The Saints would still go on to win the game, but the headlines afterwards weren’t involving the Saints 34-23 win, but rather the status of the reining Offensive Player of the Year Michael Thomas who injured his ankle late in the 4th quarter.
Now classified a “high ankle sprain,” Thomas’s Week 2 status has officially been solidified — he has been ruled OUT for the game. Despite Sean Payton’s mind games that would have Jon Gruden and the Las Vegas Raiders have to prepare otherwise, the team acknowledged reality and ruled Thomas out after he missed practice all week. This could mean a big game for Emmanuel Sanders.
Fantasy Football analysis: Saints WRs Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith
Sanders was signed by the New Orleans Saints this offseason to give Drew Brees and Sean Payton a legitimate No. 2 wide receiver opposite Michael Thomas for the first time since Brandin Cooks was shipped off to the New England Patriots. Sanders’s Week 1 performance was a bit of a disappointment, though, as he only caught three passes for 15 yards (but he did make one of them count as he scored a decisive touchdown to increase the Saints lead late).
Sanders, an 11-year veteran, has enough talent to be a true No. 1 receiver in his own right, and showed to be just that for the San Francisco 49ers after 49ers acquired Sanders in a trade at the trade deadline.
Drew Brees didn’t have a good game against the Buccaneers, but that could likely be attributed to rust, a lack of preseason, and being without his starting right guard. Those issues should be resolved this week, and it’s safe to start Sanders, who represents the #1 receiving option in a Drew Brees and Sean Payton offense.
Tre’Quan Smith, on the other hand, is still likely someone who should be avoided, as he falls below Sanders, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook, Deonte Harris, and even Taysom Hill in the New Orleans passing attack at this point.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Start Sanders. Sit Smith.