Despite being on the “older” side of their production windows, an interesting dynasty ADP comparison emerges between two potential dominant receivers, each looking for a return to glory in 2022. Currently being selected in the same ADP range, which wide receiver is the better choice for dynasty fantasy football: Los Angeles Rams WR Allen Robinson or New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas?
Michael Thomas and Allen Robinson dynasty ADP comparison
Over the last few months, dynasty fantasy football drafts have been firing off at a record pace as the format gains more popularity. It also forces those who haven’t experienced the format before to shift their thinking as a multi-year approach and understanding of value is needed. Things moved once again after the draft as team needs were filled.
For instance, dynasty managers could be forced to choose between two players like Robinson and Thomas. Based on the current May ADP on DLF (Dynasty League Football), they are back-to-back at the position. Thomas is currently the WR30, coming off the board around pick 60. Meanwhile, Robinson is the WR31 but has a broader variance in his dynasty ADP despite an average of 61.
Which Michael Thomas will we see in 2022?
Is anyone dead-set on what they expect from Thomas this year? It’s a legitimate question, and one even I struggle with at times. Thomas, when at his best, is one of the top-tier receivers in football. His historic season in 2019 showed this, recording 149 receptions on 185 targets for 1,725 yards with nine touchdowns as the WR1 (23.4 PPR/game). He blew away the competition.
But as we know, that was three years ago. The last time we saw Thomas on the field and healthy was November 15, 2020. Although he played the game before after missing six, it was more of a tune-up than anything. He would be placed on the IR in Week 15 of that season and has yet to step on a football field since.
Thomas’ ankle has continued to be an issue, requiring multiple surgeries. Most recently, in June of 2021. When Thomas was healthy in 2020 from Weeks 10-14, he commanded a 34.6% target share, catching 32 of 44 targets for 370 yards. This is noteworthy because four of these games came while Drew Brees was out with his thumb injury, leaving Taysom Hill under center.
Changes in New Orleans add some questions to the equation
While not Drew Brees, Jameis Winston has shown a repeated history of facilitating fantasy-relevant wide receivers. The only concern is his current ACL recovery and where his health is at the moment. Another factor is the loss of Sean Payton, who opted to retire. Former Saints DC Dennis Allen has taken over as head coach, with long-time OC Pete Carmichael retaining his role.
New Orleans did bring in some help at pass catcher, which was desperately needed, drafting Chris Olave out of Ohio State and signing veteran Jarvis Landry. Add in Alvin Kamara, a solid OL, and a defense that should be a top-tier unit, and the Saints are a team set to compete for the division in 2022 — with Thomas expected to be a focal point of the offense. Can he live up to these expectations, or will a slow start due to rust prevent Thomas from living up to the expectations of dynasty managers?
Could Allen Robinson have his best performance ever in 2022?
When the Rams traded Robert Woods, I felt it was unnecessary. Aside from salary cap purposes, they had enough depth to allow Woods to recover from his mid-season ACL tear. But all this trade did was open the door for Robinson to become one of the top players in fantasy football.
I’ll cut to the chase. I’m extremely bullish on Robinson for 2022. For reference, I am 13 spots higher (WR16) than the general consensus of WR29. No question he’s a better value there at WR29, I just have him ranked higher than others.
Sure, Robinson undoubtedly had a downturn in production last season. A hamstring injury limited him to 12 games in 2021, and he seemed to never be on the same page with Justin Fields, catching 38 receptions for 410 yards and just one touchdown in 2021. Those were career lows for Robinson outside of his one-game 2017 campaign when he tore his ACL. He needed out of Chicago in a bad way.
Robinson has multiple seasons of high-level play, including 98+ receptions and 1,100+ yards in his two previous years. (Not to mention making Blake Bortles look like a franchise QB.) Now, one of the NFL’s least talked about elite receivers plays in the Rams system and has Matthew Stafford targeting him.
We remember how absurd Cooper Kupp’s season was last season. But the ACL injury to Woods keeps dynasty managers from recollecting how great Woods was. In his nine games alongside Kupp, Woods averaged 7.7 targets, five receptions, 61.8 yards, 0.56 TDs, and 15.9 PPR points a game. That’s a 17-game pace of 130 targets, 85 receptions, 1,050 yards, and 10 TDs with 270 PPR points, which would have been good enough for WR9 ahead of Mike Evans.
While I wouldn’t say I like going a straight 1-for-1 in comparison, it at least shows the path for opportunity laid out in front of Robinson, who is now in the best situation of his career.
Robinson or Thomas: Which WR is the right choice for dynasty at their ADP?
Money talks in the NFL. Thomas cashed in after his historic season but enters a bit of a prove-it year in 2022. While he is under team control for several more years, Thomas could be cut in 2023 using the post-June 1 designation and save just over $36 million over the next two seasons.
Robinson, on the other hand, just signed a three-year, $46.5 million contract. While there is an out after the 2023 season, his cap hit drops by over 73%. There would be little to no incentive to let Robinson walk, and even then, he would still be 31 years old.
Based on talent, both players at full health are neck and neck but win in different ways. Thomas is an intermediate specialist who generates separation with ease. Robinson can run the shorter routes but is a physical receiver who also capitalizes on deeper routes. This is where the connection with Stafford, one of the best arms in the league, should truly shine.
I prefer Robinson’s fit with his QB and the scheme he’s in. I generally have fewer concerns about him and what I think we will see when compared to Thomas. Based on his age, the mid-WR3 range is completely fine on draft day for Robinson in dynasty. But don’t be surprised if he’s a high-end WR2 for the next two seasons. Robinson would be on every one of my “win-now” rosters.