How Many TDs Will Michael Thomas Catch in 2020?

Michael Thomas is an elite receiver who has found the end zone nine times in each of the last two seasons. Can he make it three in a row?
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Michael Thomas is easily the best wide receiver in the NFL and it is not even up for debate.

He has been one of the top fantasy wideouts since coming into the league in 2016 and has been a model of consistency that has led many owners to league championships. Thomas is coming off a record-breaking year, where he holds the mark for all-time single season receptions (149).

The oddsmakers at FanDuel Sportsbook have set Thomas’ total number of touchdown receptions in 2020 set at 8.5, juiced moderately to the over at odds of -130. 

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Thomas dominated PPR fantasy formats and led all wide receivers by a wide margin. The next closest was Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin, who finished nearly 100 points behind the Saints superstar. The former Ohio State standout led all wide receivers in targets (185) and his number in that category was also not close. Julio Jones (157) finished behind Thomas by 28 targets, with a tight cluster among the remaining top five finishers: Allen Robinson (154), Julian Edelman (153) and DeAndre Hopkins (150).

The prolific talent, who has fittingly become known as “Can’t Guard Mike”, has seen 121, 149, 148, and 185 targets over the last four seasons. Targets lead to receptions and volume leads to increased scoring potential, especially inside the red zone. Over the last three seasons, the Saints have averaged 93.7 passes in the red zone, with Thomas seeing an average of 22.4 percent of those valuable scoring looks.

The Saints offense averaged the fifth-most points per game, scoring 3.2 touchdowns per contest last season. All of Thomas’ numbers have steadily increased since being drafted 47th overall in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Even with the arrival of veteran Emmanuel Sanders via free agency, Thomas will not see any decline in terms of production.

The 2017 season marked the only year the star wideout didn’t have exactly nine receiving touchdowns. My colleague here at Sports Illustrated recently noted that Thomas is not a running back, but he could finish this year as the top player in fantasy football. The Saints wide receiver should be the first player chosen at his position in fantasy football drafts this summer, and there could be an argument made he should be the second overall player off the board behind only Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey.

There has been a recent war of words on social media recently between Thomas and Dolphins wideout DeVante Parker, which was highlighted by Saints News Network's Kyle Mosely. My colleague put it best when he wrote: 

"Thomas should take heed to the popular Game of Thrones quote, A lion doesn't concern himself with the opinions of sheep. For Michael Thomas to continue his rule as the top WR in the NFL, his focus should be on destroying more sheep in 2020."

Thomas’ single-season record of 149 catches came on 185 targets, and he averaged a league-best 107.8 yards per game. With no less than at least 140 targets in each of the last three seasons, I am willing to wager he finds the end zone more than 8.5 times for the fourth time in five seasons in 2020.

The Play: OVER 8.5 Touchdowns (-130)

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