Why Do The Saints Hate Pierre Thomas?

I made no apologies for my love of Illinois players. In my 2009 version of love/hate, I gave all my love towards Illinois players. Now there's so few that I essentially said I liked Thomas, Rashard Mendenhall, and Neil Rackers. I also have made no apologies for my love of Pierre Thomas.

However saying that, I will not be drafting Pierre Thomas this year in fantasy.

The reason for this is because it seems the Saints do not want to give Thomas any carries to make him as fantasy relevant as he should be.

On an extremely basic level, RB fantasy success = talent + playing time. You can be a crappy talent but get a lot of playing time (a la L.T.), you can be an awesome talent but not get a lot of playing time (a la Jamaal Charles), or you can get a lot of playing time and be extremely talented (a la Chris Johnson).

This year, more than any other year in recent memory, teams are starting to go to a timeshare. This obviously affects playing time to a lot of RBs (hard to get carries when your 'back up' is also getting carries). This would seem to actually increase Thomas' value because so many talented RBs that because Thomas is essentially more talented than the vast vast vast majority of timeshared RBs, he will have a lot of fantasy value.

The top 8 RBs (according to ADP) on MockDraftCentral.com are guys with little no significant backs ups (Johnson, AD, MJD, Rice, Gore, Turner, Jackson, and Mendenhall respectfully) and 11 out of the top 13 (add to the previous list Matthews, Benson, and Grant) have no significant back ups and the 10th best RB (Greene) has a significant back up (LT) but will still get carries like he had none.

This logically makes sense. First, the vast majority of the guys have the talent to be a legit #1 RB which makes their teams feel like they don't need to go out and get another RB. Secondly, these guys are not going to have their carries vultured away which means even if there are guys that are more talented than them, it won't matter for fantasy purposes because they'll still get the carries to get yards which is all you really care about in fantasy (and TD's obviously).

But sitting outside the top 15 (ranked 16th) is Pierre Thomas. ESPN.com ranks Thomas 18th. This makes sense, because the Saints seem to refuse to give Thomas carries. But why?

Last year, Thomas was t-4th in Yards Per Attempt (with 5.4), ranked 5th in DYAR (a football sabermetric stat evaluating how much total value a RB has), and FIRST in DVOA (a football sabermtric stat evaluating how valuable a RB is per play). (SIDENOTE: Football sabermetrics also evaluates a RBs success vs. how tough of a defense he's playing). It was these reasons that I thought last year Pierre Thomas deserved to be a pro bowler over Adrian Peterson who ranked 12th among RBs in DYAR and 23rd in DVOA.

Two years ago, Thomas ranked 6th among RBs in YPC (with 4.8), 11th in DYAR, and 4th in DVOA.

Clearly Pierre Thomas has talent. While I never saw it in college, he has proven it for at least two years in the pros. He also proven to be a better back than the scumbag-Kardashian dating-overhyped-#2 overall P.O.S. known as Reggie Bush. And he has proven this time and time again. Thomas is also above average at catching the ball too (Thomas had the highest catch rate among any running back with at least 25 passes) making him valuable on third down plays and good enough for that high flying high powered Who Dat attack.

Yet despite all these high remarks and praises, Thomas ended up as the 20th best fantasy back behind Matt Forte, LaDanian Tomlinson, and Jamaal Charles (who only started eight games last year versus Thomas' 14).

The reason for this: Thomas ranked 33rd in rushing attempts. Hell, his teammate Mike Bell got 25 more carries than him.

Guys who got more carries than Thomas last year: Jerome Harrison, Jamaal Charles, Cadillac Williams, Laurence Maroney, Julius Jones, and Brandon Jacobs, just to name a few. If you even remember anything about football in 2009, you should know just how ridiculous it is that these guys got more attempts than Pierre Thomas- who has shown to be a top 10 talent caliber running back.

Even though Mike Bell has gone to Philadelphia, New Orleans has replaced him with Ladell Betts (believe me, these two are on the same plane, talent wise). The Saints have tried so hard to get a 3rd running back this off season. First it was Lynell Hamilton, but when he got injured (seems like a sign from God to me) N.O. went out and got Betts.

It's so frustrating as a Pierre Thomas fan, to see a man who has more talent than guys like Ryan Grant and Cedric Benson, a man who if he were playing on the Minnesota Vikings or Jacksonville Jaguars would be a consensus top 5 fantasy running back, get so little respect on a team who was more than willing to give him a chance to begin with.

If you draft Thomas to play in your flex position, then he's probably perfect, but because the Saints seem stubborn and unwilling to even give Thomas 12-15 carries a game (he averaged 10.5 in 2009), I can't in good faith expect a lot from Thomas. And it pains me to say it, but I can't draft him.

I'm a firm believer that if you have a stud RB, you try and give 17-20 carries a game (the extremely rare exception being Williams and The Daily Show in Carolina) And Pierre Thomas is a stud RB. And Reggie Bush is not. Yet the Saints do not want to do that. So seriously Sean Peyton, why do you hate Pierre Thomas so much?


The 'Bright' One said...

cause Bush is the next Gale Sayers, duhh

urbanachiever said...

you are a moron. have you watched a Saints game in the last 4 years??? and their super bowl run last year doesnt count. PT doesn't get the carries because its not the offense the saints run. Brees is the #1 option. yes, 20 years ago, you won football games by giving it to a rb 20-25 times a game. its 2010, they just won the super bowl without a "stud" rb. and actually, limiting PT's and Bush's carries kept them fresh for the playoffs. jesus christ, how do you actually post something like this?

Sexy Rexy said...

I actually have watched many Saints game in the past few years and have seen Thomas play since he was in college.

I have seen with my eyes how good Thomas has been in the pros so if you want to argue with me how good your eyes are watching Thomas play versus how good my eyes are at it- then be my guest. But I'm gonna also use things like statistics and proof to win my argument.

I never said the Saints needed to give more carries to Thomas to help them win games and to score points, but they should give Thomas more carries. God forbid a team, even one like the Saints, tries to get better and improve themselves.

You know who else was fresh for the Superbowl and did very well in it: Jospeh Addai who had 72 more caries than Thomas during the regular season. There's a huge difference between "keeping a guy fresh" and just not playing him

And Im all for disgareement so if you disagree with me, fine. But if you want to be be a cocksucker under the anonymity of the internet then your future comments are gonna get deleted.

escort espaƱa said...

To my mind one and all must go through this.