WR Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints
|6-3, 212||Born: 3-3-1993||College: Ohio St.||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2016|
Week 14: vs San Francisco 49ers
FBG says: Bad matchup. Drew Brees continues to play at an upper-tier level here in Year 19, completing a league-best 74% of his throws - nothing new for the ultra-precise Brees. That said, he hasn't shown much dynamism of late, with the Saints' downfield attack hardly in play over the past month or so. Brees has produced just 6.8 yards per attempt since the Week 10 bye, falling below 230 in 2 of those 4 games. In other words, he's performing on a mortal level but still among the league's most efficient passers. Throwing to Michael Thomas, who's on pace to best Marvin Harrison's receptions record, Brees always boasts a stable fantasy floor, if only through volume. Last week's 30 attempts were his lowest of the season by far. Beyond Thomas, there's every-week potential but not much consistency among Brees' weapons. Tight end Jared Cook has posted 74+ yards in 3 of his last 4 games, but is occasionally shut far out of the gameplan. Running back Alvin Kamara is a true threat to score on every touch, but has surprisingly put up just 5.6 per catch during his 7-game touchdown drought. Back in Week 2, the 49ers allowed Andy Dalton to throw for 311 yards in a game fueled by garbage time. And to date, he's been the only opponent to reach even 250 against the league's most smothering unit. They lead the way comfortably in yardage allowed per attempt and per game, and only three teams have allowed more touchdowns. In their past 2 games against Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson, they gave up a total of 224 yards to the pair. The pass rush is top-notch, pressuring quarterbacks at the NFL's highest rate despite blitzing very rarely. And Richard Sherman continues to lead a shutdown secondary that's thoroughly shut down an impressive batch of receivers, including Davante Adams (43 yards), D.J. Moore (38), and Tyler Lockett (26). Sherman's Week 14 availability, however, is up in the air after spraining his knee last Sunday. This is a deep group, but he's obviously a huge piece of the 49ers' puzzle in containing Michael Thomas.
Recent Stats and Projections
Weekly Performance vs WR 1, WR 12, WR 24, WR 36
Michael Thomas's percentile rank in each category, among WR with more than 50 fantasy points.
Recent Game Summaries
2019 Week 13 vs ATL (8 / 6 / 48 / 0 rec)
Thomas finally looked human this week and had a very average game. He caught 6 of his 8 targets and had his first drop in nearly 200 receptions. The Saints passing attack focused on short slants and quick hitting plays this week to try and keep Drew Brees from being sacked. They were missing their starting right tackle and did not trust the back up in pass coverage. Thomas' longest catch was 14 yards and the Saints did not try and push the ball down the field to him at all. Thomas had under 100 yards receiving for the first time in 5 games and did not lead the team in receiving for the first time in that same time frame. It was more the offensive game plan for the Saints rather than the way Thomas played this week that accounted for the less than average stat line. The drop on an out route was very uncharacteristic for Thomas and something we are not used to seeing.
2019 Week 12 vs CAR (11 / 10 / 101 / 1 rec)
Another week and another dominating performance by Thomas. Thomas is leading all receivers in catches this season and added another 10 on 11 targets. He continues to be on pace to break the single season reception record and has an outside chance at a 2,000-yard season. Thomas now has 100+ receiving yards in 5 straight games and a touchdown in 3 out of his last 4. His longest catch went for 24 yards and he averaged 10.1 yards per catch. Thomas came up big in the second half when he caught Brees 3rd touchdown of the game. It was a play action pass with Thomas streaking across the middle of the field in the back of the end zone. He ran his route through a wall of defenders and other Saints player's routes and was able to get a step on his man for an easy touchdown. Thomas will get another great matchup next week against a struggling Atlanta secondary that let Chris Godwin run wild against them. Look for Thomas to add to his 100-yard game streak and score a touchdown.
2019 Week 11 vs TB (11 / 8 / 114 / 1 rec)
Another week and another dominating performance by Thomas. The top receiver for the Saints caught 8 of his 11 targets for more than 100 yards and a touchdown this week. He became the first player in NFL history to have 90+ receptions in their team's first 10 games of the season. Thomas has a chance to catch Marvin Harrison's record of 143 in a season but would still need several big games to do so. Thomas kicked off the scoring with a 16-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter after Jameis Winston threw an interception on the Tampa side of the field. Thomas ran a wheel route underneath Ginn's inside slant and the defense had no idea what to do. The outside corner started working in with Ginn before realizing Thomas was wide open down the side line for the walk-in score. It was an easy pitch and catch for a touchdown on a great play design. Thomas added a 41-yard catch and run on what looked like almost the exact same play but with different players. This time it was Thomas who came on the in cut with Taysom Hill working the wheel to the outside. The defense stayed to the outside and Thomas caught the ball across the middle for an easy first down and then turned on the jets down the side line for a 41-yard gain. It has been an outstanding season for Thomas so far and he is on pace for 150 receptions and over 1800 yards receiving. Look for another big game next week against the Panthers.
2019 Week 10 vs ATL (14 / 13 / 152 / 0 rec)
The only thing that seemed normal for the Saints this week was the stat line for Thomas. He caught 13 of his 14 targets and had more than 150 yards receiving. The only thing that was missing was a trip into the end zone. Thomas' yards came in chunks this week with his longest reception going for 18 yards. There was no true big play that accounted for a big portion of his yards. It seems like his yardage should have accounted for more first downs and helped the Saints move the ball a lot more. This is where the sacks came into play and kept pushing the Saints back. Thomas is now the youngest and fastest player to 400 receptions and is on pace to shatter receiving records if he keeps it up. It did not seem to matter if it was Brees or Bridgewater throwing him the ball, he got his receptions and yards. Look for the Saints to attack next week and there is a good chance that Thomas finds the end zone against Tampa Bay.
2019 Week 8 vs ARI (11 / 11 / 112 / 1 rec, 1 / -9 / 0 rush)
Even though Thomas seemed to connect with Teddy Bridgewater, he got an instant boost when Brees returned to the lineup. Thomas caught all 11 of his targets this week, including a long 28-yard pass across the middle that helped set up a Latavius Murray touchdown run. Thomas chipped in with a touchdown of his own to put the game out of reach for the Cardinals. The drive was set up by a 28-yard Murray run and a 36-yard pass to Taysom Hill. Brees then found Thomas across the middle on a drag route where the big receiver spun and powered his way into the end zone. Thomas recorded 100+ yards receiving for the second straight week and is primed to have another big day when the Saints take on the Falcons after their Bye week. Brees to Thomas is a connection we are going to hear a lot for the rest of the season.
2019 Week 7 vs CHI (11 / 9 / 131 / 0 rec)
The only thing that did not go right for Thomas this week was he did not find the end zone. Bridgewater and Thomas connected on 9 of 11 passes for 131 yards. Thomas had a long 34-yard catch than ranked only second to Ginn's 45-yard route. Thomas averaged 14.6+ yards per catch and was a first down machine against the Bears. He did a great job finding the holes in the Bears zone coverage this week and gave Bridgewater a big target. With Brees, Kamara, and Cook out this week, Thomas was the man for the Saints receiving core. This was his 3rd 100-yard receiving game of the season and a 3rd straight game with 10+ targets. Everyone thought he would take a hit with Bridgewater at quarterback, but Thomas has shown he can catch the ball from anyone.
2019 Week 6 vs JAX (12 / 8 / 89 / 0 rec)
It was another week and another 10+ target game for Thomas. He seemed to be all over the field today and was Bridgewater's favorite target by far. Thomas caught 8 of 12 targets for 89 yards and had a long 26-yard catch to help setup the lone touchdown drive. The chemistry between Bridgewater and Thomas has grown each week. It was a much quieter week against the Jaguars after the duo broke out last week, but Thomas is a big reason why the Saints are moving the ball and having any chance at winning. The running game has been struggling and Thomas has picked up the slack. Ted Ginn broke another big play this week and should continue to take some pressure of Thomas and break up the double teams and safety coverage over the top. Jared Cook has also stepped up and could draw coverage to the middle of the field and leave Thomas 1 on 1 on the outside. It will be a tough matchup next week against the Bears for Thomas, but he could be in line for a very similar stat line to what he had this week.
2019 Week 5 vs TB (13 / 11 / 182 / 2 rec)
When looking at the stat line for Thomas this week, most people would think Drew Brees came back and the duo was back to their old tricks. It turns out the offensive line remembered how to protect Bridgewater and he had time to get the ball down the field to Thomas. He caught 11 of his 13 targets, chipped in 2 touchdowns, and was able to run routes deeper down the field for big chunks of yards this week. Thomas had the longest play of the game for either team this week with his 42-yard catch and run down the sideline. The play was challenged for potential offensive pass interference and the refs deemed he did not push off enough to warrant a flag. The first touchdown for Thomas was of the 14-yard variety. Thomas caught the ball on an out route that was well short of the first down marker, let alone the goal line, but he turned up field and used his big body to reach across the goal line for the score. The play was reviewed, and the replay showed he got the ball just inside of the pylon and the touchdown call stood. The second touchdown went for 12 yards and again had Thomas show off his powerful running skills. HE caught the ball well short of the end zone and broke a tackle before spinning through another and into the end zone. It was a poor tackling effort by the Tampa secondary that led to this score. This is the type of day we came to expect from Thomas when Brees was under center, but now it looks like Bridgewater is starting to build the same level of chemistry. Thomas could be in line for another big game next week if Jalen Ramsey continues to sit out for Jacksonville.
2019 Week 4 vs DAL (9 / 9 / 95 / 0 rec)
Thomas was the only player who saw his normal volume this week and was able to do something with it. He caught all 9 of his targets and helped Bridgewater move the chains and get into field goal range for the Saints. His longest catch went for 20 yards and he fell just short of 100 yards for the game. Thomas has taken a hit since Brees was lost to injury but not nearly as much as other players in the offense. Ted Ginn continues to struggle on the other side and there is no clear 3rd receiver to push Thomas for targets. Thomas should see a fair amount of volume against Tampa next week and should project out to 100 yards and a touchdown.
2019 Week 3 vs SEA (7 / 5 / 54 / 1 rec)
It was not the best game for Thomas this week, but he managed to be very productive with the opportunity given. He caught 5 of his 7 targets and hauled in an important touchdown to kick off the second half. It may be one of the easiest touchdowns he will ever score as it came from the 1-yard line and all Thomas had to do was catch the ball and fall across the goal line. The Saints lined up in a bunch set and it was a simple wide receiver screen that Thomas caught for the score. His longest catch went for 18 yards and he had just over 50 total yards for the game. Thomas and Bridgewater do not have the same connection as Thomas and Brees, but he is still the top receiving option for the Saints and will see his fair share of targets while Brees is out.
2019 Week 2 vs LAR (13 / 10 / 89 / 0 rec)
It took a while to get going with Bridgewater, but Thomas ended the day with 10 receptions on 13 targets. Unfortunately, those receptions did not come with big chunks of yards like the usually do with Brees and Thomas was held to under 100 yards this week. His longest catch was a 19-yard catch across the middle, but the Rams did a great job tackling and limiting yards after the catch for Thomas. The volume was there this week, but the overall productivity was limited by an offense that just was not clicking. Thomas will take on a Seattle defense that let Andy Dalton throw for more than 400 yards in week 1, but he will need the offensive line to protect the quarterback long enough to get him the ball next week.
2019 Week 1 vs HOU (13 / 10 / 123 / 0 rec)
Another week and another 10 catch, 100-yard performance for Thomas. He continues to be Brees favorite target and can lineup anywhere on the field and run any route. Thomas caught 10 of his 13 targets and made big chunk plays all over the field. He continues to be the most dangerous on short crossing routes and quick out routes 10 yards down the field. His longest play of the game was a 24-yard catch and run down the sideline to help setup a red zone chance for the Saints. Thomas also played a big role in the final drive where he grabbed an 11-yard reception to push the Saints over mid field and setup the next play to get into field goal range. Thomas did not find the end zone this week and was double covered in the red zone and goal to go situations. Thomas is a lock to find the end zone several times this year with the sheer volume of passes coming his way. If Ginn can stay healthy, teams will not be able to double Thomas or provide help over the top as much and it should open things up even more. Look for Thomas to have another big week next weekend against the Rams.
Latest NewsSaints | Michael Thomas held to season low in yardage (Fri Nov 29, 12:55 AM) - New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas had six receptions for 48 yards in a Week 13 win over the Atlanta Falcons. Our View: Thomas also had his first drop of the year, in fact in over a year. He's still the most valuable receiver in fantasy football.
link to story Saints | Michael Thomas keeps delivering (Sun Nov 24, 10:26 PM) - New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas topped 100 receiving yards for the fifth straight game, finishing with 10 catches on 11 targets for 101 yards and a touchdown in a 34-31 win over the Carolina Panthers in Week 12. link to story
New Orleans Saints Team LinksDepth Chart Season Stats Targets Red Zone Game Logs
Footballguys ArticlesRoundtable Week 14
FBG Staff - December 5
The Sharp Report Week 11
Ryan Zamichieli - November 14
Starting Stacks for Week 11
Scott Bischoff - November 14
The Sharp Report Week 10
Ryan Zamichieli - November 9
Starting Stacks for Week 10
Scott Bischoff - November 7
The Sharp Report Week 6
Ryan Zamichieli - October 9
The Best of Footballguys Week 5
Matt Waldman - October 4
The Best of Footballguys Week 4
Matt Waldman - September 26
Roundtable Week 3
FBG Staff - September 18
The Top 10: Week 3
Matt Waldman - September 16
Articles from around the webWhat We Learned in 2018: Wide Receiver
- February 4
Fabiano's post-draft five round fantasy mock draft
Michael Fabiano - May 8
BEST-BALL WR TIERS
John Daigle - May 9
Fantasy football mock drafts: Strategies from a 12-team PPR draft
Daniel Kelley - May 21
Breakout age: Using PFF grades to identify potential breakout rookie fantasy receivers
Scott Barrett - May 23
Using college aDOT to project WR fantasy performance
Jeff Ratcliffe - May 24
Fantasy Strength of Schedule: Receivers with Reception Points
David Dorey - May 27
Vance McDonald: Your Typical Seventh-Year Breakout Tight End
Bennie Contrino - May 28
Players Who Are Better/Worse in Best-Ball Leagues
Mike Tagliere - May 29
The 2018 NFL Clutch Team
Ben Linsey - May 31
|14||vs San Francisco 49ers|
|15||vs Indianapolis Colts|
|16||@ Tennessee Titans|
|17||@ Carolina Panthers|