Michael Thomas’ high ankle sprain will have a big fantasy football impact.
Though the New Orleans Saints got a strong Week 1 victory at home over the division rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it was a costly victory. The Saints will now be without their star wide receiver Michael Thomas for the next several weeks, as he suffered a high ankle sprain. He only had three catches for 17 yards before having to bow out of the contest. What is New Orleans to do here?
The Fantasy Footballers had a feeling this wasn’t a good injury for Thomas to have. They speculated he’d miss some time before major NFL beat reporters suggested he’d be out at least a month with this injury. If this were a regular NFL season, Thomas would be going on IR with a designation to return. So who is Drew Brees going to throw the football to now on Sundays?
Though it’s not like the Saints offense is devoid of talent now that Thomas is out for the foreseeable future, far from it in fact, New Orleans will have to adjust on the fly to keep a vise-like grip on the NFC South division. Look for players like wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders and Tre’Quan Smith to step up, as well as running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook.
Which New Orleans Saints are impacted the most by Michael Thomas’ injury?
With Thomas out or battling through injury for the better part of the first half, Sanders emerges as the team’s No. 1 wide receiver option with Smith going up to No. 2. Cook becomes even more valuable, but he has tended to disappear in big stretches during his career. Kamara could become RB1 league-wide with this injury to Thomas. Latavius Murray becomes even more valuable, too.
Though the Saints won convincingly, Brees only threw for 160 yards at home. With this almost certainly being his final season before he hangs up the spikes to go join the NBC booth, he’ll either need to lean on the running game and the defense more than ever or he’ll quickly have to develop a great rapport with Sanders, as well as expand on the ones he has with Cook and Smith.
If we’re looking at who gains the most from this injury, it’s Kamara, followed by Sanders, Cook and Smith in that order. While Murray’s value goes up, Brees is not worth trotting out there as your QB1 anymore. How the Saints do against the Las Vegas Raiders on the road on Monday Night Football will tell us a lot about how this offense will function without Thomas for a few weeks.