WR Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints
|6-3, 212||Born: 3-3-1993||College: Ohio St.||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2016|
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
2018 Week 1 vs TB (17 / 16 / 180 / 1 rec)
This is the kind of game that fantasy owners dream about for Michael Thomas. Not only did he finally get over his end zone allergy, but he also hauled in 16 of his 17 targets for almost 200 yards. He did cough up the football once, but he made up for it with sheer volume. There seemed to be no one that could cover Thomas today. Tampa tried zone coverage, one on one with their best corner, and even put a safety over top to help and he just could not be stopped. Brees and Thomas found a weakness in the defense just behind the corner and in front of the safety and were able to exploit it all day. Whenever Tampa seemed to key in on it, they would simply move Thomas to the other side or run a route to the inside to keep the defense honest. His touchdown came on an easy 6-yard quick slant where he was not even touched going into the end zone. The rest of his yards came in 10-15-yard chunks aside from one 35-yard reception where he broke free down the side line. Thomas had a hard time finding the end zone last season, especially in goal to go situations. With the run game currently in flux, Thomas should see a lot more opportunity to catch the ball. This was a monster game for the top Saints' receiver and he has another great matchup next week against the Browns.
2018 Week 2 vs CLE (13 / 12 / 89 / 2 rec)
The Saints did everything they could to replicate the success that Thomas found last week. He was targeted a team high 13 times and caught all but one of those targets. Thomas did not find the same success down the field or room to run after the catch, but he still cashed in two touchdowns on the day. The first was a 2-yard screen that he caught in a goal to go situation and the second was a 5-yard out where he simply beat his man to the outside. Thomas had one other big play with a 25-yard reception deep down the left sideline. This set the Saints up on the 5-yardline, but they were unable to come away with any points after a missed field goal. Thomas received a high volume of targets again this week, but it seems to be at the expense of Alvin Kamara and the run game. Thomas has a juicy matchup against a banged-up Atlanta secondary missing two of their star players next week. Look for another big game from Thomas against the Falcons.
2018 Week 3 vs ATL (10 / 10 / 129 / 0 rec)
The hot streak continues for Brees and Thomas. The only down side to this week was the duo did not find the end zone. Thomas snared 10 of his 10 targets and surpassed 100 yards receiving for the third time this season. The first play of the game was also the longest of any receiver for the Saints. Thomas hauled in a deep ball down the sideline and shrugged off one defender for a 35-yard catch. From there he had 1 other player over 20 yards and continued to make his living underneath and on quick hitting plays. Thomas works best when he gets the ball in his hands quickly and can break tackles. In a game where his team scored 43 points it is hard to imagine that 10 catches and over 100 yards is a quiet game, but that is the way it felt after he did not get into the end zone. Brees and Thomas have shown the most chemistry this season in the passing game and he will have another favorable matchup next week against the Giants.
2018 Week 4 vs NYG (4 / 4 / 47 / 0 rec)
After averaging 10 catches per game, over 100 yards, and a touchdown in the first 3 weeks of the season, Thomas was a mere after thought in the offense today. He had less than half the targets of Alvin Kamara with 4 and 16 fewer yards than team leader Josh Hill this week. Brees has relied heavily on Thomas all season to this point but left him hanging for the most part this week. He had 1 reception of 15 yards to help set up a field goal before half time but was held in check by a Giants secondary the rest of the game. The return of Mark Ingram could also spell a reduction in targets for Thomas if they shift back to a run first offense. There could be a whole new dynamic in New Orleans next week against the Redskins.
2018 Week 5 vs WAS (5 / 4 / 74 / 0 rec)
After putting on a show the first few weeks of the season, Thomas has been much quieter as of late. He did not need to do as much this week with the return of Mark Ingram and the rushing offense. Brees still targeted Thomas a team high 5 times, but this is a steep decline from the 10+ it was earlier in the season. The emergence of Cameron Meredith has also cut into the number of targets for Thomas. He did have a long catch of 31 yards, but that was overshadowed by the big game of Tre'Quan Smith. Thomas is still the top receiver in the Saints offense, but he is going to see a slight decline in his numbers with the return of Ingram and all the other offensive weapons that Brees has to throw to.
2018 Week 7 vs BAL (9 / 7 / 69 / 1 rec)
It was shaping up to be a very slow game for Thomas again this week until the 4th quarter and his touchdown catch. To that point he had picked up the majority of his yards on a single 32-yard reception. It was a long catch and run play that accounted for the Saints longest offensive play of the game. His touchdown catch gave the Saints the lead with about 5 minutes left in the 4th quarter. Thomas took a hard step to the outside before cutting back in on a quick slant. Brees put the ball in a very small window to find Thomas as he fell into the end zone. The ball was just low enough to prevent the safety from coming over and laying a big hit. Thomas seemingly lost work with the return of Ingram and a recommitment to the running game. He is still the top receiving option on the team and should almost always see more targets than anyone else. Thomas will draw a tough matchup against Xavier Rhodes next week, but the Viking secondary has struggled with giving up the big play this season.
2018 Week 8 vs MIN (6 / 5 / 81 / 0 rec)
The Vikings were without their top corner this week, but the Saints did not try and attack the Vikings down the field with Thomas. Coming into the game, Brees and Thomas had connected on 92% of their passes this season and continued that trend by completing 4 of 5 attempts. His biggest play of the game came from Taysom Hill rather than Brees. Thomas ran a streak right down the middle of the field and Hill unloaded a pass as far as he could down the field. The ball ended up being under thrown and Thomas had to stop his route and make a sliding catch. It was a good thing the pass was under thrown as the defensive coverage was good won the field and the pass could have been defended. This 1 play accounted for more than half of Thomas' yards this week. Only 5 players caught a pass this week and Thomas was the most effective down the field.
2018 Week 9 vs LAR (15 / 12 / 211 / 1 rec)
It was another career game for Thomas this week after pulling in 12 of his 15 targets and scoring the all-important insurance touchdown in the 4th quarter. Thomas eclipsed 200 receiving yards this week in large part due to his 72-yard touchdown reception. He made his way down the sideline and settled into the void left by the zone coverage. Brees fired the ball to Thomas who made a move on the crashing defender rather than going out of bounds. This allowed him to break free and run down the sideline for another 48 yards and the touchdown. The catch would have gone a long way to helping the Saints kill the clock and walk away with a 3-point victory, but Thomas had other ideas. After the touchdown, he broke an old flip phone out from under the goal post and channeled his inner Joe Horn. The celebration was flagged as unsportsmanlike conduct, but it did not come back to haunt the Saints. Thomas lived on the outside again this week and continues to be Brees' most reliable receiver. He will get another great matchup next week against the Bengals.
2018 Week 10 vs CIN (8 / 8 / 70 / 2 rec)
It had been a storybook season for Thomas thus far and he wrote another chapter this week against the Bengals. It is amazing that he continues to get open despite the depleted receiving core for the Saints. Tre'Quan Smith did not have a single target and Dez Bryant was lost to for the season with injury 2 days after he signed. Thomas caught all 8 of his targets and added 2 touchdowns to his growing list. His first touchdown came on the opening drive of the game and was a 7-yard comeback route. The Saints lined up in an I formation and went play action. The defense played the ball perfectly, but Brees made an even better throw to a sliding Thomas. The ball was mere millimeters from the defender's hand and in only a spot where Thomas could catch it. The play was reviewed after it looked like the ball hit the ground, but the touchdown call was confirmed. The second touchdown came right before half time after an Andy Dalton interception gave the Saints the ball on the Cincinnati 17-yard line. Thomas ran a post route across the middle and found himself wide open and into the end zone. He did not have his highest yardage output of the season, but he now has 7 total touchdowns. It is hard to imagine what he will do when he has help on the other side and if the running game continues to produce.
2018 Week 11 vs PHI (4 / 4 / 92 / 1 rec)
It is not often that Thomas is outpaced by another receiver on the team, but that is exactly what happened this week. He may have done a lot of damage with his 4 targets, but he was over shadowed by the 13 that Smith got this week. Thomas averaged 23 yards per catch this week and hauled in a 23 yard catch down the side line. It was a beautifully thrown fade down the side line where even the safety giving help over the top could not make a play on the ball. Brees floated the ball 20 yards down the field and hit Thomas in stride for the last 3 yards and the touchdown. This is the kind of magic we have come to expect from the duo over the course of the season. Thomas gets another great matchup next week against a struggling Atlanta secondary on Thanksgiving.
2018 Week 12 vs ATL (6 / 4 / 38 / 0 rec)
It is very rare that you see Thomas' name second on a box score in receiving yards. It is also unusual to see 4 passing touchdowns and not a single 1 with his name on it. The passing game went through lesser known receivers this week as the Falcons keyed in on Thomas the entire game. He was constantly double covered or given safety help over the top. He still managed to finish the game tied for the team lead in targets with 6. Thomas' longest play of the game was a 13-yard catch across the middle, but he was never able to break free. The added coverage to Thomas in the red zone opened things up for the likes of Lewis, Carr, and Arnold. Do not expect this to be the norm for Thomas going forward. He was outpaced by Smith last week and Arnold this week, but he will take his rightful place back atop the receiving stat sheet in the coming weeks.
2018 Week 13 vs DAL (8 / 5 / 40 / 0 rec)
After the explosion against the Rams, Thomas has been pretty quiet. He has not surpassed 100 yards in his previous 4 games and has not found the end zone in the last 2. He caught 5 of his 8 targets but could not surpass 50 yards this week. The Dallas defense did a great job jamming him at the line and took away his quick hitting plays. The Saints are still missing a clear number 2 behind Thomas and it is starting to show. Opposing defenses are able to assign added help on Thomas and it is cutting into his production. His longest catch was 11 yards and he did not come close to finding the end zone this week. Thomas is going to need more help on the opposite side to open the defense for him a little more. He still has a great matchup next week against a weak Tampa defense. He should be one of the top receivers next week in a rebound game.
2018 Week 14 vs TB (13 / 11 / 98 / 0 rec)
Thomas failed to surpass 100 yards again this week and did not find the end zone. Teams have been looking to take him away in the passing game and have found mild success in recent weeks. He saw the type of volume that we have come to expect this season but was never able to break free. His longest catch of the day went for 20 yards and he caught 11 of his 13 targets. His normal crossing routes were tackled right away and Brees was not as accurate in the red zone on their usual out route for a touchdown. Thomas is the same player he has been all season but does not have a receiver opposite of him to take some of the pressure off. Thomas could operate underneath when Ginn was taking the top off the defense or when the linebackers were biting on the play action. Thomas is still the number one option in the offense, but he will need some help on the other side so that he isn't constantly double covered.
2018 Week 15 vs CAR (9 / 7 / 49 / 0 rec)
It was a very quiet game for the entire Saints receiving core and it all started with Thomas. Despite catching 7 of his 9 targets, he failed to surpass 50 yards receiving. Brees struggled mightily this week and there was not much Thomas could do to bail him out. The Saints did a great job doubling him early and then an even better job wrapping him up and tackling on the passes that did get completed. Thomas' longest catch of the night was 12 yards and he was never able to break free. He was the target on the failed 2-point conversion play where Brees just did not see the crashing defender. Thomas ran a quick out route and it was undercut by the corner and returned 100 yards for 2 points the other way. There was nothing he could do on the play as Brees just made the wrong decision on where to go with the ball. Thomas has done all the heavy lifting for the receiving core this season and will need more help on the opposite side to help open things back up for him. A matchup with Joe Haden and the Steelers next week may be just what he needs to break the slump.
2018 Week 16 vs PIT (13 / 11 / 109 / 1 rec)
It has been 4 games since Thomas found the end zone and 6 since he had more than 100 yards through the air. He managed to change both of this this week by catching 11 of his 13 targets and making a great adjustment on a broken play in the 4th quarter. Thomas' longest catch of the night was a 28-yard catch and run. His most important catch came on a 2-yard reception late in the 4th. The pocket collapses around Brees and he rolled to his right. Thomas saw his quarterback in trouble and worked his way back towards the line of scrimmage. Brees threw a dart to Thomas who was still standing in the end zone. He caught the ball and fell out of bounds at the 1. The play was originally ruled down at the 1, but upon review it was reversed to a touchdown when the replay showed the nose of the ball breaking the plane. Thomas has been the whole offense through the air this season, and now he gets Ginn back on the opposite side. This should open things up underneath even more for Thomas and will make the defense think twice about doubling him in the playoffs.
2018 Week 17 vs CAR (7 / 5 / 29 / 0 rec)
The Saints did not want to put their top starters in jeopardy this week, but they still needed to leave a few weapons on the field for Bridgewater. Thomas was there for support but only played 41 offensive snaps. The only games where he played fewer were blowouts against the Redskins and Bengals earlier in the season. Thomas did what he could for Bridgewater and caught 5 of his 7 targets. Unfortunately, the longest play was 8 yards and Thomas failed to top 30 yards this week. There was really no reason to have him out there outside of needing to fill a full roster. Thomas finishes the season with 125 receptions for 1,405 yards and 9 touchdowns.
2018 Week 19 vs PHI (16 / 12 / 171 / 1 rec)
The passing attack was very one sided this week with Thomas receiving 16 of the 37 total targets. He managed to catch 12 of those attempts and ripped off just over 170 yards on the day. It was a dominating performance for the former Buckeye as he put the team on his back. His longest reception of the game was 42 yards and his touchdown came from 2 yards out. Thomas continued his role of playing across the middle and excelling in the yards after the catch department. The Saints used Marshon Lattimore to lock down Alshon Jeffrey in the second half, but the Eagles did not have the same answer for Thomas after losing Rasul Douglas to injury. Thomas' touchdown came from 2 yards out and was almost the exact same play they scored a touchdown on in the first half. Thomas ran a simple out cutting route and Brees found him with ease this time. In the first half, Brees pumped the ball when Thomas was covered and found Kirkwood instead. Thomas is going to have a much tougher time next week against the Rams and their secondary. The Saints receivers outside of Thomas are going to have to step up if they want to advance to the Super Bowl.
2018 Week 20 vs LAR (7 / 4 / 36 / 0 rec)
The Rams actively game planned to take away Thomas this week. He torched them for 12 catches, 211 yards, and a touchdown when they played in the regular season, but that was a distant memory after today. Thomas was targeted 7 times and only came down with 4 of those targets. More than half of his yards came on a single 19-yard reception and that was the only time he was able to break free. Thomas was targeted on the last drive where the Saints needed to take more time off the clock. Unfortunately, Brees left the ball short and the incompletion killed the clock. Thomas was also targeted in over time when Brees threw the interception. Thomas was running an out and up route and the defender was completely turned around. When Thomas broke up, the defender contacted him and fell backwards on to his back and the ball happened to fall right into his lap. Normally this would be pass interference as he impeded Thomasí ability to make a play on the ball, but the referees deemed that the ball had been tipped at the line and the contact was allowed. This is not a play that is reviewable despite it looking like the arm was contacted and not the ball tipped at the line that caused the lame duck pass. Thomas pleaded his case to no avail and the Saints lost on the ensuing drive. It was a tough pill to swallow for Thomas who had been dominant all season long.
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.
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
2016 Week 1 vs OAK (6 / 6 / 58 / 0 rec)
The OSU alum didn't appear to be given a large portion of the playbook in his debut, running a seemingly limited route tree, but he was very efficient with his opportunities. Thomas found space in the left flat on New Orleans' fourth drive for a 11 yard slant route for his first career catch. The rookie caught a nearly identical pass off a slant pattern just five plays later, but extended the play to a 25-yard gain by juking the CB in man coverage out of his shoes and proceeding further upfield. Thomas stayed busy on slant routes into the next series, again winning inside leverage over the middle of the field for seven yards. A fourth slant took place early in the second half, gaining just four yards on third-and-long. Thomas' fifth reception was his first non-slant of the day, a short hitch route near the left boundary that picked up nine yards. He showed impressive hands on his sixth and final catch of the day, grasping the ball away from his man coverage on yet another short slant for two yards. Thomas drew a pass interference midway through the final period, utilizing a double-move to force his man coverage into desperation and pick up 11 yards. Thomas showed incredible awareness midway through the fourth quarter, seemingly appearing out of nowhere to scoop up a critical loose ball that had been fumbled by Willie Snead, a play that will undoubtedly endear him to his coaching staff. Thomas projects to be a fixture in 3-WR sets as the year progresses, and is definitely on the fantasy radar after already surpassing Brandon Coleman on the dpeth chart.
2016 Week 2 vs NYG (5 / 4 / 56 / 0 rec)
Thomas gave the Saints their biggest contribution of the first half, and it all occurred on the final drive. His first reception occurred on an intermediate post route from the right sideline, as he gained inside leverage and proceeded upfield for 17 yards. The very next play was another inside-breaking route to Thomas, as he shuffled his feet before parlaying his inside leverage for a gain of 23. He was targeted on an intermediate crosser to begin the second half, but suffered a drop by letting the defensive back strip the ball from his hands. A staple of Thomas' young season, he ran a slant route early in the fourth period to move the Saints into the red zone with an eight-yard gain. The rookie was the target on a checkdown pass to the right flat off a Brees rollout late in the fourth period, making the first two men miss before going upfield for eight yards. Thomas will continue to produce in an unspectacular yet reliable way throughout his rookie year.
2016 Week 3 vs ATL (11 / 7 / 71 / 1 rec)
Thomas benefitted from a pick play on a slant near the endzone, crossing underneath and making a shoelace catch for a three-yard touchdown. The rookie illustrated impressive ball skills early in the second half, turning around and making a 25-yard reception up the left sideline with a DB in his face. Thomas ran an identical route to the one he scored on early in the third period, gaining six but nearly pushing through contact for a second score. He quickly won inside leverage on the following drive with a slant for an easy 13 yards. A tipped slant intended for Thomas was intercepted early in the fourth, but Brees went right back in his direction on another slant, Thomas' primary route, for 12 yards. He continued his volume on short slants on the next drive, as well, using the inside leverage for nine and three yards, respectively. Thomas makes his money with physicality on inside-breaking routes, and may see fantasy value in the near future especially if Snead continues to miss time.
2016 Week 4 vs SD (9 / 4 / 44 / 1 rec)
Thomas entered the stat column on the game's first drive, winning inside leverage on an intermediate slant for 15 yards to move New Orleans into the red-zone. Two plays later, he ran a shallow crosser to the left sideline before diving to the one-yard line. The rookie continued his heavy involvement early in the second quarter, quickly winning inside on a three-step slant for nine yards. Thomas suffered a drop on the opening play of the second half for New Orleans. Another apparent miscue occurred early in the fourth quarter, as Brees targeted Thomas up the left seam but the rookie fell down midway through his route, resulting in an easy interception. He amended himself shortly after, hauling in a crucial back-shoulder throw to the left sideline for a five-yard touchdown. Thomas has clearly earned a role despite the noted miscues, albeit while running a limited route tree. He should be a fixture of WR-heavy sets even with Willie Snead nearing 100%.
2016 Week 6 vs CAR (5 / 5 / 78 / 1 rec)
Michael Thomas' emergence is one of the best storylines of New Orleans' season. It was clear early on that the Saints added more to his plate over the bye week in terms of the playbook, and it resulted in a very productive day. Thomas ran a shallow crosser early in the first quarter for his first catch of the game, a touchdown in which he broke a tackle before easily striding in for a nine-yard score. He found space down the right sideline just before halftime with a successful outside release, gaining 28 yards in the no-huddle attack. Thomas ran a deep post route midway through the third period, finding a soft zone and hauling in a 23-yard pass before absorbing a significant hit and maintaining control. An unrelated penalty mitigated another impressive deep completion to Thomas later in the quarter. Early in the fourth period, Thomas ran a short hitch from the right boundary before breaking back inside to gain 11. The rookie ran a short hitch route in New Orleans' two-minute drill to gain seven yards. His expanding role makes him an intriguing WR3 for the rest of the season.
2016 Week 7 vs KC (13 / 10 / 130 / 0 rec)
Snead began his productive day with a short zig route from the right slot to beat man coverage for seven yards and a first down. He gained 17 yards on the following down, gaining inside leverage on an intermediate crosser. Snead served as a chain-mover once again on the following drive, earning outside leverage on an intermediate out route to gain 15 yards on third-and-long. On the next play, Snead was unable to corral the target through heavy contact resulting in a tipped pass that was returned for a pick-six. His team's trust in the young receiver didn't waver, as Brees went back to him to begin the following possession for a five-yard pickup to the right flat. He ran a short crosser later in the half for seven, but he fell several yards short of the first down. His first reception of the second half came on a short checkdown to the right flat in which he cut back inside to gain seven after the catch. Snead settled down in the left flat for a short gain of six late in the third quarter, but fell a yard short of the first down. Snead converted a clutch third down with an out-route from the right slot to beat man coverage and pick up 12 yards. He opened the Saints' last-gasp drive with an 11-yard gain on an uncovered seam route in which he was not able to get out-of-bounds. He is Brees' most trusted target in high-pressure situations as evidenced by his numerous third-down conversions.
2016 Week 8 vs SEA (6 / 6 / 63 / 0 rec)
Thomas started his day against Richard Sherman, gaining separation on a short hitch route up the right sideline for seven. He beat Sherman again on the following drive, a comeback route that earned seven. Thomas continued his early involvement by winning inside leverage on a three-step slant before illustrating impressive YAC skills to make a man miss for nine yards. His next catch came early in the third quarter, a short crosser in which he settled down in a shallow before turning upfield after the catch for a 17-yard gain. He drew a questionable defensive holding call on his next target two plays later, a three-step slant. Thomas showed more quickness on a hitch route late in the third period, gaining separation and turning back to the football before utilizing a stiff-arm to gain 16 yards up the left sideline. He ran the same route on the Saints' final drive, but a minor slip allowed the DB to tackle him for what amounted to a 2-yard gain. Thomas' featured role appears here to stay. Improving every week, he is constantly on the field, even in 1-WR jumbo packages with an expanding route tree. He will be on the WR2 radar.
2016 Week 9 vs SF (8 / 5 / 73 / 2 rec)
Thomas' first catch of the day, occurring during the team's second drive, came on a perfectly thrown back-shoulder route from the right slot. Thomas made a timely adjustment to the football to gain an easy 23 yards. He was given a shot at a quick slant TD from the one on the following drive, but it was well defended by an opposing CB. He atoned two plays later, however, when he won ample leverage with a smooth back-shoulder route for an easy one-yard touchdown. He ran a three-step slant early in the second quarter, parlaying the inside leverage for a nine-yard gain. Thomas' next reception came late in the third quarter with another three-step slant for a quick eight. Early in the fourth quarter, Thomas recorded the signature play of his young career. From 32 yards out, the rookie vertical route up the right sideline and was actually blanketed tightly by man coverage. Thomas fought through this however, and showcased spectacular concentration to haul in the tipped pass and land narrowly in bounds for a highlight-reel TD. Quite possibly the most talented member of his team's receiving corps only eight games into his career, Thomas seemingly improves each week. He is an every-week WR2 with significant upside to boot.
2016 Week 10 vs DEN (6 / 4 / 40 / 0 rec)
Thomas' eventful day started early in the second period on a seam route from the right slot. Dealing with tight man coverage from Bradley Roby, he could not corral the target. Instead, the ball was tipped into the hands of a Denver DB for an easy INT. His first catch of the day came late in the second quarter, a three-step slant from the left boundary for seven yards. He ran a back-shoulder up the left sideline just before halftime, receiving the ball away from tight man coverage for 16 yards to enter prime FG range. Thomas ran a short whip route early in the fourth quarter, securing a short catch before taking the ball upfield. However, Thomas lost control of the ball when Roby punched it out of his arms into the hands of a DEN teammate for a costly fumble. Thomas was targeted twice on New Orleans' next drive, failing to catch the low target on the first one. He caught a short hitch through the middle but coughed up the football once again on first impact for his second costly fumble of the day. His impressive rookie year took a bit of a step back today, as Thomas' two fumbles went a long way to determining the game's outcome. It was a positive to see the coaching staff's continued faith in him, however, as Thomas did not lose any playing time and should continue with heavy involvement for the Saints offense the rest of the way.
2016 Week 11 vs CAR (5 / 5 / 68 / 0 rec)
Thomas' first catch came late in the first half, a vertical route up the right sideline in which he found space between two defenders for a 16-yard pickup. The rookie did not record another catch until late in the fourth period, when he ran an out-route to the left sideline for 11 despite a defender being draped over his back. Thomas caught a short hitch to the left sideline a few plays later, breaking a tackle and turning upfield for nine yards. He padded his statline on the final two plays of the game, catching a pair of passes underneath the defense for a total of 32 yards that served as zero threat to the outcome of the three-point game. It was a quiet day for Thomas until the final 20%, when he caught four passes as a result of New Orleans playing from behind. He remains a fixture of the Saints' passing attack.
2016 Week 12 vs LA (10 / 9 / 108 / 2 rec)
Thomas got his first catch on the second play from scrimmage, coming across the middle of the field on a play-action pass for 12 yards. Thomas received a quick screen late in the second period for five yards near the left boundary, and drew a 24-yard DPI two plays later. Deep in LA territory on the same drive, Thomas ran a subtle double move to gain outside leverage before elevating over coverage for a six-yard TD grab. Thomas ran a hitch from the left boundary with under a minute left in the half, gaining ten yards. The rookie caught a short checkdown near the right sideline with Brees coming in motion, gaining two yards in the process. Thomas converted a third-and-eight two plays later with a deep in route through zone coverage, elevating to receive the pass and then turning upfield for 35 yards. He furthered his huge day later in the same drive, breaking wide open up the left sideline on a blown coverage before making a man miss and dragging another into the endzone for an impressive 21-yard TD. Thomas ran a shallow crosser early in the final period, extending the ball through contact for six yards and a new set of downs. He went over 100 yards late in the fourth quarter, catching a quick-hitter at the right sideline and showing impressive balance up the field for 11 yards. The OROY candidate is clearly New Orleans' best and most consistent receiver at this stage of the year, a rock solid WR2 with significant upside on days like today.
2016 Week 13 vs DET (5 / 4 / 42 / 0 rec)
Thomas' first catch occurred with 5:49 left in the first half, a screen to the right flat on third-and-long. The Detroit defense responded quickly to shut down the play after a two-yard gain. Thomas ran a short in-route late in the third period, and proceeded to turn up the field for 16 yards. He caught a back-shoulder pass on the following play, elevating to the left sideline with outside leverage for a toe-tapping 14-yard gain. Thomas gained 10 yards on a short crosser in garbage time. Thomas had a relatively quiet day by his standards, as New Orleans struggled to find consistency in any area all day.
2016 Week 15 vs ARI (10 / 7 / 52 / 1 rec)
Thomas' first catch occurred in the second quarter, a shallow crosser from the left slot for a gain of four. He ran a hitch route from the left outside alignment later in the half, boxing out the defender for eight yards. Thomas ran a hitch route from the left boundary early in the third, boxing out the defender for six. He caught another ball on the very next play, running an intermediate out route to the same alignment for nine. Thomas dropped a three-step slant later in the series that cost his team a third-down conversion. He ran another physical curl route on the subsequent possession, catching the pass and proceeding to fight his way forward for an extra five yards on the 12-yard gain. Thomas ran a successful fade route late into the fourth quarter, elevating over man coverage to secure the catch for an impressive four-yard TD. The rookie ran a three-step slant on the following drive, winning quick inside leverage for a gain of nine. Thomas continues to impress despite occasional mistakes; his physical game is a perfect fit for the NO outside WR position.
2016 Week 16 vs TB (8 / 6 / 98 / 0 rec)
Thomas ran a hitch route from the left outside position for his first catch, a five-yard pickup in the second quarter. Later in the half, Thomas ran an intermediate in route to gain 15 yards with inside leverage. Thomas recorded the play of the day midway through the third period, catching a three-step slant from the left boundary before turning upfield and making a pair of defenders miss en route to a 46 yard gain. He ran a deep hitch early in the fourth period, sitting down in front of man coverage before physically ripping the ball out of the air at the catch point for 17 yards and a critical first down. After failing to reel in an isolation fade and a quick slant deep in the redzone, Thomas bounced back on the following drive with another of his quintessential three-step slants for ten yards. The ball went right back in his direction on the following down, a quick hitch to the right boundary off a QB rollout for five more. A physical weapon still learning the intricacies of route running, NO's top WR has his best days clearly ahead of him.
2016 Week 17 vs ATL (14 / 10 / 156 / 1 rec)
Thomas entered the box score with a quick slant from the left boundary on his team's second drive, earning ten yards. Thomas ran a hitch route up the right sideline on the following series, breaking one tackle and impressively cutting upfield for an extra several yards on the 20-yard gain that took his season total over 1,000. He found space up the field on play-action midway through the second quarter, narrowly separating from a LB to make room for a perfect throw on the 25-yard pickup. Early in the final period, Thomas elevated over man coverage down the left sideline for a spectacular 29-yard reception. His "late hands" left his man guessing the entire way. He was rewarded later in the drive with a 14-yard TD, once again whipping Jalen Collins with an explosive hitch route before turning upfield and diving into the end zone. Thomas continued to feast on the same CB to begin the following drive, still operating up the right sideline. This time he won with a swift back-shoulder route for 22 additional yards. Thomas remained busy later in the drive, securing inside leverage with a three-step slant for five yards to move the chains. Thomas was unable to win a contested catch with Collins sitting on the underneath route on the following play, resulting in a touchback INT. Thomas remained a reliable source a yardage despite the loss of his team's other top WRs, converting a fourth-down on a deep PA-crosser for 17 yards. The ball went right back in his direction on the next play, a quick hitch to the right sideline for another five yards. He caught another hitch from the right slot for his tenth and final catch shortly later in the drive, picking up nine deep in ATL territory. Thomas appeared shaken up on NO's final offensive play of the day, perhaps due to the substantial workload. His performance today, especially down the stretch, leave no questions about his future as NO's alpha target in the passing game.