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WR Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints

6-3, 212Born: 3-3-1993College: Ohio St.Drafted: Round 2

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Recent Stats and Projections

17 at TB 53 0 0 0 8 6 94 0 0 9.4
18 vs CAR 49 0 0 0 9 8 131 0 0 13.1
19 at MIN 63 0 0 0 13 7 85 2 0 20.5

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 19 vs MIN (13 / 7 / 85 / 2 rec)

The first half for Michael Thomas looked a lot like when these 2 teams first played each other. Thomas against Rhodes and Rhodes was getting the better of the matchup. The second half was a totally different story as a new scheme from New Orleans got Thomas on different defenders. Rhodes continued to play on the outside and Thomas moved around into the slot to create different matchups. The second half produced 2 touchdowns for Thomas when Rhodes was not in coverage. The first was a simple drag route across the field where Thomas outran his defender to the pylon and Brees lead him far enough that he could get in the end zone. The second was an easy 3-yard catch in the seam where Thomas made a quick move at the line and made the easy catch in front of a defender that did not press him at the line. Thomas was the target in the red zone where a tipped Drew Brees pass was intercepted, but that had more to do with great defensive line play than anything Thomas or Brees did. The second-year receiver wrapped up an amazing season and will be the focal point of the Saints passing attack for years to come.

2017 Week 18 vs CAR (9 / 8 / 131 / 0 rec)

Thomas was Brees favorite target, as usual, this week, but was held out of the end zone as the rest of the Saints receivers stepped up. Thomasí best chance at a touchdown came on his 46-yard reception where he was tackled at the 5-yard line. Brees was able to escape the pass rush and rolled to his right, Luke Keuchly had sucked up in case Brees was going to run, and Thomas was able to settle into the void just behind the defense. IT became a foot race to the end zone that Thomas just barely lost, but the Saints were able to cash in a touchdown 2 plays later. Thomas was targeted 9 times to lead all receivers again this week and surpassed the 100 yards receiving mark. By motioning Kamara to the outside of Thomas, the Saints were able to get him into the slot and against a backup corner for much of the game. Brees was able to exploit this matchup all night but never cashed it in for a touchdown. Thomas will face Xavier Rhodes next week and will have a much tougher time getting open.

2017 Week 17 vs TB (8 / 6 / 94 / 0 rec)

Thomas continued his string of good games where he did not get in the end zone. It has been a reoccurring theme all season where Thomas is right around 100 yards receiving, led the team in targets, and still did not get in the end zone. He did have the longest offensive play of the day with a 43-yard reception deep down the right sideline. Brees led Thomas just a little too far, otherwise, it would have been an easy touchdown. Thomas had to lay out and adjust to the ball on his way to the ground to make the catch. Thomas continues to be the only option through the air for Brees as no other true receiver had more than 30 yards.

2017 Week 16 vs ATL (5 / 4 / 66 / 0 rec)

Thomas snapped his string of 3 straight games with a touchdown reception this week and only put up 66 yards. This was a very marginal game for Thomas who has emerged as a top receiving option in the NFL but has suffered a bit with the emergence of the New Orleans running game. Thomas ran his normal quick slants and deep out routes and caught 4 of his 5 targets. His biggest catch of the game was a 27-yard catch and run down the sideline that he could have broken for a touchdown if he could have passed one more defender. Thomas has been the best pure receiving option for the Saints who will need him to continue to add balance for their playoff run.

2017 Week 15 vs NYJ (11 / 9 / 93 / 1 rec)

Thomas managed 9 catches for just under 100 yards and a touchdown. Normally that would be an amazing week for any player, but Thomas could have done so much more damage. He had one touchdown overturned when the replay official ruled he was down at the 1-yard line rather than rolling into the end zone and then had a 20-yard touchdown catch taken away when his second foot came down just out of the back of the end zone. This was still a very productive game by any receiver's standards and he rectified the touchdown issue later in the game with a 4-yard reception. Thomas caught the ball 2 yards short of the end zone, made a move and walked across the goal line for a touchdown. Thomas was clearly unhappy after the second touchdown was overturned, but got to feel some redemption on his third touchdown attempt.

2017 Week 14 vs ATL (14 / 10 / 117 / 1 rec)

After Kamara went down it was Thomas that stepped up for the Saints offense. The rushing attack just did not seem the same and someone needed to fill the void. Thomas has been Brees favorite target all year long and it continued again today. The duo connected on 10 of 14 targets and most importantly, one of those catches resulted in a touchdown. This is now back to back games with a touchdown catch for Thomas and that is not something that has happened since weeks 3 and 4 earlier this season. Thomas spilled out into the flat from the 1-yard line after his man in coverage ran into Josh Hill on a pick. Then it was just an easy throw and catch for Brees and Thomas as there was no defender within 5 yards of him. The rest of his catches came on crossing routes and deep outs like they have the majority of the season. There was a scary moment when Thomas fell to the turf without seeming to have been touched. Thankfully for Saints fans, he had simply been poked in the eye in coverage and only needed one play to rebound and get back on the field. It has been a tough stretch for the Saints in the past 3 games, but Thomas has stepped up and looks to be everything the Saints wanted in the receiver that replaced Brandon Cooks.

2017 Week 13 vs CAR (9 / 5 / 70 / 1 rec)

Week 4 seems like last season at this point, but that was the last time that Thomas caught a touchdown pass. He has sprinkled in some 100-yard games and looked like his usual self, but this is the first time he has gotten into the end zone since October. The play came from the 10-yard line on 3rd and 8, Thomas ran a drag across the field and lost his coverage in the wash of defenders behind him, and Brees was able to put the ball on the sideline side where only Thomas could make a play on the ball. This looked like a play that could have been ran on any other goal to go situation this season but took almost 9 weeks to be run effectively. Thomas has done some big things since coming into the league last season and he is still Drew Brees' favorite target. Thomas was targeted 9 times this week and was able to catch 5 of those 9. The longest play of the day came on a 32-yard reception where he simply outran his base coverage and was barely tackled by a late-arriving safety down the left sideline. Thomas will have another chance to find the end zone quickly after a short week and taking on the Falcons for Thursday Night Football.

2017 Week 12 vs LAR (8 / 5 / 52 / 0 rec)

Thomas has been the best receiver all season for the Saints but he faded into the background this week against the Rams. He was second on the team with 8 targets but only managed to catch 5 and failed to reach the end zone. Almost half of his yards came on a single 24-yard reception after a deep crossing route allowed him to beat his man. Thomas had to battle an inaccurate Brees and had some issues catching the balls that we accurate. The Saints are going to need Thomas to step up next week against Carolina with first place in the division on the line.

2017 Week 11 vs WAS (11 / 6 / 91 / 0 rec)

Michael Thomas started the day off slow as he only caught one of his first five targets in this game, but it was great to see that Brees continued to trust Thomas as he targeted him 11 times in this game. The biggest trend for Thomas continues to be the lack of touchdowns as he was not targeted in the red zone in this game and 9 of his 11 targets were in the Saints own territory which for a physical receiver who does not have great speed is going to make it difficult for the touchdowns to come.

2017 Week 10 vs BUF (10 / 9 / 117 / 0 rec)

In a game that was anything but normal for the Saints offense, Thomas was able to surpass 100 yards receiving for the first time this season. Thomas also registered double-digit targets for the fifth time in 9 games and registered his second-highest average per catch this season. He was unable to reach the end zone for the 5th consecutive game, but with the Saints on a roll, there is no one complaining. Thomas had several plays over 10 yards on easy crossing routes, but his biggest play came on a 28-yard strike just before halftime. Thomas had worked his way across the field and caught the ball along the right sideline. He hurdled his defender that dove to make a tackle, but lost his balance and slowed down just long enough for the safety to come over and make a play. The drive ended in a field goal but could have been a touchdown if Thomas had not stumbled. The touchdowns will come for Thomas as the season wears on, but there is no reason to shift off the running game that has been so successful.

2017 Week 9 vs TB (11 / 8 / 65 / 0 rec)

Thomas continues to lead the team in targets, but the Saints offense is also clicking without him getting into the end zone. The big wide receiver failed to score a touchdown in just over a month now and has not broken 100 yards receiving in any of the Saints 8 games this season. Today was supposed to be a prime matchup against a poor Tampa Bay secondary but Thomas failed to connect. The lone big play came on a 24-yard catch and run where Brees hit Thomas 19 yards on the crossing route and was tackled 5 yards after the catch. The receiving core around Thomas has been getting the job done and the only people frustrated about the lack of touchdowns would be his fantasy owners. There is no discord between Thomas and Brees as t=he was still the most targeted receiver with 11. Thomas is talented enough that he will find the end zone, but as long as the team keeps winning, there is no panic in New Orleans.

2017 Week 8 vs CHI (8 / 7 / 77 / 0 rec)

Thomas had a quiet if not unspectacular game again this week. This is the third time the star receiver has failed to top 100-yards and he has not found the end zone since the week before the Saints Bye. No one in New Orleans seems to be worried, especially as the team rides a 5-game winning streak. Thomas managed to bring in 7 of his 8 targets and had one big play of 23-yards right up the middle of the field. He was covered well by Prince Amukamara, but Brees put it right in the basket with Thomas on the run. Thomas lead the team in targets again this week as well as receiving yards. The big plays may have been reserved for Ginn and Coleman, but look for Thomas to get back on track against a porous Tampa Bay secondary next week.

2017 Week 7 vs GB (11 / 7 / 82 / 0 rec)

After being a non-factor last week against Darius Slay, Thomas got back to his norm. He may not have found the end zone and was actually outpaced by Ted Ginn in yards, but he did lead the team with 11 targets and was second in yardage. Thomas' stat line could have included a touchdown and been over 100 yards had it not been for an amazing interception by Davon House. Outside of that, Thomas' biggest play came on a dying duck thrown by Brees across the middle after getting blown up in the pocket. Thomas had to make a leaping catch to protect the ball from the safety and fell to the ground immediately. If Brees had been able to step up and make an accurate throw this could have been a much bigger play up the seam. It resulted in a first down on 3rd and 9 and set up an eventual touchdown pass to Brandon Coleman.

2017 Week 6 vs DET (6 / 3 / 11 / 0 rec)

It is weird to see Thomas at the bottom of a stat sheet for New Orleans receivers but the Lions were able to keep him in check all game. Thomas was shadowed by Darius Slay and was unable to break free at all. He ranked first on the team with 6 targets but was unable to do anything with them. His longest reception was 5 yards and the most notable play to him was actually intercepted by Slay. This is a game that Thomas will want to put behind him going forward. Slay has demonstrated that he can be an elite cover man and Thomas simply fell victim to that this week. Look for a better performance next week against the Packers in Green Bay.

2017 Week 4 vs MIA (11 / 8 / 89 / 1 rec)

Michael Thomas has been the biggest weapon for the Saints' offense and showed it again today. The second-year receiver out of Ohio State scored the first touchdown of the game and added a 30-yard reception for good measure. The touchdown came on a 3-yard out where Brees rolled to his right and hit Thomas in the flat just short of the goal line. Thomas' 30-yard reception came on a busted play where Ndamukong Suh jumped offside and the entire defense seemed to freeze. Brees was able to take a free shot to Thomas down the field for a big 30-yard gain. The Saints will need a more balanced attack as the season continues but Thomas will thrive under their current pass-happy situation.

2017 Week 3 vs CAR (8 / 7 / 87 / 1 rec)

When looking at Michael Thomas' stat line it is easy to think that he had an amazing game where he was able to consistently get open, however, most of his damage came on the first Saints' drive of the game. Thomas tallied 5 of his 7 catches and 50 of his 87 yards on that drive. Carolina's defense adjusted their game plan and put a safety over the top to help double Thomas for the rest of the game. Thomas was able to sneak past the corner and in front of the safety for a 26-yard game late in the game but that was about it for the rest of the game. Even on his 26-yard catch, it was more because the safety was late getting to his spot rather than Thomas running a good route.

2017 Week 2 vs NE (10 / 5 / 89 / 0 rec)

This was the week that Michael Thomas was supposed to show Brandin Cooks that he was not missed in New Orleans, but the second-year receiver never quite broke the game open today. Thomas was Brees favorite target with 10 attempts today but was never able to find the end zone. Thomas' best play came on a play action pass the Brees put right over his outside shoulder down the sideline. Brees lead him just a little too far and took away any opportunity to run after the catch. Thomas drew a lot of double coverage on the day and almost always had a safety over the top for help. This opened things up for touchdowns to Brandon Coleman and Coby Fleener over the course of the game.

2017 Week 1 vs MIN (8 / 5 / 45 / 0 rec)

Michael Thomas has to fill the void left by Brandin Cooks departure and was Drew Brees favorite target all night long. Thomas had more targets than anyone else but was unable to find any separation after the catch. Thomas would come open on slants and posts across the middle but was tackled almost immediately after making the catch. Thomas was thrown off by a very physical Vikings defense and was visibly frustrated and looking for pass interference flags on almost every play. Thomas made a nice 14-yard grab in traffic to give the Saints a first down early in the second half but was again tackled immediately. Thomas will have his chances against a porous New England secondary that was exposed against the Chiefs in week one.


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Footballguys Articles

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