30-Year-Old Running Back – Free Agent
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
For the first time in four years, Thomas was seriously hampered by injuries, missing five games and playing at less than 100 percent in others due to shoulder, rib and foot woes, and the Saints decide...
Pierre Thomas Contract Information:
Released by the Saints in March of 2015.
The Saints have released Thomas, NFL.com reports.
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|Rushing||Rush Distance||Big Rush Games||Receiving||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Fumbles|
|2015 Proj||30||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Pierre Thomas|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Fantasy Points Per Game||Rushing Stats||Red Zone Runs||Receiving Stats||Red Zone Targets|
|2015 Proj||30||Subscribe now to see our 2015 projections for Pierre Thomas|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Rushing||Rush Distance||Receiving||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret||Red Zone Runs||Red Zone Targets|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Pierre Thomas: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Though he'll turn 30 at the end of this season, the 5-11, 215-pound Thomas is a low-mileage runner – just 773 rushes in his career – and one of the greatest PPR-specific assets around after leading all running backs in receptions with 77 last year. There's no reason he can't repeat the feat – and maybe even hit 80 catches – this season now that Darren Sproles has shipped off to Philadelphia. Amazingly, Thomas failed to catch only seven of the passes thrown his way last year (a 91.7 percent catch rate), including going 38-for-39 from Week 10 through the end of the season. However, with that efficiency came a lack of explosiveness – he averaged a career-low 6.7 yards per catch, didn't have a play over 30 yards either rushing or receiving, and continued not being an especially effective rusher at the goal line. Indeed, rushing proved to be an issue, as Thomas posted the second-worst YPC (3.7) of his career last year despite a career-high-tying 147 carries. His longest run of the year was just 18 yards. That along with the Saints' desire to work in strong runners Mark Ingram and Khiry Robinson makes it likely that Thomas ends up seeing his carry total fall back this year as he works in more of a passing-down role, serving as a safety valve for Drew Brees.
Now that Chris Ivory is out of town, the 5-11, 215-pound Thomas is behind only Mark Ingram for carries and should see a significant role in the passing game even with Darren Sproles around. Thomas owns a career 4.8 YPC and is a headache for opposing defenses as he breaks tackles with quick feet and aggressive running. But Thomas has never eclipsed 147 carries in any season, and as long as he's sharing touches with both Ingram and Sproles, Thomas' ceiling will be limited.
Thomas totaled 987 yards on just 160 touches last season, scoring six touchdowns while getting 5.1 YPC. Thomas has durability concerns, but he’s a complete back who would likely finish among the top fantasy RBs if he ever became a true workhorse, especially on a team like New Orleans. As is, he’s part of a three-headed monster also consisting of Mark Ingram and Darren Sproles. Thomas left the divisional round playoff game with a nasty concussion, but he’s expected to enter training camp fully healthy.
Thomas continued to struggle with injuries last season, which limited him to just six games in which he averaged only 3.2 YPC and scored a paltry two touchdowns. A dynamic back while on the field with no glaring weaknesses, Thomas has never reached 150 rushing attempts during any of his four seasons in the league. Even if he somehow manages to stay healthy in 2011, he now has to compete with rookie Mark Ingram for touches, and Thomas has never seemed to have coach Sean Payton’s faith to begin with. The window for Thomas to take over as the Saints lead back has likely closed, however he still holds solid value, particularly as a receiving threat out of the backfield.
Thomas went down as one of the bigger fantasy disappointments in 2009, though it was no fault of his own, as he produced 1,095 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns while given just 147 rushing attempts. To put that in perspective, 32 other running backs saw more carries, including his teammate, Mike Bell, who got 172 totes despite playing in one fewer game and getting 3.8 YPC compared to Thomas’ 5.4, which tied for the fourth-best in football. There’s no guarantee Thomas could withstand 300 carries anyway, since he’s been dinged up here and there, but if there’s one back in the NFL who deserves that chance, it’s Thomas. He’s elusive in the open field and a terrific receiver as well, and when you add in that he plays for the NFL’s best offense, only opportunity prevents Thomas from being a top-five fantasy back. With Bell, who was given 11 goal-line carries last year to Thomas’ six, now in Philadelphia, there appears to be a path for more touches, with just Lynell Hamilton and the situational Reggie Bush standing in the way. Then again, if the thoroughly pedestrian Bell can form a timeshare in New Orleans’ backfield, any back should be regarded as a possible threat to steal touches. It’s good news the Saints didn’t address the position in the draft or through free agency, and and it’s possible the coaching staff is ready to turn over the workload to Thomas, but it simply can’t be counted on.
Reggie Bush’s superior pedigree aside, it’s blatantly obvious Thomas is New Orleans’ best running back, and it’s not all that close. During his five starts last season, Thomas totaled 475 yards and scored six touchdowns. In fact, he hit pay dirt nine times over his last six games and on the season averaged 4.8 YPC and got 9.2 yards-per-catch, fourth highest among all running backs. Additionally, 43 of his 129 carries went for first downs, a 33.3 percent rate that easily led the NFL. The Saints have talked about bringing in a power back, but they didn’t address the position during the draft, and the stats say Thomas is just fine in short-yardage situations. He scored on six of his eight goal-line carries last season, giving him a 75 percent conversion rate, the second best in football. Also, Thomas was “stuffed” on just six of his 129 rushes, giving him by far the best stuffs/carry rate in the NFL. Still, if the team insists on bringing in a short-yardage back, Thomas’ value would take a hit as he’s already yielding lots of catches and some carries to Bush. Just keep in mind Bush has averaged only 3.7 YPC throughout his career and works best as a change-of-pace back who gets most of his work as a receiver. The bottom line: Thomas should lead the team in carries in 2009 and can be effective in the passing game as well. Playing in the league’s top-ranked and highest-scoring offense means scoring opportunities will be abundant.
Undrafted and unknown, Thomas didn't see more than 12 carries in a game until Week 17 last year, but what a season finale it was. He ran for 105 yards on the ground and caught 12 balls for another 121 yards with a score, becoming the first Saint to break the century mark both rushing and receiving in the same game. In all, he averaged 4.8 YPC on 52 attempts and enters 2008 as a sleeper. Deuce McAllister is attempting to return, but he's coming off a second major surgery on one knee and a microfracture procedure on the other, so he's a long shot. Additionally, Reggie Bush simply doesn't fit as a workhorse, so there should be opportunity for carries in New Orleans. Thomas has the skills to take advantage.