With a new season approaching, the ever-changing NFL landscape has player fantasy values constantly on the move, with key events like free agency currently taking place and the 2023 NFL Draft still to come. Whether you’re used to the dynasty platform or are still learning the dynasty rules, let’s dive into the latest dynasty fantasy football value of New Orleans Saints WR Michael Thomas.
Michael Thomas’ Dynasty Outlook and Value
Thomas was one of the biggest wild cards last season. From a production standpoint, in his prime, he was 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). Thomas blew away the competition.
But that was a long time ago, as I’m sure many dynasty managers are keenly aware of if they rostered him. In early 2020, Thomas injured his ankle, which has been a storyline ever since. Thomas’ ankle has continued to be an issue, requiring multiple surgeries, and him missing all of the 2021 NFL season while recovering.
But surely 2022 was better, given the time spent recovering?
No, it was not. Thomas played in three games but suffered a pedal toe dislocation in Week 3. After waiting and waiting, the Saints placed Thomas on injured reserve in Week 9, ending his season once again. For those keeping score at home, that is a grand total of eight games Thomas has played in since his historical 2019 season.
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As he heads into 2023, Thomas is an enigma wrapped up in uncertainty. Like many, I did not expect Thomas back in New Orleans, given some of the now-deleted tweets which seemed to be throwing shade at the organization concerning his medical situation. That was clearly not the case as, according to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter, Thomas signed a one-year, $10 million deal that has a max value of $15 million with incentives.
Now that we know Thomas will be back in New Orleans, the conversation shifts to how we should value him knowing he will be lining up with Derek Carr under center and alongside Chris Olave at receiver. But the biggest hangup in his dynasty value evaluation is something no one has the answer or can answer.
Can Thomas stay healthy?
Michael Thomas’ Fantasy Ranking
The dynasty community, if anything, is stubborn. When an opinion is formed, it takes a herculean effort to change it, especially if it’s about a player who has burned them before. That’s why even if Thomas screams from the rooftops that he’s healthy, don’t expect this instant surge in value. At this point, he has to prove it.
It’s what makes him such a hard player to gauge the value of, as some managers have insisted on holding him on their IR and probably have an inflated value of him when compared to market price. Yet, others would almost give him away for free at this point.
Thomas is currently outside the top 60 for me at receiver in dynasty rankings as the WR56 in PPR formats. When it comes to Superflex formats, where quarterbacks carry an increased value due to positional scarcity, Thomas ranks No. 148 overall.
With that said, the play on the field should be in the WR2/3 range at a minimum, assuming Thomas can be a reliable option again, which is very much up for debate. With that said, he did average 5.3 receptions on 7.3 targets with 57 yards and three touchdowns in his three games in 2022 (17.0 PPR), including the game in which he left early after five targets.
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Still, don’t expect to see anything near the 2019 season for Thomas. But if Carr latches on to Thomas early, he and Olave could be 1A/1Bs in this offense, with Olave still the vastly more desirable receiver.
Suppose you are a team who is competing or just missed out on your dynasty championship game. In that case, you could try to flip a third-round pick for Thomas, which to me, is worth the risk assuming we do like his landing spot, as it is more likely he has a fantasy-relevant season than would the player picked in the same draft position.
Thomas will be 30 this March, and the age apex is absolutely in play. But for a one-year rental for a shot at a dynasty title, there is a case to be made for Thomas as a buy heading into 2023 but with the knowledge of possibly getting nothing in return.