by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
No one is going to argue against the numbers Demaryius Thomas has posted throughout his career. Over the past six seasons he’s averaged 155 targets per year, never falling below 141. Opportunity is king, but over the post four seasons the production has started to slide in the wrong direction:
You can argue that it’s been partly due to the quarterback play, and with Case Keenum taking over that should be an improvement and help to resolve that issue. At the same time is anyone willing to guarantee that Thomas is going to see the same type of workload?
Now 30-years old and clearly not making big plays the way he did earlier in his career, he also faces the biggest battle for targets. Not only is Emmanuel Sanders in place, as he has been, but the team went out and drafted Courtland Sutton in the second round of the 2018 draft. Listed at 6’4” and 216 lbs., he’s a big receiver who could easily start to take targets away from both of the Broncos’ “top” receivers.
We say “top”, because would it be shocking if Sutton developed into the best player of this group by the end of ’18?
Walter Football compared him to Alshon Jeffery prior to the draft, saying:
Sutton is an inch taller than Jeffery, but they are the same weight. Both of them are big wideouts who consistently win contested catches and are excellent red-zone receivers. Jeffery has been a size mismatch problem in the NFL, and Sutton should provide that as well. I think Sutton could be a better version of Jeffery in the NFL.
From an outlook for Thomas, who has already seen his TD numbers fall to pedestrian, that’s a scary thought. However, at his current ADP of 49.4 people are paying for him as almost a guaranteed WR2. Is that something you are willing to declare?
This is a case where the risk may simply outweigh the potential reward, so fantasy owners may want to pass and move on to the next option on their draft board.
Sources – ESPN, Fantasy Pros, Walter Football
Make sure to check out all of our 2018 preseason rankings: