Michael Thomas' Hamstring Injury Boosts Chris Olave's Season-Long Stock

 New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave.
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Chris Olave. / Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Another year, another injury to star wide receiver Michael Thomas. 

The New Orleans Saints wideout reportedly has missed time in practice with a hamstring injury, which could open the door for another receiver, such as rookie Chris Olave to step up as the No. 1 option. 

There is no timetable for Thomas, and this injury could be minor, but when it comes to him, you can never be too sure. Since the start of the 2020 season, Thomas has appeared in just seven games due to ankle injuries. 

Right now, the Saints depth chart lists Thomas, Olave and Jarvis Landry as the team’s starters at wide receiver. After taking Olave in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the Saints figure to give him the first real crack at the No. 1 spot should Thomas not be able to go. 

There’s Value on Chris Olave’s Prop Numbers With Michael Thomas Hurt

Olave has some interesting prop numbers, starting with his odds to have the most receiving yards amongst rookies (+700 at FanDuel) and to win Offensive Rookie of the Year (+1000 at DraftKings, PointsBet, BetMGM and FanDuel).

Olave’s receiving yards prop is lowest at Caesars, where it sits at 675.5 (Over -115/Under -115). 

So, how should you bet on him entering the 2022 season? 

If anything, I’d target his receiving prop wherever you can get it closest to around 700 yards. Thomas doesn’t exactly stretch the field, usually doing his work close to the line of scrimmage, which would benefit Jarvis Landry if he misses time. 

However, Olave would be the clear-cut No. 1 option on the outside, which is good news when you play with a gunslinger like Jameis Winston. The veteran Winston made the most of a much worse receiving corps in his games last season, so having the talented Olave on the outside could take this offense to the next level. 

With so many other rookie wideouts, I’d wait before betting Olave in any rookie-only props, simply because if Thomas plays he may not see the same target share as a Drake London in 2022.

Still, with Thomas’ injury history, hopping on Olave’s props while they are this low is certainly worth it. We have no idea what Thomas will be after time away from football, and if he enters 2022 already banged up, someone else will have to step up for New Orleans.

Find Peter Dewey’s full betting record here.