Marquez Callaway will explode in the Saints Week 1 game
By: Jeremy Trottier
The New Orleans Saints have had a pretty intriguing offseason, primarily in the wide receiver room, as many moves have happened. WR1 Michael Thomas is expected to miss time with an ankle surgery recovery, previous WR2 Emmanuel Sanders has left, WR3 Tre’Quan Smith is battling a hamstring injury still, Deonte Harris is facing suspension still, despite gameday nearing, etc. The one bright spot at the top of the new depth chart is 2020 UDFA Marquez Callaway from Tennessee University. Callaway has solidified at the very least a starting role in the Saints offense as of now, if not the top receiver spot prior to a Thomas return. In this article, I will be going over what to expect from Marquez Callaway in week 1.
Large Score in PPR Leagues
I personally believe that Callaway will have a high volume of offensive passing touches, which will lead to some high PPR numbers if anything. He should most definitely have double-digit receptions at the very least, as with the Tre’Quan Smith injury putting him back out of practice today and not many outside options otherwise, he is the primary target for the Saints. Even with having to go up against Jaire Alexander this weekend, he should be able to get open a few times with his route tree or make some contested catches when available.
Quick, Short, Shifty Route Tree
I fully expect this game to be a battle of how the Saints can play the short pass and then throw one or two deep passes and catch the Packers defense off guard if possible. Callaway should be running a tree primarily consisting of curls, flats, slants, and short-out routes to be able to get underneath the defense and open up some capability for Deonte Harris to get behind the defense. Letting Callaway play the short passing game and letting Jameis Winston get the ball out quickly and effectively should help this offense move the chains.
Tone Setting Deep Catch or Two
As we saw in the preseason, Callaway was able to keep up with the likes of Marlon Humphrey for a few downs before he was taken off to prevent injury, and against Shaq Griffin for a longer period of time where he had his two amazing touchdown catches, even regardless of coverage, the catches were spectacular. We should expect to see one or two catches of this nature again, not necessarily touchdowns, but large gains of 25+ where they can keep the defense honest by opening it up in the safety level.
This deep placement should allow for Alvin Kamara to get some more touches and rushes if used at the correct time, as the defense will be forced to put men further back in coverage to prevent the deep pass, which opens up screens and zone rushes for Kamara. Callaway overall should have a solid game, I am not sure to expect him to be having the showing of a lifetime yet where he absolutely torches the opposing defense, but it should be a respectable statline nonetheless.