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Week 4 Dynasty Stock Watch: Chris Olave, Rashod Bateman, Mack Hollins

Dynasty buy, sell, hold and trade advice for Chris Olave, Rashod Bateman and Mack Hollins.

Catching grief is part of the gig when writing about fantasy football.

After doing this for about a decade, it doesn’t faze me. Even the most well-researched hot take can be lambasted with a meme take. “Best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” I don’t take it personally. 

And, look, if I was right even 60% of the time on my NFL musings, I’d be between mai tais, living on a golf course on an island at some faraway beach resort, calling in my bets to some personal sportsbook contact I’ve got on speed-dial while getting pampered and massaged with expensive oils and extracts. But I’m not, so that’s why I’m here with you. Trying to figure it out—to help you get closer to being correct half the time.

In last week's Dynasty Stock Watch, I caught hell for not pricing Tom Brady right, having the apparently not-so-bold take that CeeDee Lamb should be a wait-and-see hold, and I may have overhyped J.K. Dobbins after a meh Week 3 performance in his season debut against the Patriots. They can't all be winners—heaven forbid I get some instant gratification on these calls. But some are right enough for now and some could change for the better further down the line. I'm doing my best and I hope in your work and life, you're doing well too.

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Sep 25, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave (12) reacts after catching the ball in the second quarter at Bank of America Stadium.

WR Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

With defenses committed to stopping Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, Saints rookie wide receiver Chris Olave is in the midst of reaching dynasty darling status.

In a Week 3 loss versus the Panthers, he collected nine catches on 13 targets for 147 yards. In three games, he now has 17 receptions for 268 yards on 29 targets. Now, I would like to see that catch rate improve (58.6%), but that’s nitpicking and that’s also the life of a guy being targeted downfield. On passes of 20-plus yards, Olave leads the league with 10 targets and his four receptions are tied for second. His 19.3 average depth of target (aDOT), 541 air yards and 31.8 air yards per reception (AIR/R) are all off the charts for any receiver, let alone a rookie.

Although Olave’s price tag is growing rapidly, it may be time to double-down. Meaning, we are all witnessing the possible ascension of a great player, right? If you’re bought-in and believe this is the beginning of something special, you should buy even with what may be an inflated cost. Yes, you’ll have to pay up big, but if you believe Olave has Justin Jefferson or Ja’Marr Chase levels of upside, you would get great value even if you overspend. You can try to nickel-and-dime your way to acquiring value. No shame in that. You can lament your draft day decisions. No shame in that either. You can also swing big and look to land big fish. 

Is there enough production in the Saints’ offense for a player to overtake Thomas? On paper, it’s not an ideal situation as Thomas won’t be a free agent until 2024. But we can’t get lost in the weeds of splitting hairs. The Saints could restructure Thomas’s deal to make it more trade friendly or he could suffer another season-ending injury. Eyes on the prize! Am I saying Olave is worth all this extra draft capital? I don’t know and I don’t know that I have the guts for it even if I believed he was poised for that level of breakout. As long as you understand and accept the risk because everything on paper backs up what we’ve seen so far: something special. It also doesn’t hurt that the Saints and Jameis Winston are slinging it.

Price check: 2023 early 1st and 2023 mid 2nd
Win-now: Buy/Hold
Rebuild: Buy/Hold

WR Mack Hollins, Las Vegas Raiders

Speaking of deep threats, Mack Hollins didn’t exactly come out of nowhere after posting a solid five receptions for 66 yards in Week 2, but he made a big splash in Week 3 with eight receptions off of 10 targets for 158 yards and a touchdown. If you’re worried about Hunter Renfrow coming back soon after sustaining a concussion in Week 2 and taking back his No. 2 WR status in Las Vegas; don’t be.

Like Olave, we’re seeing interesting downfield numbers with Hollins. He’s been targeted three times on passes of 20-plus yards for two receptions and 108 yards—one of those came against contested coverage. By an odd twist of fate, Davante Adams has six targets on 20-plus yards passes with zero receptions. That feels like an outlier but it is generally aligned with Adams’s skill set, which has been focused on route running, short area quickness, footwork, body control and hands. Of course. he’s going get his in this offense eventually and it wouldn’t be shocking if Adams has more than double the production on deep passes than the Raiders’ next-best pass-catcher. But Hollins can’t be blown off just yet. At 6’4” and 221 lbs., Hollins is like Darren Waller-lite in that he is a big-bodied target with plus-speed who can take advantage of matchups against smaller corners on the outside.

The problem for dynasty managers? Hollins is 29. Even if you’re a believer all of a sudden, all the breakout potential in the world can only excite you so much. Hollins had a couple nice moments with the Dolphins over the last couple years. A big 65-yard touchdown reception against the Jets in Week 11 of 2021. Five catches on nine targets for 66 yards against the Chiefs in Week 14 of 2020. Yes, he looked impressive last week. I'm just not paying for it. In redraft, I can't fault you for taking a shot on Hollins but in dynasty, I'll spend $1 FAAB and no more.

Price check: $1 FAAB
Win-now: Sell
Rebuild: Sell

WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens

It's pretty easy to like anyone from the Ravens right now. Lamar Jackson has been unreal. He's spreading it around. Mark Andrews is doing his thing, Devin Duvernay has been a pleasant surprise, they’ve got Dobbins back in the fold and I like the tenacity on display when Justice Hill has the ball in his hands. Baltimore’s 99 points scored through three games leads the league. So why then would I dare to suggest you should sell Rashod Bateman?

I'm drawn to volume. In PPR, I want the guy who's getting the targets to get six catches every week rather than the guy who's scoring a touchdown every week. Consistency is already hard enough to come by in this game and receivers who see volume targets, just make more sense to me. For example, I know a lot of people expected Diontae Johnson to take a step back this year. That's valid and maybe he still will come to fruition. But through three games, he has 21 receptions on 33 targets and both those totals slightly outpace his 2021 season. I know it's still early, I'm just saying. I'm trying to illustrate a point.

Bateman really reminds of DeSean Jackson and I mean that as a compliment for you young’ns who maybe don’t remember when DJax was in his prime. Jackson was otherworldly and unlike most deep threats, he could do it almost every week. In his second year—Bateman’s also in his second year coincidentally—Jackson had his best season with 62 receptions on 117 targets for 1,156 yards and nine touchdowns. He was actually the third-best fantasy receiver that year. But his catch rate was always spotty over the years, as it should be for a big play guy and his first down totals were always pretty underwhelming. And I mention first down totals, because to me, that measures a player’s level of involvement in an offense. When you hear leaders in that stat so far this season, they’re all fantasy studs: Chase, Cooper Kupp, Andrews, Stefon Diggs and so on. Bateman’s never going to be that guy because he doesn’t get the volume. Historically speaking, receivers who move the chains and can rely less on big plays have fared better. It’s the superstars who can move the chains and make big plays.

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Bateman has 16 targets with eight receptions through three games. That low volume is offset by being a deep-threat aficionado because he has 226 yards and two touchdowns. Of those eight catches, three have gone for 20-plus yards (55-yard TD in Week 1, 75-yard TD in Week 2 and a 24-yarder and 35-yarder in Week 3).

Now, can you really rely on Bateman to make big play after big play week after week? I think you could if the volume was there. That’s up to you to take that stance because I can’t advocate for it. Especially when Lamar Jackson is already playing so well and even still, Bateman has very underwhelming volume with better-than-expected results. I don’t believe that’s sustainable. Although I guess it’s possible Jackson throws for almost 60 touchdowns at this rate. If that happens, then I’m probably wrong about Bateman this season at least.

Even DJax, who I believe was one of the best deep threats of the last however many years, if not of all-time, and has lost some of the respect he should be due because he played a few too many years toward the end, had a very limited fantasy shelf life. And even when he was at his best, he was averaging way more than Bateman’s 5.3 targets per game. In Jackson’s big 2009 season, he had 7.8 targets per game and in his next-best fantasy season (WR10 finish), he averaged 7.9 targets per game. Now, if Bateman gets his volume up or his efficiency numbers take off, then I’ll vouch for the guy. But for now, he’s only a hold or sell for my tastes.

Price check: 2023 early to mid 1st 
Win-now: Hold/Sell
Rebuild: Hold/Sell

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