"Thomas is hands down one of the best wide receivers in the NFL, but the Saints added another legitimate No. 1 wide receiver in Emmanuel Sanders this offseason to give Thomas some help at the position."
PFF placed the New Orleans Saints at the 4th spot. This is a reasonable spot for them as they do have one of the league’s best passing attack, no matter what stigma we place on Michael Thomas and his tendency to run short routes.
Thomas’ seven yards before catch per reception is lower than that of both Julio Jones (10.4) and Calvin Ridley (11.6). However, the difference between the three receivers is that Thomas averages more yards after catch (3.9) than both Jones (3.7) and Ridley (2.2).
This can be due to running shorter routes typically allows for more YAC. It’s hard to fault a guy who is playing in an offense built around a 41-year-old quarterback who struggles to throw 20 yards downfield. The Saints also added Emmanuel Sanders to their roster via free agency to add depth to their group.
This will be Sanders’s third team in two seasons but still adds a strong option in the passing game. Where New Orleans gets the upper hand is the playmaking ability of running back Alvin Kamara. While his yardage through the air has decreased each year during his career, he still averages 81 receptions over the course of each season while being targeted over 100 times.
It is fully reasonable to assume Kamara will bounce back in 2020 after a relatively disappointing 2019.