Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas
27-Year-Old Wide ReceiverWR
New Orleans Saints
Out
Injury Ankle
Fri Practice: DNP
2020 Fantasy Outlook
After smashing the catch-percentage record in 2018, Thomas took down bigger prey last year, breaking Marvin Harrison's single-season receptions record and winning Offensive Player of the Year in the process. Thomas maintained his otherworldly catch rate (80.5 percent, second all time only to his 2018 mark) and averaged 9.3 YPT, eighth among the league's 30 100-target WRs, despite playing six games with a backup QB and seeing a massive bump in targets (185, 1st). Thomas' 1,725 receiving yards were also good for seventh in the record book. At 6-3, 212, Thomas has excellent size, runs precise routes and might have the best hands in the league. His rapport with Drew Brees is off the charts, and no player is more reliable at catching short passes and moving the chains. Thomas also led the league in red-zone targets (26) and scored nine times (T-4th), but he doesn't have deep speed (4.57 40) and isn't likely to make the big play - only three catches of 40-plus yards last year and seven in his four-year career. Despite leading the NFL in targets by a wide margin - he had 28 more than No. 2 Julio Jones - Thomas was merely tied for ninth in catches of 20 or more yards (17). Thomas' average depth of target (aDOT) was 8.1 yards (24th), and his 11.6 YPC ranked 23rd among 30 100-target WRs. Bottom line, with Drew Brees set to return in 2020, Thomas is arguably the safest pick on the draft board. He's 27, has missed only one game in his career (in 2016) and relies on short receptions from the NFL's all-time leader in completion percentage. Read Past Outlooks
RANKS
$Signed a five-year, $96.25 million contract with the Saints in July of 2019.
Not suiting up Sunday
WRNew Orleans Saints
Ankle
September 25, 2020
The Saints ruled out Thomas (ankle) for Sunday's game against the Packers, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
On the other side of the ball, Green Bay has given Davante Adams (hamstring) a 'doubtful' designation. It appears both teams will be without their star wide receivers Week 3, and in the Saints' case, they'll rely on Emmanuel Sanders, Tre'Quan Smith, Deonte Harris and Marquez Callaway to keep the offense moving Sunday.
Read More News
NFL Stats
Loading NFL Stats...
Fantasy/Red Zone Stats
See red zone opportunities inside the 20, 10 and 5-yard lines along with the percentage of time they converted the opportunity into a touchdown.
Loading Fantasy/Red Zone Stats...
Advanced NFL Stats
How do Michael Thomas' 2020 advanced stats compare to other wide receivers?
This section compares his advanced stats with players at the same position. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that metric and it would be considered average. The longer the bar, the better it is for the player.
  • Air Yards Per Game
    The number of air yards he is averaging per game. Air yards measure how far the ball was thrown downfield for both complete and incomplete passes. Air yards are recorded as a negative value when the pass is targeted behind the line of scrimmage. All air yards data is from Sports Info Solutions and does not include throwaways as targeted passes.
  • Air Yards Per Snap
    The number of air yards he is averaging per offensive snap.
  • % Team Air Yards
    The percentage of the team's total air yards he accounts for.
  • % Team Targets
    The percentage of the team's total targets he accounts for.
  • Avg Depth of Target
    Also known as aDOT, this stat measures the average distance down field he is being targeted at.
  • Catch Rate
    The number of catches made divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Drop Rate
    The number of passes he dropped divided by the number of times he was targeted by the quarterback.
  • Avg Yds After Catch
    The number of yards he gains after the catch on his receptions.
Air Yards Per Game
44.0
 
Air Yards Per Snap
0.80
 
% Team Air Yards
13.0%
 
% Team Targets
7.5%
 
Avg Depth of Target
8.8 Yds
 
Catch Rate
60.0%
 
Drop Rate
0.0%
 
Avg Yds After Catch
1.0
 
Loading Advanced NFL Stats...
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2020 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2019 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2018 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2017 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
2016 NFL Game Log
Calculate Stats Over Time
Just click on any two dates.
Scoring
Standard
PPR
Half PPR
FanDuel
DraftKings
Yahoo DFS
Loading Game Log...
Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
New Orleans SaintsSaints 2020 WR Snap Distribution See more data like this | See last season's snap counts
% of Team Snaps

97
80
55
38
13
11
Loading Weekly Snap Counts...
Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Michael Thomas lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
Detailed
Grouped
Side
Loading Alignment Breakdown...
Loading Alignment Breakdown...
Loading Alignment Breakdown...
Loading Team Alignment Breakdown...
This Week's Opposing Pass Defense
How does the Packers pass defense compare to other NFL teams this season?
The bars represents the team's percentile rank (based on QB Rating Against). The longer the bar, the better their pass defense is. The team and position group ratings only include players that are currently on the roster and not on injured reserve. The list of players in the table only includes defenders with at least 3 attempts against them.
GB
vs Packers
Sunday, Sep 27th at 8:20PM
Overall QB Rating Against
102.2
 
Cornerbacks
55.8
 
Safeties
158.3
 
Linebackers
115.2
 
Loading Opponent Pass Defense Stats...
2020 Michael Thomas Split Stats
Loading NFL Split Stats...
Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Michael Thomas
NFL Waiver Wire: Week 3 Deep Dive
2 days ago
Ilango Villoth goes deep into the free-agent pool to find upside adds who could pay off down the road, if not this week.
Yahoo DFS Football: Week 3 Picks
2 days ago
Sasha Yodashkin looks over the Week 3 main slate and thinks Mitchell Trubisky could be primed for a big day in Atlanta.
Hidden Stat Line: Targets, Routes & Snaps from Week 2
4 days ago
Diontae Johnson's strong start is backed by elite volume in terms of targets, routes and snaps, but that's not necessarily the case for every player who enjoyed a big Week 2, especially among tight ends.
NFL Injury Analysis: Where to Begin?
4 days ago
Jeff Stotts goes through this week’s extremely long list of prominent injuries changing the fantasy landscape, including Christian McCaffrey who will miss multiple weeks with a high ankle sprain.
East Coast Offense: Paying for QB and Kicker
4 days ago
With GOAT kickers like Justin Tucker now playing in the league's best offenses, the "wait-till-the-last-two-rounds-to-draft-a-kicker" dogma needs to be retired.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
Why do we have a player who had only 147 targets (11th) and 11.2 YPC (27th) ranked so high? Because Thomas caught a preposterous 85 percent of the passes thrown his way, giving him 125 receptions last year, the fifth most in NFL history. To put Thomas' season in perspective, consider there have been only 44 100-target wide receiver seasons in NFL history where a player caught even 70 percent of his looks. At 75 percent, that number drops to 11, and the all-time record for catch percentage before 2018 was Wes Welker's 77.2 in 2007. It's as though someone broke Randy Moss' single-season TD record (23) by scoring 30. Of course, we should expect some regression from an all-time outlier season even though Thomas plays with the completion-percentage king Drew Brees, who broke his own record with 74.4 percent in 2018. At 6-3, 212, Thomas has good size but below-average speed - 4.57 40 at the 2016 combine. He's an excellent route runner with good hands, but he's not running a lot of deep routes - his average depth of target was only 7.7 yards, last among the league's 100-target wideouts. As a result, he had only two catches of 40-plus yards and 17 of 20-plus (T-16th.) Thomas is used heavily in the red zone, however, with 29 targets inside the 20 (T-2nd), 14 inside the 10 (T-2nd) and eight inside the five (T-3rd.) Accordingly, he should again be a reliable source of TDs, even if he rarely scores from long range. The biggest concern for Thomas is probably his quarterback. Brees turned 40 in January, and he tailed off somewhat over the season's final six games including the playoffs, failing to crack 8.5 YPA in any of those contests and throwing only seven TDs and six picks over that span. Still, Brees had a tremendous overall regular season (8.2 YPA, 32 TDs and five picks), and Thomas is his clear top target and first red-zone look even with tight end Jared Cook now in the fold.
With Brandin Cooks in New England, Thomas was set to be the No. 1 receiver for the league's most prolific passing offense. But something strange happened: the Saints became a running team. It wasn't all bad. Thomas still had 149 targets (6th), 104 catches (3rd) and 1,245 yards (6th). But he scored four fewer TDs than in 2016 on three fewer red-zone targets, as tailback Mark Ingram doubled his rushing TDs from six to 12, and all-purpose back Alvin Kamara added 13 scores of his own. At 6-3, 212, Thomas has good size but below-average speed (4.57). He's a good route runner with steady hands, but he's not going to beat anyone deep - only one catch of 40-plus yards last year, two in his two-year career. Despite throwing less often, Drew Brees still attacks in the intermediate and deep areas of the field - Thomas was fourth with 22 catches of 20-plus - but speedster Ted Ginn was the home run hitter with five catches of 40 or more yards. Accordingly, Thomas' 8.4 YPT mark was a modest 11th among the league's 27 100-target receivers, despite playing with the QB who led the NFL in YPA at 8.1. (By contrast Ginn had 11.2 YPT.) Heading into 2018, Thomas is still the team's undisputed No. 1 target and should be drafted for volume and consistency. Just don't expect many big plays or an undue share of red-zone work, as Kamara and Ingram figure to again occupy a large share of the team's usage.
Few rookie wideouts pan out as their team's No. 1 targets. Thomas was an exception -- so much so that after the season, the Saints jettisoned their former top receiver Brandin Cooks for a first-round pick. At 6-3, 212 and with 4.57 speed, Thomas is athletically on the cusp of what's typically required for a bona fide No. 1, but he's surprisingly agile and quick for a tall receiver and has excellent hands and good ball skills. Most importantly he has the trust of Drew Brees from whom he caught an unheard-of 76 percent of his 121 targets. Thomas also saw a fair amount of red-zone work last year (19 targets, T-11th) despite missing a game, and his size and hands make him well-suited to operate there -- seven of Thomas' nine scores came on red-zone throws. Thomas isn't a major downfield weapon -- only one catch of 40-plus yards, and his 12.4 YPC average was pedestrian. (His 9.4 YPT was fifth best, but driven entirely by his absurd catch rate.) Even with Cooks gone it's unlikely Thomas will see the deep balls left behind. While Willie Snead (4.56 40) is suited more to a possession role, the team added home run specialist Ted Ginn to run those routes, so Thomas' target depth should remain roughly the same. While Thomas might not be a game-breaker, he's a quality intermediate target, red-zone threat and top option in a Drew Brees-led offense.
Drafted 47th overall, Thomas has a chance for a significant role as a rookie with long-time Saint Marques Colston no longer around. While Willie Snead and Brandin Cooks should start, both are small and not especially useful in the red zone. At 6-3, 212, Thomas is tall, athletic and agile. He's not fast - 4.57 40 - but he has good hands, solid ball skills and scored 18 TDs the last two seasons at Ohio State. Tight end Coby Fleener will also see red-zone work, and 6-6 Brandon Coleman should make the team, but Thomas is the favorite for the No. 3 receiver job.
More Fantasy News
No practice reps Thursday
WRNew Orleans Saints
Ankle
September 24, 2020
Thomas (ankle) was held out of practice Thursday, Matt Schneidman of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Not present Thursday
WRNew Orleans Saints
Ankle
September 24, 2020
Thomas (ankle) wasn't present for the portion of Thursday's practice open to the media, Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Listed as DNP on Wednesday
WRNew Orleans Saints
Ankle
September 23, 2020
Thomas (ankle) was listed as a non-participant on Wednesday's estimated injury report, Luke Johnson of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Facing 2-to-4-week timeline
WRNew Orleans Saints
Ankle
September 20, 2020
Thomas (ankle), who has been ruled out for Monday's game against the Raiders, has been given an estimated recovery timeline of 2-to-4 weeks, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.
Healing quickly
WRNew Orleans Saints
Ankle
September 20, 2020
Thomas remains out for Monday's game against the Raiders, but his left high-ankle sprain is healing quicker than expected, Jay Glazer reported on "Fox NFL Sunday."
ANALYSIS
Subscribe now to instantly reveal our take on this news.