Fantasy Football: Don’t Be Fooled By New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas’ Week 5
We all know that the New Orleans Saints are a well-oiled offensive machine that seems to have success no matter if they’re facing the worst defense or the best defense in the NFL. They also have two of the most consistent and reliable Fantasy Football in quarterback Drew Brees and the tight end above all tight ends, Jimmy Graham.
In week five of this season as the Saints faced off with the Chicago Bears, running back Pierre Thomas benefitted from Mark Ingram being ruled out and the flow of the game not necessitating the use of Darren Sproles. This past week, Thomas touched the ball 28 times and was second on the team in targets in the passing game. In terms of fantasy, he finished the day with 20 points in standard scoring and 29 points in a PPR league.
Looking at Thomas’ fantasy production in week five, people might be looking at him as someone who could be gaining fantasy value moving forward. From where I’m sitting, though, Thomas is still not a running back that I’d want my fantasy team relying on moving forward.
For starters, Thomas wasn’t productive running the ball on Sunday, even with 19 carries. He rushed for only 36 yards, which amounts to just 1.9 yards per carry. That’s not a far cry from his overall production this season where he’s rushed for just 137 yards on 48 carries, good for only 2.9 yards per carry.
Secondly, Thomas won’t be getting nine targets or receptions in the passing game anytime soon. Against a physical pass rush like the Bears, Sproles was less valuable to have on the field than Thomas. Subsequently, Sproles played only 16 snaps compared to the 30-or-so that he normally plays. That’s not going to be the norm in this Saints offense; Sproles will be the primary pass-catcher out of the backfield and the only New Orleans running back I would want going forward.
If you’re desperate in a PPR league, Thomas will get you around eight points per game as he still catches a few passes, but in a standard league I don’t see his rushing production picking up against defenses worse than Chicago. Thomas is a low-end running back at this point and week five shouldn’t change that.
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