Buccaneers: New Orleans Saints players to watch in week 17
By Brian DeFeo
Wide Receiver Michael Thomas
While his rookie year was good enough for the Saints to ship away Brandin Cooks, Michael Thomas has continued his success as a top wide receiver in the league. One of three players on the Saints to have 1000 yards from scrimmage really makes their offense explosive. While he is not a vertical threat he is a possession receiver who has become Drew Brees‘ favorite target. With 98 catches this season he should easily break 100 and could lead the league in receptions with a big game on Sunday. While he hasn’t scored as many touchdowns as he did last year he does have three in the last four games.
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Part of the Saints offensive success this year is due to the ability to spread the ball. They have a three-headed monster of weapons with Alvin Kamara, Mark Ingram, and Michael Thomas. With that duo in the backfield, Michael Thomas is free to roam the outside and middle of the field. The Buccaneers defensive specialty is to play behind the first down marker than tackle the opponent as soon they get the first down. Michael Thomas has only played two games against Tampa but has fourteen catches for 163 yards. While not the most yards he averages against other teams he catches 75% of his targets and almost all of them have gone for first downs. The Saints average 30.5 points against the Bucs with Thomas on the field and I don’t see it slowing down this week.