Michael Thomas is expected to miss the start of the regular season following ankle surgery that he underwent back in June.This surgery was to repair the same injury that Thomas suffered last season and hampered for most of 2020.
As we find ourselves a little more than a month away from the start of the regular season let's take a look at who should be on your fantasy radar as you prepare for your upcoming fantasy football drafts.
Yeah, he averaged 7.9 receptions on 9.1 targets for 73.4 receiving yards per game. He was far and away the leading receiver on the and though the QB situation right now is still in flux with an expected competition between Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill, Kamar will still be THE primary focus of this offense. Kamara currently has an averaged ADP of 4.58 so there isn’t much room for him to move up but with Thomas now out of the lineup there should be real consideration for him to be the second running back off the board behind Christian McCaffrey in PPR leagues.
Next Man Up
The 2018 third round pick has been a bit boom or bust over his first few years in the league but last year was maybe his most consistent as he caught a career best 34 passes on 50 targets for 448 yards. The majority of those yards and targets came when Thomas was out of the lineup between Week 2 and Week 8 as he totaled 25 catches on 33 targets for 301 yards. During this time Smith saw his snapshare sit anywhere between 80 and 90-percent.
Smith also had a big playoff performance in the Saints eventual loss to the Buccaneers as he pulled down three catches for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
With a current ADP of 224.59 we should expect to see him rise slightly up draft boards as one of the projected starting receivers for the Saints to begin the year and a prime breakout candidate should Thomas miss more time than expected.
The next name to know at wide receiver is going to be Marquez Callaway. Callaway could very easily leap Smith as the top targeted receiver with a good camp but either way he figures to head into the regular season as one of the starting receivers on the team. Callway saw limited action last year with nearly all of his production coming when Thomas was out of the lineup as he totaled 19 catches on 25 targets for 202 yards over those five games that Thomas missed. In four of those five games Callaway saw his snapshare sit around 70%.
Callaway currently has an ADP of 327.76 which makes him undrafted in most formats but he figures to now move into a late round target for many given his likely increased role to begin the season.
The Saints used a third round pick last year on Trautman and like many rookie tight ends, his first year was a bit pedestrian as he caught just 15 passes on 16 targets for 171 yards and a touchdown. This offseason the Saints let Jared Cook walk in free agency which opens the door for Trautman to be the go to receiving option at the position. While it's not an apples to apples comparison, Cook was a key part of the Saints passing attack when Thomas was out of the lineup, having caught four of his seven touchdowns during that stretch. Trautman was already on many sleeper lists heading into this season as a late round tight end target with his current ADP sitting at 154.05 but we should certainly expect him to rise up draft boards with the newly vacated targets in the Saints passing attack. Of course if you don't believe me you can always take our resident tight end guru Andrew Cooper’s word for it as well.