Fantasy managers keeping an eye on New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas can feel a little more optimistic about his prospects of playing in Week 1.
Per Jeff Duncan of NOLA.com, there is "positive news" about Thomas' hamstring injury.
Duncan noted he "would be surprised" if the veteran wideout isn't in the starting lineup against the Atlanta Falcons on Sept. 11.
Saints head coach Dennis Allen said the 29-year-old was dealing with "a little bit of a hamstring" issue that caused him to be held out of practice on Aug. 21.
Arguably the best receiver in the NFL during his prime, Thomas has struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons. He last appeared in a game in December 2020 and was limited to only seven games that year because of an ankle injury. He missed the entire 2021 season while recovering from ankle surgery.
It was just three years ago that the Ohio State product set an NFL single-season record with 146 receptions and led the league with 1,725 yards while adding nine touchdowns. He was named 2019 AP NFL Offensive Player of the Year for his dominance that season.
A three-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro, Thomas is expected to be the focal point of the Saints passing attack when he's healthy.
Having him ready at the start of the season would be a boost to the offense, especially with Jameis Winston also in line to be ready for Week 1. Winston played in New Orleans' preseason finale after being questionable with a sprained foot. He went 4-of-4 for 59 yards in his lone series.
Rookie receiver Chris Olave, who was drafted 11th overall, should also see a high volume of targets. But the passing game still figures to be filtered through Thomas, at least early in the season.