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Chris Olave Thriving in Michael Thomas' Absence

The general consensus on Saints WR Chris Olave is that his 2023 season has left a lot of meat still on the bone, especially when compared to the expectations that he entered this season with based on his historic rookie year. While his sophomore campaign hasn’t exactly unfolded the way fantasy managers hoped it would after spending, at times, high second round picks for his services in their drafts, he’s come on as of late thanks to his running mate, Michael Thomas, exiting the lineup due to injury.

The difference in Chris Olave’s production from Weeks 1-9 with Thomas in the lineup vs in Weeks 10-16 without him in the lineup is eye-opening: when Michael Thomas was active through the first nine weeks of the season, Olave averaged just 1.69 yards per route run and 13.1 fantasy points per game - good for 28th and 29th in the league, respectively. Olave had just two finishes inside the top-10 in that span and scored just two touchdowns, as well, through Week 9. But once Thomas was off the field, Olave flipped the switch.

From Week 10 up until now (5 games), Olave has averaged the second-most yards per route run of any NFL receiver to run at least 50 routes, along with 18.6 PPR fantasy points per game – good for the WR8 in ppg in that span. He’s also had at least 90 yards receiving in four of his last five games, and hasn’t scored fewer than 12 PPR points in a single game since Week 9. Thomas’s departure has made Olave into a fantasy star, and one you can trust in your lineup week in and week out.


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