Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Demaryius Thomas in Week Nine?

This isn’t where Brock Osweiler wanted to end up. He took less money from the Houston Texans than offered by the Denver Broncos to end up sucking, getting kicked to Cleveland, kicked to the curb and then slinking back to Denver with his tail between his legs. This isn’t where fantasy football owners of Demaryius Thomas wanted to end up, either. We all have memories of what Brock did to DeAndre Hopkins in his time in Houston, and DT’s owners likely have visions of 4/37 stat-lines in their future. This week they take on the Philadelphia Eagles pass defense. Will Brock hurt Demaryius Thomas and his fantasy football production, or can you roll with him as you would normally?

The last time Demaryius Thomas played with Brock, it was in their Super Bowl-winning 2015 season. Osweiler came in mid-season to spell an injured Peyton Manning. In their time together, Demaryius Thomas averaged 10.5 targets per game, which is exactly what you want, no matter what he does with it. Luckily, he did a good amount with it. If DT played all season with Brock, he would have ended with an 88/1118/10 stat-line, or roughly Michael Thomas’s final 2016 statistical output. In fantasy terms, he averaged 10.74 fantasy points per game in standard, and 16.24 in PPR. He was as set-and-forget as you could get.

What about this year, with Trevor Siemian under center? Well, first and foremost, Siemian’s mindset hasn’t gotten Thomas a single touchdown. Not one. Nada. Zip. His receptions and yards are also slightly lower than with Osweiler, as he is on pace for just over 1,000 yards and eighty catches. The touchdowns are the sticky wicket here, as his 6.5 fantasy points in standard (11.5 PPR) are not only not going to cut it, but also a result of a lack of touchdowns.

What might happen this week, as the Broncos and Philadelphia Eagles square off? Well, that might be difficult, as the Eagles haven’t ceded a double-digit fantasy point game (or even a touchdown) to a wide receiver since week four… but they haven’t played a passing offense with a dominant WR1 since then either. The closest they came was Larry Fitzgerald, but he had a lot of production siphoned away by J.J. Nelson. Kelvin Benjamin would have made this whole “no double-digit fantasy points” thing a moot point if he had gotten one more yard. The production is there, but they’ve played offenses with multiple receivers fighting for pieces of the pie.

The matchup isn’t great for Demaryius Thomas this weekend, it’s only so-so. I wouldn’t recommend him in any daily fantasy lineups, as his ceiling is somewhat capped. Those worrying the switch to Brock will hurt Demaryius truly haven’t thought about how terrible his production has already been this year. There are six teams on Bye, and suddenly you can’t trust Will Fuller. Demaryius Thomas should have the best week of this season, but even that still is only a WR3 or so. Start him as you normally would, and expect at least a few extra points from him with the chance for a score.

About Jeff Krisko

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