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Fantasy Sleeper Alert: Saints' Chris Olave 'Will Be the Most Productive Rookie WR'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 29, 2022

Stacy Revere/Getty Images

When the New Orleans Saints made Ohio State star Chris Olave the third wide receiver off the board in the 2022 NFL draft with the No. 11 overall pick, it was clear they believed in his talent and upside.

So far, it appears he's been proving them right, to the point that Peter King of Pro Football Talk believes he'll be the "most productive" rookie wideout in fantasy football this season:

"Receivers used to take two or three years to stand out, and now they hit the ground running. 'Ohio State's pretty close to an NFL program,' Olave says. He's shown maturity and instincts early, and coach Dennis Allen told me he's one of the most polished route-runners he's seen come out of the college game in his time in the NFL. When I asked teammate Jarvis Landry about Olave, he said: 'Coachable, playmaker, his speed really stands out. He just belongs.'"

It's always tough to trust rookie wide receivers in fantasy, even if a few have hit in recent years like Justin Jefferson and Ja'Marr Chase. And Olave will be fighting for targets with veterans like Landry and the returning Michael Thomas (depending on his health).

But he'll also have a veteran quarterback in Jameis Winston who isn't afraid to air it out, Thomas' reliability after battling with injuries in recent years remains in question, and there's no doubting Olave's talent.

Brad Evans @NoisyHuevos

Chris Olave (106.6 ADP. WR45), Drake London (92.3, WR41) and Allen Lazard (85.0, WR39) continue to be bargain buys. Path to targets ripe. Talents evident, rookies especially. Lazard has inside edge on sizable RZ presence. <br><br>Potential WR2s available at WR4 price. Lovely discounts.

Ian @NFLFilmStudy

Chris Olave: always open <a href="https://t.co/urGiCHGBDZ">pic.twitter.com/urGiCHGBDZ</a>

Plus, look around at some of the other top wideouts drafted and it's easy enough to poke holes in their rookie resumes from a fantasy perspective:

  • Drake London will be playing with longtime backup Marcus Mariota on an offense that likely will revolve around getting Kyle Pitts the ball. He's also been battling a knee injury since his preseason debut, taking away valuable practice time in training camp. 
  • Garrett Wilson is playing with the young and still relatively unproven Zach Wilson. 
  • Jameson Williams will miss a big chunk of the season as he recovers from a torn ACL. 
  • Jahan Dotson has the unreliable Carson Wentz throwing him passes, and Terry McLaurin is the clear No. 1 option in that passing game. 
  • Treylon Burks has a chance to earn major targets in Tennessee, though Robert Woods should be the top option. 
  • George Pickens and Romeo Doubs loom as sleepers, but both should be somewhat down the pecking order in veteran-laden receiver groups. 

Add it all up, and Olave certainly has the potential to pace this group of rookie receivers. King, at least, is a believer.

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