As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. Well, Leonard Fournette is gone. And with him leaving, the backfield opens up by a lot. We initially did not include Chris Thompson in our player profiles because he fell outside of the 150+ guys we wanted to cover. The reasoning was that Leonard Fournette would be the guy to have on your fantasy football squads in Jacksonville, and Chris Thompson’s fragility. One of those things changed (the other didn’t). Should you be considering Chris Thompson for your fantasy football squads?
Chris Thompson ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB61, #211 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB56, #194 overall
Average Auction Value: $2
Chris Thompson Statistics:
Chris Thompson Overview:
First, let’s get into Chris Thompson, the player. The obvious bugaboo with Chris Thompson: his health. In his seven-year career, Thompson has topped 13 games played just once, and has missed just about 40% of his games throughout his career. Over the last three seasons, he’s played 10, 10, and 11 games. That’s the major problem with Chris Thompson.
The other major problem with trying to lean on Chris Thompson in a non-PPR league is his rushing totals: 3.8 rushing attempts per game or 18.1 yards per contest over his career. His great value comes in PPR and half-PPR leagues: he averages 3.2 receptions for 26.8 yards per game. All told, the average final stat-line for Chris Thompson has him ending up at 45 yards per game with 15 touchdowns in the last six seasons; essentially useless in a non-PPR league.
But, that won’t be his role with Jacksonville, where he reunites with his former head coach, Jay Gruden. Gruden and Thompson were together for five years in Washington, and Gruden guided Thompson to his best fantasy football finish: RB13 in PPR points per game in 2017.
There’s some hubbub about the Jags using Thompson more since they’ll pass more while being down. This bears out, as with Jay Gruden, Thompson averaged about 2.5 more targets per game in losses compared to wins. The downside? That still came out to just 5.7 targets per game. So, we do have some floor for Thompson here: 5-6 targets and about 40-50 yards per game total. That’s about 8-10 PPR points per game.
Chris Thompson Draft Strategy:
Chris Thompson was a fourteenth-round pick by ADP just a week ago. He was a PPR-only threat doomed for a partial season due to injury. Losing Leonard Fournette doesn’t change much, to me. He’s still not a great runner and his best attributes are in the passing game. He’s destined to be RB30-RB35 on a per-game basis unless he gets a ton of touchdowns out of nowhere. I’m not particularly interested in Chris Thompson at his new (round 9 or 10) average draft price if I need a guy who is going to end up in a set-and-forget slot in my lineup. For now, look at him as a PPR bye week flex that you can snag in the second half of the draft. There’s a lot to like about that profile, this is just a warning to temper expectations: he’s RB36, on average, in the games he plays
Best Case Scenario:
Jay Gruden decides to go all-out with Chris Thompson and he’s Tarik Cohen for an entire season, turning in top-24 RB numbers.
Worst Case Scenario:
Chris Thompson flounders on your bench and hits IR before you get a chance to use him in your starting lineup.