Michael Thomas has led the Saints in targets, catches and touchdowns for two straight years. That sentence alone might be enough to sell you on putting him on your squad. His yardage isn't bad either -- he's averaged 78.7 yards per game in 33 matchups (playoffs included). If there's a nitpick, it's that he has only six 100-yard games. Fine, we won't confuse Thomas for Julio Jones, but he's proven to be the go-to guy for Drew Brees, which still means a bunch even as the Saints transition to a more balanced approach offensively. For those disappointed with Thomas' 2017 stats, the Saints' addition of Cameron Meredith should help limit double coverage on Thomas. That should bring his touchdown totals up from the five he had last year. The 6-foot-3 receiver is a sure-fire No. 1 Fantasy wideout, practically a certainty to get picked between 13th and 18th overall in every draft.
Thomas caught two passes on three targets for 12 yards in Friday's preseason game against the Cardinals. Starting quarterback Drew Brees sat out the Saints' second preseason game, and Thomas accomplished little with backups Tayson Hill and Tom Savage under center. Still, no player in NFL history has caught more passes in his first two seasons than Thomas, who should again rank as a No. 1 fantasy receiver once the games start to count.
Thomas said he added some muscle without gaining weight this offseason, Nick Underhill of The New Orleans Advocate reports. While there isn't much room for improvement with a player this good, Thomas does think he can do a better job beating exotic coverages and double-teams. He could get a few more looks in the end zone if his offseason work pays off, following a 2017 campaign in which the only disappointment was his lack of touchdowns. Thomas tied for third in the NFL with seven catches (five TDs) on plays inside the 10-yard line, but he didn't score from outside that range. While unlikely to ever become a major deep threat, he did score from 32, 21 and 14 yards out as a rookie in 2016, finishing with nine TDs on 92 catches. Locked in as the No. 1 receiver in a high-powered offense with shaky tight ends, Thomas is a strong bet to improve on last year's scoring mark, even if offseason addition Cameron Meredith (knee) ends up healthy and productive.
Thomas caught seven of 13 targets for 85 yards and two touchdowns during Sunday's 29-24 NFC divisional-round loss to the Vikings. Although his team wasn't able to pull out the victory, Thomas put together a very impressive performance against a secondary that allowed a league-low 6.0 yards per pass attempt during the regular season. In fact, Thomas was giving Vikings' first-team All-Pro corner Xavier Rhodes fits throughout most of the game, causing Rhodes to get visibly upset on multiple occasions. It's clear the second-year receiver has already established himself as an upper-echelon NFL wideout after backing up his prolific rookie season with a 100-catch, 1,000-yard season during the 2017 campaign. With the Saints set to bring back practically all of its key offensive cogs next season, there's nothing to suggest Thomas can't continue to produce at this rate.
Thomas caught eight of nine targets for 131 yards in Sunday's 31-26 NFC wild-card win over the Panthers. Thomas was tremendous in his playoff debut, catching just about everything thrown his way. The 24-year-old's lofty totals, which led the Saints across the board, also included a season-long, 46-yard gain. With clutch catches sprinkled in as well, Thomas will now prepare for next Sunday's divisional round matchup against cornerback Xavier Rhodes and the Vikings.
Thomas (hamstring) was a full practice participant Thursday. A hamstring issue was noted only days before a Week 16 showdown with the Falcons, and while Thomas proceeded to play a season-low 62.5 percent of the snaps on offense, he hauled in four of five passes for 66 yards. He one-upped himself in the regular-season finale, reaching 90 receiving yards for the fifth time in eight games to close out the year. With the injury more or less an afterthought heading into the weekend, Thomas will seek to replicate his success from two earlier matchups with the Panthers, against whom he totaled 12 catches (on 17 targets) for 157 yards and two touchdowns.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
|4||09/30||@New York Giants||25||20.75|
|9||11/04||Los Angeles Rams||11||18.47|
|14||12/09||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||31||23.75|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||136||98||1191||7||66||12.15||159|