Fantasy Football Rankings, Projections and ADP: Michael Thomas is the Ideal First Round Pick

When it comes to making your pick in the first round of your fantasy football draft, SI Fantasy analyst Bill Enright states that the Saints top wide receiver is about as safe as they come.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

There’s a relative level of pressure when making a first-round pick in fantasy football drafts. 

Pick a stud and you have a solid foundation to your squad. Draft a bust and it’s a tough task to overcome. 

Fantasy Football Championships are not one solely during the draft and first-round fantasy football selections are not the only reason a team wins. But they could be a very big factor of why a team can’t win.

The goal with a first-round pick isn’t to get the player that will finish at the top of their position. Drafting Christian McCaffrey number one overall and then seeing him finish as the fourth-ranked running back at the end of the year doesn’t mean it was the wrong pick. In fact, it was a great pick. The true success factor for that first-round pick is actually taking a player that will perform consistently, produce at a high level, and outperform about 90-95% of the rest of the players in that group.

Michael Thomas before breaking the NFL single-season receptions record against the Tennessee Titans.

So when it comes to drafting Michael Thomas with the fourth overall pick, and as the first wide receiver off the draft board, it’s OK if he doesn’t finish as the WR1 in 2020. I don’t expect another record-breaking season with 150 catches. But I do expect him to maintain his absolutely insane statical average of 117 catches, 1,378 yards, and eight touchdowns. That floor puts him in top five range even without a repeat of his historic season in 2019. 

Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, Chris Godwin, or any other receiver in the NFL always has the potential to out-pace the Saints top receiving playmaker. But when it comes to the safest, most consistent, reliable player that still has immense upside, there’s no better player in the first round outside of McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, and Ezekiel Elliott than Thomas. And for that reason, Thomas is perhaps the most ideal first-round pick.

According to Sports Illustrated’s latest Big Board which combines ranking and projections from the best fantasy football players in the WORLD, Thomas ranks as the No. 5 player with a projected 321.5 points; more than 30 points than our next closest receiver!

Getting ready for your Fantasy Football Draft? There’s no better way to practice than MockDraftNow. Not only is it GREAT practice for your upcoming fantasy football drafts but it’s a great way to enter the Mock Draft World Championships for FREE!

Here's what Saints News Network's Kyle Mosely had to say about Thomas' role in the Saints offense: 

"The first goal for a wideout is to catch the football. It should not matter if you had the most accurate passer in NFL history, throwing you the football or not. It helps, but it should never be the overriding factor as a receiver.

Thomas had 185 targets and caught the football at an 80.5% rate. The next WR close to Thomas was Keenan Allen (Chargers), with 149 targets at a 69.8% rate, and DeAndre Hopkins (Texans) had 150 targets for 69.3%. Julio Jones (Falcons) had 149 targets for a rate of 63.1% and DeVante Parker (Dolphins) at paltry 56.3% rate on 128 targets.

The bottom line is this, Thomas catches the footballs thrown to him at a higher rate than anyone in the NFL."

Build your team with the stud that is Michael Thomas and you’ll have a great foundation for fantasy football success in 2020.