Updating a previous story, it appears Saints running back Pierre Thomas 's chest injury, which he suffered in the team's week 17 game against Tampa Bay, isn't healing as well as the team would like. According to ESPN.com's Mike Triplett, Thomas has officially been ruled out for New Orleans' wildcard game with the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday night.
Thomas led the team in rushing yards with 549 and tacked on 513 additional yards on a league-leading 77 receptions during the regular season. His snaps will more than likely be distributed between running backs Darren Sproles , Mark Ingram, and Khiry Robinson.
This is a big blow to the Saints offense and to anyone who has drafted Thomas in their playoff drafts during the early part of the week. While fantasy players who drafted him are likely stuck with the empty production from the spot occupied by Thomas at this point, the Saints will probably be ok. Thomas was the most prolific pass-catcher in the league this season with his 77 receptions, but one of the best players to ever fill that role, Sproles, is also on the roster. He finished the regular season just behind Thomas with 71 catches and ahead of him with 604 yards receiving. He should pick up the slack nicely.
If you're in a playoff league that's yet to draft, obviously avoid Thomas. Sproles, however, looks to be a sleeper if you were betting on the Saints to advance past their game with the Eagles. He's an even better value play this week in salary cap leagues, as he and Thomas combined to average nine catches and almost 70 yards receiving per game on the year. Most of that production looks to now go to Sproles. Against the Eagles 32nd ranked pass defense, there's a chance he could be on the plus side of those numbers.