Week 7 was a relatively light week on the injury front, but the New Orleans Saints came into the week down their top three wide receivers. That thrust Marquez Callaway into the WR1 role. How much of a priority is Callaway for fantasy football managers to add off the waiver wire ahead of Week 7?
Marquez Callaway Was the Saints’ WR1 in Week 7
It’s always nice to start things out on a positive note. Callaway played 75% of the offensive snaps in Week 7. He led the Saints’ pass catchers in routes run (33) and targets (7).
While Alvin Kamara did have more targets (9) than Callaway, no other wide receiver saw more than three targets. Callaway was clearly the lead guy.
Marquez Callaway Has Never Had Success, Regardless of His Role
Now, for the not-so-good news. The Saints remain a low-volume passing offense. In his three starts, Andy Dalton is averaging just 28 pass attempts per game. The Saints are scoring points, too. They’ve averaged 30 points per game with Dalton under center. Yet, Callaway hasn’t caught more than three balls in a game this season.
We’ve seen Callaway operate in the WR1 role before. He did it for the entire 2021 season. Last year, he commanded just an 18% target share and averaged 8.9 PPR fantasy points per game. Simply put, Callaway has never proven capable of being fantasy-relevant.
The Saints play the Cardinals on Thursday night this week. Chris Olave is expected to return after missing last week with a concussion and immediately resume his WR1 duties. If Callaway couldn’t produce as the team’s WR1, there’s no reason to think things will be better with him as the WR2.
In general, we don’t want to force Thursday night players into our lineups. Given Callaway’s lack of long-term success, fantasy managers adding him off the waiver wire would be doing so primarily for a spot start to cover bye weeks or injuries. I just can’t advise that being a good idea.
How Aggressively Should Fantasy Managers Pursue Callaway off the Waiver Wire?
Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry are not expected to play against the Cardinals. In the absence of Thomas and Landry, Callaway will likely be on the field in two-receiver sets opposite Olave. That at least gives him a chance to do something.
With that said, I would not target Callaway on the Week 7 waiver wire. He’s not a recommended start this week. While Thomas and Landry might be out beyond this week, we haven’t seen any notable improvement in Callaway’s performance without them in the lineup.
For context, I’m in a league that starts 3 WRs, 2 RBs, and 3 Flexes. I picked up Callaway on Saturday night just to give myself the option. But even in that deep of a league, I didn’t feel confident enough starting him.
Most of you out there are in leagues with much smaller starting lineups. You are never going to need to start Callaway. He is not worth your waiver priority or any percentage of your remaining FAAB.