football perspective, it was still incredibly valuable in the fantasy world. Winston finished as the No. 3 quarterback in standard scoring leagues, behind Lamar Jackson and Dak Prescott. 

Winston has three seasons with at least 4,000 yards passing and 20 touchdown passes. He would absolutely be worth a late-round flier if you want to focus your earlier attention on running backs and wide receivers. 

Fantasy Pros currently has Winston ranked in the fifth tier of quarterbacks and No. 30 at the position. He's behind Jared Goff and Cam Newton, among others. 

That ranking could change if Payton ends up naming him the starter, but for right now, that's incredibly good value. 

The big winner from this game, though, is undoubtedly Callaway. We know the Saints have a need for someone in their receiving corps to step up. Michael Thomas could miss multiple games to start the season after undergoing ankle surgery in June. 

Callaway looked fantastic in New Orleans' first preseason contest against the Baltimore Ravens last week. He had three catches for 61 yards on four targets from Hill in that game. 

There's not a lot of competition for the No. 1 receiver job in New Orleans right now with Thomas unavailable. Tre'Quan Smith has speed, but he's never turned into a go-to guy over the past three seasons. Deonte Harris might get an expanded role in the offense, though his most prominent role will remain as a returner on special teams. 

Alvin Kamara will probably start the season as the go-to target for whomever ends up being the Saints quarterback. The four-time Pro Bowler has caught at least 81 passes in each of his first four seasons. 

But if the Saints are looking for someone who can stretch the field against opposing defenses, it's hard to argue with what Callaway has done. 

Fantasy managers might be able to steal Callaway off the waiver wire if they just want to take a gamble. He's currently the 95th-ranked receiver by Fantasy Pros and has an average draft position of 183 right now. 

Even if Callaway doesn't play like a No. 1 or No. 2 receiver, he could absolutely put up enough production on a week-to-week basis to be starting in a flex spot for your team.