Saints Star Receiver Expected Back In Week 6

Nothing can ruin a fantasy football manager’s season more than a lingering, limiting injury to a star. We have you covered on the latest injury report news from around the NFL. We’re diving into New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas’ injury update to see if he’s worth starting on your fantasy roster.

Michael Thomas Injury Update

After a promising start to the season that featured three touchdowns in as many games, Thomas suffered a toe injury that kept him out for the past two weeks. Fantasy managers who gambled by drafting Thomas knew the star could deal with injuries at some point, considering he missed 18 months of action with an ankle issue. But to get three weeks of great production and then lose him for multiple weeks is a tough blow.

Interestingly, Thomas was said to be likely to play this week at the time he was ruled out for Week 5’s game against the Seattle Seahawks. That means the Saints are being as cautious as can be with their receiver’s injury, an understandable approach considering the state of the roster and his recent history. Further damaging his foot could lead to a long absence.

The Saints would benefit considerably from Thomas’ return. Star rookie receiver Chris Olave suffered a brutal concussion last week that could keep him out some time as the league is worried about the optics of how concussions are handled after the Tua Tagovailoa debacle. Jarvis Landry is also still dealing with an ankle injury that has his status in the air.

MORE: Week 6 WR Fantasy Football Rankings

If Thomas is active, he’s a no-brainer start for fantasy managers. He’s WR35 despite missing two games, averaging just over five receptions a game for 57 yards and one touchdown. Even with Andy Dalton starting instead of Jameis Winston, the Saints have a potent enough situation to give Thomas high-WR2 potential any given week.

Ranked as the ninth-best red-zone receiver in 2022, Thomas has the best role possible as the primary red-zone threat on this team. Even with Taysom Hill getting more carries inside the 20, Thomas will be a priority. All we need now is a few more targets outside of the red zone and Thomas will be entrenched in your lineup as a stud WR2.

His matchup against the Bengals is not an easy one. The Bengals allow the sixth-fewest fantasy points to receivers, notably being stingy with touchdowns. They surrender an average of 12 receptions for 141.8 yards but only one score on the year.

That being said, their passing defense is closer to average, and the Saints should be able to move Thomas around formations in order to find advantageous matchups. The Bengals aren’t particularly strong at corner or safety outside of Jessie Bates. Thomas can win his direct matchup.

Watch for Thomas’ practice participation levels throughout the week. He wasn’t seen at practice on Wednesday but was marked as limited. Even getting the limited distinction is promising considering the expectation to play this week. We’d be wary of any type of setback suffered on Thursday or Friday as practices ramp up closer to game day.

Ian Wharton is currently a Fantasy and Betting Analyst for PFN. He has covered all aspects of the NFL since 2013. He’s previously provided scouting services to the NFL, XFL, and CFL, in addition to writing for Bleacher Report, Complex Sports, and Sports Illustrated. You can follow him on Twitter: @NFLFilmStudy

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