The Duel

Michael Thomas Fantasy Outlook Skyrockets With Optimistic Injury Update Ahead of Week 9 Matchup Against Buccaneers

By David Hayes
Michael Thomas fantasy outlook soars following injury update and new expected return time table for Week 9 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Michael Thomas fantasy outlook soars following injury update and new expected return time table for Week 9 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. / Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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It's been a tough year for fantasy football managers who drafted Michael Thomas to their team following a historical and record-setting campaign last season with the Saints in New Orleans.

In fact, for a wide receiver who was valued at the consensus No. 1 or No. 2 spot in that fantasy positional group in this year's drafts, Thomas has played in only one game ahead of Week 9, with just three receptions and 17 yards to show for it.

Between a foot injury and then altercation with a teammate in practice during these past eight weeks, it's been a struggle for his fantasy managers and Saints fans' alike, with negative update after negative update.

Michael Thomas Injury Update

However, the latest report on Thomas is that the Pro-Bowl talent is expected to make his long-awaited return to the Saints this Sunday in a massive NFC South showdown with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Michael Thomas Fantasy Value

The expected return of both Michael Thomas and Drew Brees this Sunday would mean quite a shakeup in the team's current fantasy passing value situation. Thomas would, of course, reclaim WR1 duties, therefore decreasing the value of WRs Emmanuel Sanders and Tre' Quan Smith, who respectively boasts the most (36) and second-most (32) targets among WRs.

Although the real kicker here could be the decreased usage rate for RB Alvin Kamara in the passing game with the return of Thomas as a threat downfield. Kamara leads the entire team in targets (66) and receptions (55) to this point this year, but re-integrating Thomas into this offense will surely bring a drop in Kamara's value as is without his presence.

All in all, both Thomas and Kamara should still be considered must starts with the expectation that we will see them both on the field this Sunday, while options such as Sanders and Smith should be downgraded unless in deeper leagues.

Drew Brees should also see a nice uptick in fantasy potential with the return of Thomas and both of his primary weapons in the same game as well.


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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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