Michael Thomas
Michael Thomas
26-Year-Old Wide ReceiverWR
New Orleans Saints
2019 Fantasy Outlook
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 on the 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, dead 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 (2nd) and eight inside the five (T-2nd.) 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. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a four-year, $5.12 million contract with the Saints in May of 2016.
Far apart in contract talks
WRNew Orleans Saints
June 21, 2019
Thomas and the Saints are still far apart in extension negotiations, Jeff Duncan of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Thomas reportedly wants $22 million per season, while the Saints are angling for around $18 million, which would put him close to Odell Beckham Jr. and a little ahead of Antonio Brown. The 25-year-old wideout currently is traveling in Europe, and he hasn't made any noise about a potential holdout as he prepares for the final season of his rookie contract. It may be hard to settle on a price when both sides know that A.J. Green, Julio Jones and Amari Cooper also are in the process of discussing extensions with their respective teams. Dianna Russini of ESPN reports that the Saints are comfortable making Thomas the highest paid wide receiver in the league, but that doesn't mean they'll go up to $22 million.
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NFL Stats
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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.
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Advanced NFL Stats
How do Michael Thomas' 2018 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
Air Yards Per Snap
% Team Air Yards
% Team Targets
Avg Depth of Target
7.7 Yds
Catch Rate
Drop Rate
Avg Yds After Catch
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NFL Game Log
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Snap Distribution / Depth Chart
New Orleans SaintsSaints 2018 WR Snap Distribution See more data like this
% of Team Snaps

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Receiving Alignment Breakdown
See where Michael Thomas lined up on the field and how he performed at each spot.
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2018 Michael Thomas Split Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
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
Signs with new agent
WRNew Orleans Saints
February 22, 2019
Thomas has signed with a new agent from the same agency, now working with Andrew Kessler of Athletes First, Josh Katzenstein of The New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
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Limited in NFC title loss
WRNew Orleans Saints
January 20, 2019
Thomas brought in four of his seven targets for 36 yards during the Saints' 26-23 overtime loss to the Rams in Sunday's NFC Championship Game.
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Explodes for spectacular line
WRNew Orleans Saints
January 13, 2019
Thomas brought in 12 of 16 targets for a franchise-playoff-record 171 yards and a touchdown in the Saints' 20-14 divisional-round playoff win over the Eagles on Sunday.
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May only see light work
WRNew Orleans Saints
December 30, 2018
Thomas is active for Sunday's game against the Panthers but may not take on his usual snap load, John DeShazier of the Saints' official site reports.
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Hits century mark, notches TD
WRNew Orleans Saints
December 23, 2018
Thomas corralled 11 of 13 targets, compiling 109 receiving yards and one touchdown during Sunday's 31-28 win against the Steelers.
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