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Official Michael Thomas, WR NO: Didn't help you make the playoffs, but hopefully can help you win them


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6 hours ago, beerbuff said:

Last year in PPR he was the 7th highest scoring WR in PPG at 17.31 points, Behind Antonio 20.49, Jordy 19.17, Evans 18.76, OBJ 18.66, AJ 18.64 and Julio at 18.56. Cooks was only a couple of points away at 15.39, it is a pretty safe assumption to make that Ginn won't do as well as Cooks which even could add a couple of more ppg for Thomas. IMHO he is a pretty safe late round 1 pick who should be right in the mix to be a top 5 WR this year.

Thomas is very safe. It is hard to imagine a lead WR in a Saints offense not being a weekly starter. However, I question if his ceiling is anything higher than we saw last year. While the Saints have had the most prolific fantasy offense for a decade, they don't produce great WR1 seasons. The 2 best Saints WR seasons in recent history were actually before Brees came (Joe Horn twice).  Colston finished among WR rankings: 15, 8, 11, 36, 14, 20, 11, 11, 28. Cooks finished 58, 12, 8.  Thomas was 9 last year. (I am using stats reference so I believe these are non ppr). 

So, while I don't doubt that Thomas has more talent than Colston, is he more talented than Cooks? How will he do without Cooks to take attention away? Can he break the decade long trend of WR scoring we have seen in New Orleans? 

 

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

Thomas is very safe. It is hard to imagine a lead WR in a Saints offense not being a weekly starter. However, I question if his ceiling is anything higher than we saw last year. While the Saints have had the most prolific fantasy offense for a decade, they don't produce great WR1 seasons. The 2 best Saints WR seasons in recent history were actually before Brees came (Joe Horn twice).  Colston finished among WR rankings: 15, 8, 11, 36, 14, 20, 11, 11, 28. Cooks finished 58, 12, 8.  Thomas was 9 last year. (I am using stats reference so I believe these are non ppr). 

So, while I don't doubt that Thomas has more talent than Colston, is he more talented than Cooks? How will he do without Cooks to take attention away? Can he break the decade long trend of WR scoring we have seen in New Orleans? 

 

New Orleans has had a large number of weapons for a long time.  Graham was getting 80-90 receptions a year from 2011-2014, as well as splitting the rest with Colston, Cooks, etc.  Thomas is the clear cut #1 on this team, and Coby Fleener is not going to command the targets that Graham did.  Ginn and Snead should be serviceable 2a and 2b targets, and Brees should be able to keep defenses honest by spreading the ball around.  Thomas should match or exceed last year, barring injury.

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The one thing to remember is it's the saints.  They will spread it out even if they have less weapons than usual.  Thomas should be a more consistent better version of Colston but Peyton will get cheesy creative with other pieces. It's just who he is.

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10 hours ago, maf005 said:

How many more 4.5k+ passing yardage seasons does Brees have left? What is MT's production potential with a league average qb instead of Brees?

This is a good and important question.

It actually might not be that different.

Brees rarely has one receiver get over 20% of his targets. A new qb would likely be less efficient,  but also zone in on their top target more, so there's good news and bad news with life after brees.

If you believe Thomas is an elite talent - ave that's a big if - then a league average qb could actually improve Thomas's numbers. It's pretty simple math

Target's with brees x efficiency with brees

vs

Targets with league average qb x efficiency with league average qb

If you believe brees is just making a good receiver look great, then you'd expect Thomas's efficiency after brees to go down, and the saints might decide they need a new receiver,  so even if his targets go up a little, they wouldn't overcome the loss of efficiency with brees. 

So how do you quantify his efficiency?  Well,  one answer is catch percentage.  Thomas caught 92 of 121 targets as a rookie. That's just over 75%. The league's most targeted receivers - Antonio Brown, obj, Evans,  Hilton, jordy,  Edelman, Fitzgerald,  Julio - none of them broke 70%.  Doug Baldwin did, catching 94 of 125 for almost the exact same percentage.  It would be unusual for Thomas to repeat the feat although it does happen.   Baldwin caught 78 of 103 in 2015. 

For comparison,  Cooks caught 78 of 117 - exactly 2/3 - which is high for a deep threat. Snead caught 72 of 104, which is almost exactly 70%.  So a lot of that is brees, but Thomas looks like the most efficient player on the team.  

92 catches for 1137 yards is a little over 12 yards per catch. Among those top receivers i named earlier, that rates pretty well - lower than Julio,  higher than Edelman and close to Antonio Brown.  

The next question is whether brees made Thomas look better than he is.  The big knock on Thomas going into the draft was that Ohio State didn't use him that much, although when he did, he looked good.  That's why he lasted into the second round when Coleman,  Treadwell, Fuller and Doctson all went late first. It seems like he's answered the lack of production questions.  His draft profile pegs him as a possible wr1 with flaws to land him in the second or third,  which he did http://www.nfl.com/draft/2016/profiles/michael-thomas?id=2555347

A good comp player might be Demaryius Thomas.  You get a couple years of potentially elite production with an elite qb, then he remains a good player but not as good. If the saints get a simian level qb after brees, the same may be true for Michael Thomas. But Michael Thomas just turned 24, and D Thomas was 28 when manning retired.  So even if he ends up with a sub par qb after brees, you might get a second wind, like Larry Fitzgerald when the cards finally got Carson Palmer.  

Overall, I think you look at him as a few stud years with a good chance, but no guarantee, to put up continued quality numbers after brees. 

Now let's do obj. 

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That's an interesting question. Is MT a star in the making or sort of a product of the ridiculous Drew Brees fantasy machine? I lean product because of the history, but he does have a pretty solid profile. He's a guy I like but he's going a touch high for me right now.

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27 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

That's an interesting question. Is MT a star in the making or sort of a product of the ridiculous Drew Brees fantasy machine? I lean product because of the history, but he does have a pretty solid profile. He's a guy I like but he's going a touch high for me right now.

I feel the same way.  Wouldn't be surprised if he put up 1,400+/10+, at the same time could see 800/5.  No idea what to think about him. 

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8 hours ago, SaintsInDome2006 said:

What does this even mean?

What do you mean "what does this even mean"?

I'm projecting him to play a similar role and produce similar stats to Marques Colston who played in this same offense.

1,100+ yards / 8 - 10 Touchdowns

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14 hours ago, ILUVBEER99 said:

I feel the same way.  Wouldn't be surprised if he put up 1,400+/10+, at the same time could see 800/5.  No idea what to think about him. 

 

You think that if he's healthy that he realistically could go for an 800/5 season?  How do you reach the conclusion that his floor is so low

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20 hours ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

You think that if he's healthy that he realistically could go for an 800/5 season?  How do you reach the conclusion that his floor is so low

I think that's way too low. My issue with the MT projections are the ceilings some people are giving him. 1200 and 12 seems like absolute best case scenario. 

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1 hour ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

So in your mind there is no way Thomas could possibly be better than Colston.

1200/12 would be better than any Saints WR since Joe Horn in 2004 so I do think it is possible. Even though Thomas went to the big program and was thus drafted higher, he compares pretty interestingly to Colston. Advantages for Colston: Size, arm length, speed, burst, breakout age. Advantages for Thomas: relative college production, agility. I think since Colston was a 7th round pick, we lose sight of the type of athlete he was. If Colston had attended Missouri as it seemed he originally was set to do, it is very possible he ends up as a 1st or 2nd round pick. Instead Colston attended Hofstra, a small school with a pretty anemic passing offense and to add to it, he missed his junior year with a shoulder injury. 

 

In conclusion, I think Thomas has a ceiling to  slightly exceed Colston but I think many people are miscalculating the difference in talent between Thomas and Colston. 

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

1200/12 would be better than any Saints WR since Joe Horn in 2004 so I do think it is possible. Even though Thomas went to the big program and was thus drafted higher, he compares pretty interestingly to Colston. Advantages for Colston: Size, arm length, speed, burst, breakout age. Advantages for Thomas: relative college production, agility. I think since Colston was a 7th round pick, we lose sight of the type of athlete he was. If Colston had attended Missouri as it seemed he originally was set to do, it is very possible he ends up as a 1st or 2nd round pick. Instead Colston attended Hofstra, a small school with a pretty anemic passing offense and to add to it, he missed his junior year with a shoulder injury. 

 

In conclusion, I think Thomas has a ceiling to  slightly exceed Colston but I think many people are miscalculating the difference in talent between Thomas and Colston. 

 

Thanks for the explanation.  I'm going to disagree until I see that cap on Thomas.  I get the feeling that while he is definitely not that once-in-a-generation WR that he can be a top 8 WR in multiple seasons.

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33 minutes ago, CowboysHomer said:

As a Thomas dynasty owner, based on trade offers over the last month, I'd say there's a lot of interest in him.  At the same time, all the offers have sucked. 

 

You are not the only one...  Nearly half of league offered 2019's 1st round pick alone in return for Michael Thomas.  Mind you, I have Thomas in my 12 teams PPR dynasty league with salary cap and contract and Thomas has a very cap-friendly contract, which is locked for 3 years.  Apparently, not everyone paid attention the trade market value that was established recently on trade for Julio Jones (compensation was a multiple of future 1st round in 2019, 2020, and 2021, Doug Martin, and Paul Perkins).

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On 6/25/2017 at 10:37 AM, Ilov80s said:

I think that's way too low. My issue with the MT projections are the ceilings some people are giving him. 1200 and 12 seems like absolute best case scenario. 

He had 1137 and 9 TDs in 15 games as a rookie, that is 1213 yards and 9.6 TDs over 16 games... to say 1200/12 is his "absolute best case" is simply silly. There is nothing wrong with projecting him for less, but you have to consider that it would not be crazy to see him improve as a sophomore... which means his CEILING is certainly higher than what he has already accomplished as a rookie.

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37 minutes ago, Lott's Fingertip said:

He had 1137 and 9 TDs in 15 games as a rookie, that is 1213 yards and 9.6 TDs over 16 games... to say 1200/12 is his "absolute best case" is simply silly. There is nothing wrong with projecting him for less, but you have to consider that it would not be crazy to see him improve as a sophomore... which means his CEILING is certainly higher than what he has already accomplished as a rookie.

Well of course, Mushin Muhammad proved almost anything is possible. Pierre Garçon could have 1600 yards. Devante Parker could catch 18 TDs. Anything can happen. However, I don't see anything in the Saints or Michael Thomas outlooks to say better than a 1200/12 season should be expected. For standard, that's 12 ppg. That's what AJ Green and TY Hilton were averaging last year. It's a big season. There aren't many WRs in the league that can be thought to have a ceiling beyond that. You think Michael Thomas is about to be the next Julio or AB? 

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20 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Well of course, Mushin Muhammad proved almost anything is possible. Pierre Garçon could have 1600 yards. Devante Parker could catch 18 TDs. Anything can happen. However, I don't see anything in the Saints or Michael Thomas outlooks to say better than a 1200/12 season should be expected. For standard, that's 12 ppg. That's what AJ Green and TY Hilton were averaging last year. It's a big season. There aren't many WRs in the league that can be thought to have a ceiling beyond that. You think Michael Thomas is about to be the next Julio or AB? 

Nope.  Esp with the saints.  

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13 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Well of course, Mushin Muhammad proved almost anything is possible. Pierre Garçon could have 1600 yards. Devante Parker could catch 18 TDs. Anything can happen. However, I don't see anything in the Saints or Michael Thomas outlooks to say better than a 1200/12 season should be expected. For standard, that's 12 ppg. That's what AJ Green and TY Hilton were averaging last year. It's a big season. There aren't many WRs in the league that can be thought to have a ceiling beyond that. You think Michael Thomas is about to be the next Julio or AB? 

I don't necessarily think Thomas is going to put up 1200/12,  but no one really thought AB was gonna be AB, until he WAS AB.  He was a nice 2nd WR to Mike Wallace, who was a big play type WR1 in Pitt, but he wanted more money than Pitt was willing to give, so they gave it to Brown & moved on from Wallace.  Then, when AB became THE MAN, he starts putting up numbers that no one expected. 

Browns situation is similar to what Thomas finds himself in, so while I'm not predicting the kind of leap Brown took, it wouldn't be unprecedented.

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Jimmy Graham averaged 90/1116/11.7 on 140 targets per 16 games in his 4 seasons in NO (excluding his rookie year). Marques Colston averaged 83/1160/9.1 on 129 targets per 16 games in his first 7 seasons (and then declined at age 30). Michael Thomas was on a 16-game pace of 98/1213/9.6 on 129 targets as a rookie. So something like 90/1150/10 seems like a plausible 16-game projection for Thomas if we assume that he'll be in that same neighborhood this year. With significant upside above that, since 1) Thomas has the potential to be more of a traditional go-to WR1, while Graham & Colston were more like big slot guys, 2) Thomas is going into his 2nd season, and many receivers continue to improve over their first few years, and 3) New Orleans lost Cooks and has a lot of question marks in its receiving corps so they could rely on their WR1 more than they used to.

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26 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Well of course, Mushin Muhammad proved almost anything is possible. Pierre Garçon could have 1600 yards. Devante Parker could catch 18 TDs. Anything can happen. However, I don't see anything in the Saints or Michael Thomas outlooks to say better than a 1200/12 season should be expected. For standard, that's 12 ppg. That's what AJ Green and TY Hilton were averaging last year. It's a big season. There aren't many WRs in the league that can be thought to have a ceiling beyond that. You think Michael Thomas is about to be the next Julio or AB? 

 

I'm on record above with agreeing with you for the most part, even though I'm not sure his ceiling isn't higher than you believe.

 

That being said, what do you see as being his traits that would hold him back from becoming an elite WR?

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Just now, Bayhawks said:

I don't necessarily think Thomas is going to put up 1200/12,  but no one really thought AB was gonna be AB, until he WAS AB.  He was a nice 2nd WR to Mike Wallace, who was a big play type WR1 in Pitt, but he wanted more money than Pitt was willing to give, so they gave it to Brown & moved on from Wallace.  Then, when AB became THE MAN, he starts putting up numbers that no one expected. 

Browns situation is similar to what Thomas finds himself in, so while I'm not predicting the kind of leap Brown took, it wouldn't be unprecedented.

Obviously, anything can happen. Jeremy Maclin could set the NFL record for receptions, Sammie Coates could have a 4 TD game, Kevin White could have a 100 yard game. I am asking, do you think Michael Thomas looks like he could be a top 5 WR? 

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1 minute ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

I'm on record above with agreeing with you for the most part, even though I'm not sure his ceiling isn't higher than you believe.

 

That being said, what do you see as being his traits that would hold him back from becoming an elite WR?

He's a B or B- athlete (relatively speaking obviously) and is on a team that has the most consistent offense in fantasy football. A consistent offense normally would be seen as a total positive. However, in this case it is also a negative.  We have over a decade of seeing this offense not have a wide receiver get the targets to be elite. So we have an offense that doesn't produce elite WR targets and a pretty good WR prospect. I don't see anything elite about this. 

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Yes,  top 5 is possible.  The best argument for him putting up better numbers than any receiver they've ever had is he might be the best receiver they've ever had.  In terms of draft pedigree, he's the second highest pick they've used on a receiver since brees arrived,  and they traded away the highest because they liked Thomas more.  Thomas just had a historic rookie season - he might just be the next big thing.  

I do agree that he's unlikely to break into the 1500 yard tier, but everyone is unlikely to break into that tier or to return there once they do it.  He also has a really high floor for his age.  I'm not sure i understand the argument here - is he gong ahead of other 1500 yard receivers? 

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13 minutes ago, ZWK said:

Jimmy Graham averaged 90/1116/11.7 on 140 targets per 16 games in his 4 seasons in NO (excluding his rookie year). Marques Colston averaged 83/1160/9.1 on 129 targets per 16 games in his first 7 seasons (and then declined at age 30). Michael Thomas was on a 16-game pace of 98/1213/9.6 on 129 targets as a rookie. So something like 90/1150/10 seems like a plausible 16-game projection for Thomas if we assume that he'll be in that same neighborhood this year. With significant upside above that, since 1) Thomas has the potential to be more of a traditional go-to WR1, while Graham & Colston were more like big slot guys, 2) Thomas is going into his 2nd season, and many receivers continue to improve over their first few years, and 3) New Orleans lost Cooks and has a lot of question marks in its receiving corps so they could rely on their WR1 more than they used to.

Agree completely. 

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13 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Obviously, anything can happen. Jeremy Maclin could set the NFL record for receptions, Sammie Coates could have a 4 TD game, Kevin White could have a 100 yard game. I am asking, do you think Michael Thomas looks like he could be a top 5 WR? 

Do I think that a 2nd-year WR who was WR7 (in ppg) as a rookie, who should see a larger target share b/c he's  now the WR1, and has Drew Brees as his QB can improve to a top-5 WR?  Sure, it's possible.  It would be foolish to suggest it was impossible.

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2 minutes ago, Bayhawks said:

Do I think that a 2nd-year WR who was WR7 (in ppg) as a rookie, who should see a larger target share b/c he's  now the WR1, and has Drew Brees as his QB can improve to a top-5 WR?  Sure, it's possible.  It would be foolish to suggest it was impossible.

Keep in mind last year was the WR recession. The bubble burst.  Recent history shows that MT's 17.3 ppg is normally a WR12-16 type finish. It just happens that last year WR scoring was surprisingly low so his 17.3 looked a little better than it usually does. 

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On 4/19/2017 at 4:33 PM, Mr. Irrelevant said:

https://www.thefantasyfootballers.com/articles/whats-tape-michael-thomas/

Success (as defined by Matt Harmon) on literally every type of route in the tree last season.  I'd wager that's the first time that's ever been done (at least on his volume of touches) by a rookie WR.

I was moderately high on the guy as a rookie ... but if you'd told me that going into his sophomore season he'd be worth first-round consideration in PPR, I'd have had you locked up. But with Cooks out of the picture, is that really such crazy talk?

This is another reason to think that Michael Thomas has upside. He was one of the best WRs in the NFL at getting open, according to Matt Harmon's charting. He was above average at every route type, and my take on Harmon's numbers puts him behind only Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Julio Jones at getting open.

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19 minutes ago, ZWK said:

This is another reason to think that Michael Thomas has upside. He was one of the best WRs in the NFL at getting open, according to Matt Harmon's charting. He was above average at every route type, and my take on Harmon's numbers puts him behind only Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham, and Julio Jones at getting open.

There we go, thats a reason to support a Michael Thomas explosion. I haven't seen the new Reception Perceptions since they are part of a for pay draft guide. That is promising. 

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53 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

He's a B or B- athlete (relatively speaking obviously) and is on a team that has the most consistent offense in fantasy football. A consistent offense normally would be seen as a total positive. However, in this case it is also a negative.  We have over a decade of seeing this offense not have a wide receiver get the targets to be elite. So we have an offense that doesn't produce elite WR targets and a pretty good WR prospect. I don't see anything elite about this. 

 

I wonder what Jerry Rice's, Marvin Harrison's, and Isaac Bruce's SPARQ scores were?

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8 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Me too. 

 

Before someone jumps to the conclusion that I am comparing Thomas to these 3, the point I'm trying to make is that I put a lot more stock in guys who know how to get open than I do in athleticism.  Thomas looks like one of those kinds of guys.  But only time will tell.

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1 minute ago, Bronco Billy said:

 

Before someone jumps to the conclusion that I am comparing Thomas to these 3, the point I'm trying to make is that I put a lot more stock in guys who know how to get open than I do in athleticism.  Thomas looks like one of those kinds of guys.  But only time will tell.

I agree. Production is more important that any particular athletic trait. You just asked for reasons why he might not be elite. 

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9 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I agree. Production is more important that any particular athletic trait. You just asked for reasons why he might not be elite. 

 

And it wasn't my intent to trap you.  I was curious about your perspective.  I always like getting different opinions.

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Again, regarding his CEILING... how can a person say his CEILING is what he did as a rookie? That is completely illogical.

When we project a player, we look at a range of reasonable possibilities. We don't say a player's floor is zero because he could get hurt, we project for a full season. By the same token, we don't talk about a ceiling as an "anything can happen" event that is unlikely, like Jeremy Maclin setting the NFL record for receptions... we are talking about a projection that takes into account things breaking a player's way more often than average, modified for talent and situation.

So, again, there is nothing wrong with projecting M.Thomas to produce around what he did last season as his most likely outcome, projecting 1100/8 is not controversial.

Also not controversial: projecting a WR's CEILING as an improvement on his rookie season. 90/1350/12 would be a very reasonable CEILING. That is not a pie in the sky ceiling, that is not an everything breaks absolutely perfectly ceiling... that is about a 10% improvement on his rookie season.

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6 hours ago, Lott's Fingertip said:

Again, regarding his CEILING... how can a person say his CEILING is what he did as a rookie? That is completely illogical.

When we project a player, we look at a range of reasonable possibilities. We don't say a player's floor is zero because he could get hurt, we project for a full season. By the same token, we don't talk about a ceiling as an "anything can happen" event that is unlikely, like Jeremy Maclin setting the NFL record for receptions... we are talking about a projection that takes into account things breaking a player's way more often than average, modified for talent and situation.

So, again, there is nothing wrong with projecting M.Thomas to produce around what he did last season as his most likely outcome, projecting 1100/8 is not controversial.

Also not controversial: projecting a WR's CEILING as an improvement on his rookie season. 90/1350/12 would be a very reasonable CEILING. That is not a pie in the sky ceiling, that is not an everything breaks absolutely perfectly ceiling... that is about a 10% improvement on his rookie season.

That is projecting him to catch less passes and put up 200 more yards. That is a 3.0 yards per reception improvement. It seems outside the likely outcomes. 

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Barring an injury to MT and or Brees, MT is a guarantee for a minimum of 1200 yds and 10 tds.  I agree that Brees does like to spread it around but MT #1 target especially in RZ with a QB that will throw 4500 yds and 35 Tds...

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Just for perspective when looking at ceiling for Saints pass catchers:

Most receptions in a season since 2010 - 99
Most receiving yards in a season since 2010 - 1310
Most receiving TDs in a season since 2010 - 16

I would say a good projection for MT is 95 - 1240 - 10
Realistic Ceiling would be 105 - 1350 - 14
Realistic Floor would be 75 - 1000 - 5

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8 minutes ago, stlrams said:

Barring an injury to MT and or Brees, MT is a guarantee for a minimum of 1200 yds and 10 tds.  I agree that Brees does like to spread it around but MT #1 target especially in RZ with a QB that will throw 4500 yds and 35 Tds...

Why is Thomas guaranteed to do better than Colston ever did in his whole career?

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4 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Why is Thomas guaranteed to do better than Colston ever did in his whole career?

He is a better WR then Colston plus less mouths to feed now then when Colston played.. 

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