Pierre Thomas' Instant Fantasy Reaction After Week 5 Performance vs. Bears

Andrew GouldFeatured ColumnistOctober 6, 2013

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06: Pierre Thomas #23 of the New Orleans Saints catches a touchdown pass as Tim Jennings #26 of the Chicago Bears defends him during the second quarteron October 6, 2013 at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
David Banks/Getty Images

Pierre Thomas is having his first noteworthy fantasy performance of the NFL season.

Lost in the shuffle of the New Orleans Saints' crowded backfield, Thomas had yet to exceed 67 yards or reach the end zone during the first four weeks. In Week 5, however, he had collected 91 yards (36 rushing, 55 receiving) and two receiving touchdowns early in the second half.  He finished the day with those same numbers, but it was certainly a productive game for the Saints' running back.

Thomas currently leads New Orleans' running backs with 19 carries while also catching nine balls against the Chicago Bears. Any member of the Saints is capable of producing substantial fantasy numbers, but you never know which skill player will step up on any given week.

Darren Sproles took the wheel last Monday night, amassing 142 total yards and two touchdowns. But both backs make their living as pass-catchers, eliminating the guarantee of touches afforded to most primary rushers.

Sproles caught 75 passes to Thomas' 39 last season, so don't give up on Sproles and assume Thomas is the new go-to back. Thomas has not collected double-digit scores since 2008, so the two-touchdown performance feels a bit fluky for a check-down option.  

If Thomas is sitting in the free-agency pool, he's certainly worth an add. He provides added depth and can at least score a few points in place of a starter on a bye week. Due to the current state of running backs, a veteran like Thomas who won't permanently fall out of favor offers nice depth for fantasy managers.

In points-per-reception leagues, Thomas makes a solid flex play due to his involvement in New Orleans' high-powered passing attack. Those who roster him in standard formats should own him as a Plan B option.

At the very least, Thomas looks to have permanently bypassed Mark Ingram, who has been battling a toe injury, and that alone has seen his value rise in recent weeks.