Chris Olave had one of the quietest rookie seasons that was very productive. He was taken 11th overall in the 2022 NFL Draft by the New Orlean Saints. He finished his rookie season with 1042 yards and four touchdowns. Olave isn’t being talked enough about to the likes of Garret Wilson as the top receiver from that class. Will new changes in the offense and his overall progression prepare him for a breakout season? Let’s dive deep into Olave to see where his real dynasty value is.
As I mentioned, Olave had a solid rookie season for a not-so-great Saints offense in 2022. Olave came out of the gates quickly in the first three weeks with Jameis Winston, as he was WR24 and saw 29 targets. In Week 3, he had his best game of the season with nine receptions for 147 yards showing that Olave can ball. Following that week three game, Andy Dalton would take over due to an injury to Winston and still be productive as WR26 for the rest of the season.
Unfortunately, Olave would never surpass his 19.2 fantasy point outing from week three. He would still get two more outings of over 100 yards. His upside was limited with journeyman Andy Dalton at quarterback. He would still manage eight of those games with at least 50 yards showing off a solid floor play as a flex option fantasy player. Surpirselying enough, some of Olave’s best yardage games in 2022 were when Michael Thomas played during those first three weeks.
I think fantasy owners have a bad taste in their mouths with Olave because of his second-half struggles. The struggles could have been that he hit the rookie wall, but it doesn’t help that Dalton only averaged 23 passing attempts per game. Only three times in 14 starts did Dalton throw over 30 attempts, while Wintson had over 30 attempts each of the three games he played. Some interesting stats on Olave was his vertical threat presence for the game; he finished eighth in Air Yards, third in Air Yards Share, and fourth in Deep targets. Olave needs to find him a quarterback that can fit his skill sets. One concern I want to see improved from 2022 is Chris Olave’s red zone targets, he only saw 11 in 2022, and hopefully, that can be increased.
What’s New for 2023
Olave is getting a new quarterback in 2023. Derek Carr signed a three-year deal with the Saints this offseason to be their new starting quarterback. This is a solid upgrade for Olave dynasty value now and in the future. Last season, for most of his games, Dalton was his quarterback. Dalton was in the bottom half in deep ball attempts, Air Yards, and deep ball completion percentage. Dalton’s struggles showed that Olave needed a quarterback to fit his skill set as a vertical threat. We saw what a more downfield thrower looked like when Winston was the starting quarterback for three games. Winston, in three games, had 20 deep ball attempts with a 35 completion percentage, but unfortunately, Winston has missed too much time to be trusted.
Enter Carr, who was fifth in deep ball attempts and Air Yards. Due to his offense, he didn’t have a good deep ball completion percentage, as he struggled with a 31.9%. Last year was just a down season, as we’ve seen Carr’s deep balls with better success in the past seasons. We know Olave was fantastic with deep-ball completions, so expect Carr to look his way often. We’ve also seen when Carr likes a player; he will pepper them with targets. Olave could see his production skyrocket over his early career.
The potential return of Michael Thomas could help Olave, especially for 2023. As I mentioned, some of Olave’s best fantasy outings were when Thomas was on the field. Olave had a quarter of his targets and yardage for the season while playing across from Thomas. If Thomas can stay on the field, this could give Olave a significant boost not to be the only threat in the passing game.
Alvin Kamara’s absence could boost the target share that Olave could get in 2023. We won’t know until August if Kamara will be suspended. If he is in 2023, the offense loses a player who was seeing five weekly targets. We know that Kamara in the past used to average even more than that. This could help Olave consistently reach double-digit targets in the offense or even get more touchdown opportunities. That is one thing I’d like to see Olave get over six touchdowns in the offense. The Saints’ offense gives too many opportunities to others than to just one player.
Dynasty Trade Values
- 2025 1st & Tony Pollard for Chris Olave
- CeeDee Lamb for Chris Olave & 2023 2nd
- 2023 1st & Rachaad White for Chris Olave & 2023 3rd
- 2024 1st & Queinton Johnston fro Chris Olave
I found some recent trades from the Dynasty Nerds GM 2.0. The first trade is a pretty solid deal for Olave. Pollard is already in the back half of his career, and you only have to give up 2025 1st. Having a young elite receiver in dynasty is the way to go. You’ll have Olave for another six to seven years compared to maybe three more for Pollard. In the second trade, Id probably would lean towards Lamb more only because we’ve already seen his elite production. Olave hasn’t shown that yet, so I’d take the proven production over the hypothetical production in this trade.
The third trade it’s an excellent trade for Olave. Unless that 2023 first is the 1.01, Olave wins this deal. Olave is better than almost every player in this class, and while Rachaad White is solid, the concern is with the lack of success with the Bucs’ offense without Tom Brady. In the final trade, like with Lamb, I’m going with the success I’ve seen. A 2024 first, and Johnston is tough to give up because I like Johnston, but Olave has shown us glimpses of elite production. Olave’s elite talent is worth giving up solid assets.
Olave is on the rise in his dynasty value. It won’t be long until he is considered one of the best dynasty receivers in the game. The upgrade to Carr should continue to build on his talent for the long haul. As both contending and rebuilding teams, Olave is an excellent receiver to own on your teams. He is currently my dynasty WR11 at the moment. Trading for Olave may seem like a lot to some because the noise on him is minimal, and soon enough, those trades you make now will look like bargains. He has a future top-5 potential in his game and will start showing it in 2023.
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