Emmanuel Sanders has become the New Orleans Saints’ de facto top wideout with Michael Thomas sidelined the past two games. Then, with Tre’Quan Smith also out in Week 16, Marquez Callaway picked up more of the slack. What can these two accomplish Sunday versus the Carolina Panthers?
Fantasy Football analysis: Saints WRs Emmanuel Sanders, Marquez Callaway
Although Sanders has not become a target monster as the Saints’ receiving corps thins, he has made the most of his looks. In these past two games, he has caught eight of 10 targets for 159 yards. He has topped 75 yards in each game, led the team in receptions and receiving yards and trailed only Alvin Kamara in targets (11 to 10).
Callaway stepped up a little bit last week, catching three of four targets for 26 yards. That was good enough to make him New Orleans’ second-most productive wide receiver in Week 16. He played the most snaps of any wideout on the team. The undrafted rookie also knows a little something about producing against the Panthers; he posted a 8-75-0 line on 10 targets versus Carolina in Week 7. That stands as his best statistical performance to date. Sanders and Thomas were inactive that day.
The Panthers’ pass defense is far from indomitable. It hasn’t allowed a TD to a wideout over the past two weeks, but don’t forget that they permitted three WR scores to the Denver Broncos in Week 14. It’s ultimately a middle-of-the-road matchup for Sanders and Callaway.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sanders costs $5,500 on DraftKings. He’s a stellar WR3 in season-long formats. With Thomas and Smith out, I wouldn’t mind trying Callaway as a DraftKings punt play at just $3,200.