Michael Thomas unexpectedly missed the entire 2017 season because of ongoing ankle problems. Thomas delayed having surgery on two ligaments in his left ankle until the summer of 2016, which led to a complication.
The Saints and fantasy football players everywhere are crossing their fingers that Thomas’s injury woes are behind him and that he can return to form in 2019. The veteran wideout caught 149 passes (185 total) for 1,725 yards and nine touchdowns throughout that season.
However, some fantasy owners may be deterred from selecting Thomas in the early stages because of his hamstring ailment. What follows is an examination of Thomas’s current ADP and fantasy projections.
When Will Saints Wr Michael Thomas Return from His Injury?
It was thought that the veteran wide receiver would be good to go for the Saints’ season opener, but head coach Dennis Allen reportedly told Nick Underhill on Sunday that Thomas had a hamstring problem. Allen did not provide any updates or predictions regarding the injury.
The injury to the great wide receiver “doesn’t sound too bad,” but it will be monitored, beat reporter Larry Holder said on Tuesday. Thomas is hopeful that he will be able to play in Week 1 and is relieved that he is not suffering from any foot or ankle issues as he did last season.
We all know that soft tissue injuries have a higher risk of relapse than other types of injuries. This is not the first time Thomas has contended with a hamstring problem. The wide receiver, who was 29 at the time, strained his hamstring during training in 2020, sidelining him for two weeks.
— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) September 26, 2022
The Saints’ top three wideouts are youngster Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry, and Marquez Callaway if Thomas is unable to participate in Week 1. Callaway led the Saints in targets with 87 last year and finished as their top receiver with 46 catches, 698 yards, and six touchdowns. However, assuming Thomas is healthy, he will be Jameis Winston’s top target all season long, and his status as a WR1 can be safely assumed.
The three-time Pro Bowl wideout is currently listed at #22 among WRs in standard formats and #20 in PPR formats by SN Fantasy for the upcoming season. Thomas, when fully healthy, may really play up to this ranking; but, some fantasy owners may be skeptical because he will be competing with a new head coach, quarterback, and a larger group of wideouts. Thomas was receiving a pass from Drew Brees when we last saw him on the field.
Thomas only played in seven games (out of a possible 16) in 2020 due to injuries. He caught 40 passes (out of 55 targets) for 438 yards. His fantasy football standing took a serious hit when he failed to score a touchdown. What Thomas did in 2019 was the complete antithesis of that.
The two-time All-Pro led the league with 149 catches (on 185 targets), 1,725 yards, and nine touchdowns. During that season, he had 10 games with 100+ receiving yards and 11 games with 10+ fantasy points. The 6-2, 212-pound receiver was a monster in points per reception leagues as well, scoring 15 or more points in 14 games.
According to FantasyPros’ ADP rankings, Thomas will be a WR27 this season, with a 64 overall ADP. Darnell Mooney (WR25), Allen Robinson (WR26), Amari Cooper (WR28), and Jerry Jeudy (WR29) are anticipated to finish behind the experienced wideout in the receiving rankings (WR29).
Thomas fits right in with the other individuals in this group, as two of them have recently joined new teams (Cooper and Robinson), while a third is making a comeback from an injury (Jeudy). If Thomas can replicate his 2019 performance, he will be a steal for any fantasy football team that draughts him.