Two NFL analysts have differing viewpoints on Michael Thomas for 2022. One is a former player turned analyst, and the other is a fantasy football specialist. So, "laissez les bon temps rouler" on Robert Griffin III's and Michael Fabiano's analysis of All-Pro Michael Thomas.
Of course, missing a whole season was not in the plans for Michael Thomas or the Saints organization. New Orleans was void of the All-Pro wide receiver's production. General manager Mickey Loomis had to address the position this offseason when the team's running back led in receptions (Kamara-47, Callaway-46) while missing four games.
Thomas is still rehabbing. Payton stepped away. The young wide receiving corps needs its leader to return. Wisely, Loomis kept their options open in free agency and via the draft.
First, Jeff Ireland's team filled one of New Orleans' two first-round draft picks with NFL-ready wideout Chris Olave. The Saints would pair the No. 11 overall pick with a man he admires. Smart choice?
Another No. 1 draft choice believes the Saints' smart choice will pay dividends for the team and Michael Thomas.
RGIII ON THOMAS
"Michael Thomas' return is the X-FACTOR for the Saints' offense. Last time the two-time All-Pro and two-time NFL leader in receptions played significant time was in 2019, and he was the BEST WR IN FOOTBALL. Thomas opening the middle of the field for Jarvis [Landry] and [Chris] Olave will help the Saints EAT Ws," Griffin tweeted.
The "EAT Ws" reference is not only what Thomas and the receivers need this season, along with starting quarterback Jameis Winston.
FABS ON THOMAS
SI fantasy sports guru Michael Fabiano delivers a differing view on Michael Thomas' upcoming season. "Thomas was so good in 2019. That leads me to this series, aptly named "The Fantasy Case Against…" where I'll do my due diligence in looking at players who everyone in fantasy land seems to think is a sure bet to remain uber-productive after finding a high level of success in past seasons," Fabs noted. In essence, he believes that Winston will have more options at receiver without Sean Payton and Drew Brees in the lineup. "Thomas is very likely to score far below the number of points he averaged in his last two full seasons."
Fabiano's verdict on Thomas, he's a risk in fantasy. And we all know that fantasy projections are dependent on recent production.
New Orleans' front office, coaching staff, players, and fans are more optimistic than Fabiano. Whether or not Michael Thomas returns to 2019 form is besides the point for the 2022 New Orleans Saints. Jarvis Landry said it best about the Saints' receivers. "At the end of the day, we all are a problem."
We shall see.