In 2019, Michael Thomas set the NFL record in catches (149) while scoring almost 100 more fantasy points (375.5) than the second-ranked wide receiver (Chris Godwin – 276.1) in PPR leagues.
At the end of Week 1 in 2020, he suffered a doomed high ankle sprain with minimal time left in the game. His injury led to six missed weeks and two empty starts (5/51 and 2/27 on 13 combined targets). From Weeks 11-14, Thomas posted three playable games (9/104, 9/105, 8/84) before suffering a hamstring injury. In the first week of the playoffs, he scored his only touchdown (5/73/1), followed by a zero on four targets against Tampa. In mid-January, Thomas had shoulder and ankle surgeries.
Last season his lingering ankle issue cost him all 17 games, and it remains a concern heading into training camp.
When at his best from 2017-19, Thomas caught 378 passes for 4,375 yards and 23 touchdowns on 481 targets. His catch rate (78.6) over this span was elite while gaining 11.6 yards per catch. As a result, he averaged 7.9 catches for 91 yards and 0.48 touchdowns per game, or 20.03 fantasy points per game in PPR leagues.
Fantasy outlook: In two easy seasons, Thomas went from the best receiver in the game to a fantasy head-scratcher. Is he a value or a bad investment, even with a discounted ADP (80) in the NFFC in late June? As of now, I’m torn. His price is worth the gamble, but I wonder how his ankle responds out of breaks when running routes. There is a fine line between greatness and just another guy at wide receiver in the NFL. The bet here is between a 100/1,300/7 season and an injury-plagued year. Following his summer progress is a must, but positive reports will also drive his draft value.
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