WR Michael Thomas - New Orleans Saints
|6-3, 212||Born: 3-3-1993||College: Ohio St.||Drafted: Round 2, pick 2016|
News you need to know
General News (Wed Jan 16): is just the fourth player since 1970 to achieve multiple playoff games with at least 130 receiving yards.
Week 20: vs Los Angeles Rams
FBG says: Good matchup. Drew Brees remains a deadly-accurate passer and is fresh off arguably the best season of his Hall of Fame career - from an efficiency standpoint, at least. During the regular season, Brees set career highs in completion percentage and adjusted net yards per attempt, all while posting his best touchdown rate since 2011. That said, he's no longer the true catalyst for the Saints' offensive dominance. The ground-based Saints, who have won 14 of their 16 competitive games, now prefer to control games thoroughly on the ground. Since Week 5, when Mark Ingram returned and helped stabilize the run game, Brees has averaged just 31 attempts and 250 yards a game. He's still as efficient as they come, as displayed in last week's win. After missing badly on a deep ball on the game's opening play, Brees hit on 28 of his final 37 passes (76%) and helped drive the rallying victory. His sharp underneath passing routinely extended Saints drives and produced a pair of short touchdowns. Still, for as long as the Saints can help it, they'll continue to ride the ground game and ask as little of their undermanned passing game as possible. Michael Thomas remains a monstrous presence for Brees; he's caught 84% of his targets on the season and averaged 93 yards per game. Thomas terrorized the Eagles for 171 last week, accounting for 57% of team yardage through the air. And the last time he faced these Rams, Thomas broke loose for 211 yards on 12 receptions. But beyond him, Brees' receiving corps is made up entirely of situational weapons. Ted Ginn remains a fairly solid presence, but there's little else to rely upon. Explosive rookie Tre'Quan Smith has averaged 15.2 yards per catch over his debut season but caught just 7 balls over the past 6 weeks. The tight ends contribute little to this offense, with a handful of undrafted guys rounding out the rotation. To make fantasy players truly happy, Brees will need to feed Thomas relentlessly while finding his supporting receivers (and running back Alvin Kamara) for a handful of splash plays and touchdowns. All of that could easily come to pass, but if the Saints are dominating on the ground, there will be big volume questions at play. Brees remains an ideal NFL quarterback, especially for this time of the year, but is no longer dependable for week-winning fantasy production. The Rams entered 2018 with a fully-rebuilt pass defense, freshly stocked with superstars Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib at cornerback and Ndamukong Suh on the line. Combined with the presence of Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald and a few intriguing secondary prospects, they looked destined for a dominant year against the pass. But thanks to injuries and awful play from Peters, these Rams have been worked over routinely through the air, and enter Sunday with a shaky outlook against Drew Brees and company. The Rams closed the regular season just 21st in the league in net yards allowed per attempt. Of their 17 opponents (including last week), 9 have topped 260 yards and 8 have thrown multiple touchdowns. Peters has been the biggest culprit; playing through injury for much of the season, he's been beaten frequently down the field and failed to provide the big-play presence he did in Kanas City. Talib's late-season return from injury has been a boon, and slot specialist Nickell Robey-Coleman has been dominant all year against inside receivers. But the Rams will need all hands on deck to have any real hope of slowing the Saints down Sunday. When these teams met in a Week 9 shootout, Brees completed 25 of his 36 throws for 346 yards and 4 touchdowns. Top receiver Michael Thomas ran wild through the secondary that day, posting 211 yards and 1 score over 12 receptions. This is a star-studded unit, but one that's wholly beatable by laser-efficient downfield passers like Brees.
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
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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
Latest NewsSaints | Michael Thomas a postseason fiend (Tue Jan 15, 05:13 PM) - New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas is just the fourth player since 1970 to achieve multiple playoff games with at least 130 receiving yards. Our View: Thomas is arguably the most important piece of the Saints offense not named QB Drew Brees. They continue to march towards the Super Bowl and have a tough matchup against the Rams in the NFC Championship Game.
link to story Saints | Michael Thomas torches Philly (Sun Jan 13, 08:05 PM) - New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas caught 12 of his 16 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown in a 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles in the divisional round Sunday, Jan. 13. link to story
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