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Who is the best fantasy wide receiver pick: Michael Thomas or Davante Adams?

By: John Falabella

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As the regular season approaches this will be my final article of the 2020 preseason. Thus far we have debated some of the top players at each position. Patrick Mahomes or Lamar Jackson? Christian McCaffrey or Saquon Barkley? George Kittle or Travis Kelce? Tom Brady vs Cam Newton? This final article will cover two of the top two ranked WR’s headed into the 2020 season: Michael Thomas, of the New Orleans Saints, and Davante Adams, of the Green Bay Packers. Both of these guys are exceptional receivers but who is the better wide receiver option entering this season?

MICHAEL THOMAS (New Orleans SaintsWR – #13)

Michael Thomas is entering his 5th season with the New Orleans Saints. He was selected 47th overall in the 2016 NFL draft. Over his first five years he has caught 470 passes for 5512 yards and 32 TDs. He has averaged over 87 yards per game for his career.

DAVANTE ADAMS (Green Bay PackersWR – #17)

Davante Adams is entering his 7th season with the Green Bay Packers. He was selected 53rd overall in the 2014 NFL draft. He was a third option his first two seasons in Green Bay, playing behind Jordy Nelson (in his prime) and Randall Cobb. It was really in year three that Adams took over as the #1 WR for the Packers and the rest is history. For his career he has caught 431 passes for 5194 yards and 44 TDs.

Let’s take a look at how each of these guys stack up in each category:


Both of these players are the number one targets for their (future) Hall of Fame Quarterbacks. Davante Adams has had at least 117 targets in each of the last four seasons. In his best year in Green Bay he caught 111 passes on 169 targets (2018). He was on pace for the same type of numbers last year but he missed four games and fell short, but the fact remains, that the potential remains for that kind of workload in 2020.

Michael Thomas, in his four years as a professional, has never seen fewer than 121 targets and has never fallen short of 100 catches. In fact, each season Thomas has played the number of catches that he has had has gotten higher. In 2018 Thomas led the NFL with 125 catches and last year he set an NFL record by making 149 catches on 185 targets.

Advantage: Michael Thomas


During Davante Adams‘ best season (2018) he was able to gain 1386 yards and last year was on pace to match that number while averaging 83.1 yards/game but the truth is, Adams has only had one 1,000 yard season in his six year career (finished with 997 yards twice).

As I mentioned, the numbers that Michael Thomas has put up have gotten better each season and the yardage numbers are no different. Thomas had 1137 yards… his rookie season and he has continued to get better and better. Last season he led the NFL with 1725 yards, with an average of 107.8 yards/game.

Advantage: Michael Thomas


Over Michael Thomas’s four year career he has finished with 9 TD receptions three times, and has never reached double digits. That is unlikely to change as the Saints like to spread the ball around. In 2019 the Saints had six different players (including Thomas) score at least 5 TDs. In 2018, four players scored 5 or more TDs but the running backs, Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, rushed for 20 TDs combined.

What Davante Adams loses in catches and yardage he gains with his red zone connection with Aaron Rodgers. In the four years that Adams has been the #1 WR in Green Bay he has exceeded 10 TDs three times with a high of 13 in 2018. In 2019 he was on pace for 7 TDs but I would look for that number to increase in 2020 as Aaron Jones had 16 rushing TDs last year for the Packers and teams will stack the line to stop him in 2020.

Advantage: Davante Adams


A big part of the potential of a WR is the abilities of the Quarterback throwing him the ball. Both of these players have future Hall of Fame Quarterbacks in pass first offenses and both players are the #1 targets for those QBs.

Of course, Adams will be catching passes from one of the best in the game, Aaron Rodgers, who isn’t getting any younger (age 36). Rodgers normally plays all 16 games, but twice in the past seven years Rodgers has missed about half the season with injuries so it is possible that it could happen again. Should Rodgers go down it would be, rookie, Jordan Love throwing the passes. Jordan Love did throw 20 TD passes his last year in college but also threw 17 interceptions. The last time Rodgers was out and Adams had to catch passes from a young QB he struggled.

Thomas will be targeted plenty by Drew Brees, but he is older than Rodgers (age 41). Should Drew Brees get injured he would be replaced by former #1 overall pick, Jameis Winston. Now Winston has a track record for throwing interceptions himself (30 last season) but he will be schooled in New Orleans which will help his development. Brees actually missed 6 games last season, so there is a chance that could occur again. The numbers that Michael Thomas put up last season with QB Teddy Bridgewater were almost identical to the numbers he had with Brees.

Advantage: Michael Thomas


New Orleans is loaded with talent, not just at QB. They have Alvin Kamara, Latavius Murray, Emmanuel Sanders, Tre’Quan Smith and Jared Cook that will take the field with Thomas. Now while Michael Thomas is worthy of a double team that will be very hard to do with all these other capable options.

Green Bay does have a great system but they do not have nearly as much surrounding Adams as the Saints do with Thomas. Green Bay has a solid running game but they do not have a proven #2 or #3 WR and will be going with a no-name TE now that Jimmy Graham has left town. Without a clear cut second option Davante Adams will most likely face double teams each game.

Advantage: Michael Thomas


This might be the most important point. I mentioned that Adams has only had one 1000 yard receiving season, a big reason for that is that he has not played a full 16 game season since 2016 and has missed 10 games over his six year career. Adams is a great talent but if he is not on the field he can’t help the Packers and, most of all, he can’t help you. One year, due to the double teams, he took a big hit and had a major concussion…so the injuries are not entirely his fault but the fact that he garners so much attention he will be hit hard on almost every play.

Michael Thomas has only missed one game in his entire career and that was in his rookie season. With all the talent surrounding him and the lack of double teams he works with more space and he will not take as many big hits because of it.

Advantage: Michael Thomas


If Davante Adams plays 16 games with Aaron Rodgers he will no doubt put up Michael Thomas like numbers but…

Michael Thomas will put up BIG numbers no matter who is under center in New Orleans and should be the first WR picked in 2020 fantasy football drafts.

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