Fantasy Football analysis: Saints WRs Michael Thomas ($6,700), Emmanuel Sanders ($4,500), Deonte Harris ($3,500)
Harris is a 5-foot-6 dynamo who returned from a six-week absence last week to catch more passes (seven) and gain more yards (83) than he had in his previous three games combined. He tied Thomas and tight end Jared Cook with a team-high seven targets.
While that’s good for Harris and the Saints’ offense as a whole, it’s bad news for Sanders, who caught two of just three targets for a meager three yards. In Weeks 15-17 — all while Thomas was sidelined — Sanders operated as Drew Brees’ No. 1 wideout, topping 70 yards in each game. In Sanders’ last six games when Thomas was active, he didn’t see more than six targets or gain as much as 70 yards in any of them.
Thomas looked healthy against the Bears, recording a 5-73-1 line on seven targets. He did that while playing just 67 percent of the offensive snaps. As he’s not even on the injury report this week, he should be more involved versus Tampa Bay.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
This isn’t a great matchup for Harris since the Bucs’ secondary hasn’t surrendered big plays often this year. But at his price and considering his recent involvement, he’s worth a try in GPPs. Thomas is a chalky start, especially after looking physically OK during the Wild Card playoff game. Sanders is a fade candidate. With Thomas back, he’s a low-floor, low-ceiling guy. There are better mid-range options at WR.