Entering the 2023 season, fantasy football managers were excited about the potential of this New Orleans Saints offense and, more specifically, what their receivers could offer. Chris Olave was supposed to be the star, Rashid Shaheed the upside option, and Michael Thomas the lineup stabilizing force that would consistently produce Flex-worthy numbers.
They might all be on the shelf with your fantasy playoffs rapidly approaching.
Thomas was placed on injured reserve (IR) entering Week 12, while Olave and Shaheed both exited during the game against the Atlanta Falcons. All injuries open up opportunities for new players, but not all increases in roles are noteworthy for fantasy managers. Who’s left in New Orleans, and does it matter?
Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed Injury Reaction
A concussion ended Olave’s day after he caught seven of nine targets for 114 yards in a dominating effort. After a slow start to the season, he scored in his two games prior to his promising start to Week 12, slowly rounding into the form we all expected.
The league’s concussion protocol has largely kept players out one week, something we have to assume at the moment until otherwise. Olave remains an obvious hold and should be in a great spot to help you when all of your league chips are in the middle of the table.
- Week 14 vs. Panthers
- Week 15 vs. Giants
- Week 16 at Rams (Thursday Night Football)
- Week 17 at Buccaneers
Shaheed, on the other hand, is more of a wait-and-see situation. Even when healthy, he’s little more than a dart throw that comes with a wide range of outcomes. Shaheed can leverage that favorable schedule into Flex consideration if healthy, but should this injury linger, he’s on the roster chopping block for teams that need production now.
New Orleans Saints: Injury Replacements
New Orleans’ fill-in options at receiver will see a slight uptick in targets, but they’re unlikely to hold consistent value. Keith Kirkwood and A.T. Perry are the names to know in that regard, but both profile as DFS fliers more than anything.
The opening of targets does help add value to both tight ends. Juwan Johnson was dinged up during this game as well, but if cleared of all obstacles heading into next week, he’s a top-15 option who is a fine streamer with six teams on a bye in Week 13.
The rash of injuries increases the value of Taysom Hill to the Saints and us alike. The Swiss Army Knife can fill plenty of roles, and with so much of his usage coming in the red zone, Hill is a top-10 tight end for me moving forward.
The Saints are clearly comfortable with him handling valuable snaps, which gives him a favorable floor/ceiling profile over many at the position.
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