New Orleans Saints: Why Michael Thomas is the team’s most irreplaceable player

Michael Thomas, Saints. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Michael Thomas, Saints. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Saints Offense Without Alvin Kamara

There is really no basis to the idea that a running back could be the most irreplaceable player on a team’s roster, and that remains true with Alvin Kamara.

Right now, the 25-year-old leads the Saints in receiving yards, and his abilities as a dual threat make him the most valuable running back in the NFL, in my opinion. Brees’ low average depth of target has a lot to do for his trust in Kamara in the passing game; Brees targeted him nine times per game.

Nevertheless, the offense has not been tied to his production. With Brees, he was a non-factor in the passing game against the Lions and Bucs, yet the team scored 35+ points in each of these games.

Meanwhile, his most productive games, against the Bears, Packers, and 49ers, were among the offense’s least-efficient outings.

Over the past three games, Kamara has a grand total of three receptions for seven reaching yards.

Thomas, on the other hand, has been the player to step up in Brees’ absence, and unless Kamara makes more of an impact as a receiver, his value goes down significantly; rushing production is far less valuable, and he has consistently been used in a running back-by-committee approach.

It is also worth noting that in the two games that Kamara missed last season, New Orleans averaged 467 yards/game.

Meanwhile, Kamara was limited due to a knee injury all year, yet the Saints still finished with the fourth-best offense in terms of point/play, and that was without Brees for five games. Kamara is fantastic, but he is a running back, after all.