Saints RB Pierre Thomas misses second straight practice Thursday
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Saints RB Pierre Thomas misses second straight practice Thursday

ESPN.com's Mike Triplett reports that running back Pierre Thomas @Pierre_Thomas of the New Orleans Saints missed his second straight practice on Thursday while trying to recover from a chest injury suffered in the team's 42-17 win against Tampa Bay Sunday. His status for Saturday night's wildcard showdown with the Eagles is currently up in the air.

The bad news is that Thomas has been the most productive back in a deep Saints backfield this season, running for 549 yards and tacking on 513 receiving yards on 77 receptions, a number that led all NFL running backs on the season. The good news is that the Saints are one of the few teams in the league that may be able to survive the loss of their leading rusher. Mark Ingram @MarkIngram22 has been running well of late and averaged 4.9 yards per carry on the season. And, while Thomas had the most receptions out of the backfield, Darren Sproles @DarrenSproles wasn't far behind with 71 catches, amassing 604 yards, and is very capable of taking Thomas's snaps.

Fantasy Analysis:

If you're in a playoff league that has yet to draft, it may be best to avoid Thomas at this point. He could have been in for a big PPR game against the Eagles #32 pass defense, but with the depth that the Saints have at the position, they may not risk using him in the wildcard round in hopes of having him fully healthy in the divisional round. Should they knock off the Eagles this week, having Thomas at or close to 100% would be better than having him come out of the game banged up. In FFToolbox.com's Playoff Draft World Championship, Thomas's ADP is currently 17th among running backs. Sproles is currently coming off draft boards as the #9 RB. Expect that gap to widen in the next 36 hours worth of drafts.

None of the Saints RB's were big touchdown guys this year, as QB Drew Brees led the team in rushing scores with three. But, as far as yards and receptions go, Saints running backs are about as productive as they come. I think the biggest boost goes to Sproles if Thomas can't go, as the two combined for 148 receptions and over 1100 yards on the year. Those numbers can't be ignored heading into the weekend's game with Philly.

Source:
ESPN

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Rusty Reeves -
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Loogootee, IN
FFToolbox Fantasy Football Writer since 2013
Rusty has been an avid fantasy player since 2000, focusing primarily on football and dabbling a little in baseball. After dominating his local 16 team, auction league for the last 10 years, he and partner Mark Weakley have entered the high stakes world, making the playoffs and finishing 12th in their inaugural 252 team Main Event. They are also regulars in the playoffs in the auction format. He converses regularly with some of the best high stakes pros in the industry.
Rusty also has a love of live theatre, having been cast as male lead in a play in 2010 & directing a play in 2012.
A 2000 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, Rusty resides in the Evansville, IN area with his wife & two daughters.


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