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Sean Payton's fantasy advice on Michael Thomas: 'Shoot, I'd try to have him'

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New Saints receivers generating buzz (0:47)

Veteran tight end Coby Fleener is a great fit in New Orleans, but ESPN Saints reporter Mike Triplett explains how a rookie could be even a bigger part of the Saints offense. (0:47)

METAIRIE, La. -- Sean Payton said he doesn’t follow fantasy football, but that didn’t stop him from giving the ultimate fantasy endorsement to rookie New Orleans Saints receiver Michael Thomas on Tuesday.

Payton was asked if the team is making a conscious effort to limit expectations with Thomas, who has generated so much buzz this summer.

"No, I’ve got high expectations for him," Payton quickly responded. "Listen, I think he’s gonna contribute early. I don’t follow fantasy football, but shoot, I’d try to have him. I think he’s gonna do well."

Payton has tried to keep Thomas in check in one area -- stressing that he would like to see a few less one-handed catches after Thomas has been swept up in the Odell Beckham Jr. "epidemic."

But other than that, Payton and the Saints' quarterbacks have raved about the second-round draft pick from Ohio State this summer. He has quickly earned their trust with his ability to make difficult catches and win in traffic.

As I wrote last week in my Saints WR projections, fantasy owners still need to temper their expectations for Thomas, because he is a rookie and because New Orleans has so many options in the passing game (Brandin Cooks, Willie Snead and Coby Fleener, among others).

But clearly Thomas has a ton of upside.