Pierre Thomas: Still not a reliable starter

Updated: August 6, 2010, 3:06 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
I don't know where former Washington Redskins running back Ladell Betts is going to sign, or if he will at all, but the fact that he was scheduled for a workout this week with the Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints does make an interesting statement to me.

No, I don't expect Betts to have much fantasy value even if he signs with Sean Payton and Co. to essentially replace what Mike Bell did for this team -- or if another bruising north-south runner of his ilk does, like a Justin Fargas -- but I do think the Saints want someone to join forces with Pierre Thomas and Reggie Bush, and that would surely affect Thomas' value.

For all the ability Thomas brings, it might surprise you to know he still hasn't rushed for as much as 800 yards in a season. Yes, his yards per touch are impressive, but are there enough touches to make him a safe top 20 running back on draft day? Thomas finished 19th in standard running back scoring a year ago, and there's nothing wrong with that, but part of me wonders if that's the best fantasy owners will see. Thomas will be more of a third running back. It's much the same way I view Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson; the ability is there, but we really depend on the touchdowns.