Saints RB Thomas to lose value in 2009?

Pierre Thomas was one of the NFL’s most productive backs during the second half of the 2009 season. (Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

Pierre Thomas was one of the NFL’s most productive backs during the second half of the 2009 season. (Chris Graythen / Getty Images)

During the NFL’s Scouting Combine, Saints coach Sean Payton told reporters that he was “dying” to add a power running back this offseason to pair with Reggie Bush.

According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, that runner could be Ohio State’s Chris “Beanie” Wells.

In listing the most important needs of his team, Payton said the safety position was still the most pressing despite the recent addition of veteran Darren Sharper. However, he also ranked a power back and an outside linebacker as a tie for the Saints’ second-biggest need.

Wells, who some project will be drafted by the Saints with the No. 14 overall selection, would be a tremendous addition to an offense that’s already among the elite units in the league.

However, it would be detrimental to the fantasy value of Pierre Thomas.

A sleeper down the stretch in 2008, Thomas was one of the NFL’s most productive backs during the second half of the season. He currently ranks as a viable No. 2 fantasy back for 2009, but the addition of Wells would significantly alter that status.

Even if the Saints went with a safety or a linebacker in the first round, they could still target someone like Iowa’s Shonn Greene. Payton would likely have to swing a deal to draft Greene, however, who could be a Day 1 selection.

After their first-round selection, the Saints don’t pick again until the fourth round (No. 116 and No. 118 overall).

Whatever the scenario, it’s obvious that Payton would rather add another back to the mix than open next season with Bush, Thomas, Mike Bell and Lynell Hamilton on the depth chart.

It’s a situation that fantasy enthusiasts need to watch.

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