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Dynasty Price Check - Demaryius Thomas

Today's dynasty price check column will take a look at Demaryius Thomas. We will start off with an overview of Thomas' recent history and then analyze his value in dynasty leagues. Then, we will propose some possible trades involving Thomas to give you some ideas for either buying or selling him.

When it comes to dynasty football leagues, you know there is no offseason. Without the in-season worries of setting lineups and waiver wire claims, dynasty league enthusiasts can focus their efforts on making trades to improve their teams and preparing for rookie drafts. Offseason narratives can be difficult to navigate, but we are here to help!

For all discussions regarding their dynasty value, we will assume you are playing in a 12-team, one-quarterback dynasty league with 0.5 PPR scoring. As always, player values can shift quickly in dynasty leagues so be sure to stay on top of the NFL news cycle when proposing trades.

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Overview

Demaryius Thomas
Team: New England Patriots
College: Georgia Tech
Height/Weight: 6'3", 229 pounds
2010 NFL Draft: Round 1, Pick 22 overall

Thomas was drafted way back in 2010 by the Denver Broncos in the first round. It didn't take him long to make an impact in the league, finishing his first game with eight receptions for 97 yards and one touchdown against the Seattle Seahawks. Thomas was plagued by injuries in his rookie season, ending the year having played in 10 games and finishing with 22 receptions for 283 yards and two touchdowns.

Following up in 2011, Thomas was expected to miss the majority of the season with a tear to his Achilles tendon in February. Thomas was able to return to practice before the start of the season in a surprising return to health- only to break his finger and be forced to miss the first five games of the season. Thomas then broke his leg during the season, but even with having limited time on the field he caught 32 passes for 551 yards and four touchdowns.

During the offseason before the 2012 season, the team signed quarterback Peyton Manning. 2012 would end up being the breakout year for Thomas, and the first season where he was able to play in every regular season game. Thomas was able to catch 94 passes for 1,434 yards and ten touchdowns.

The Broncos' offense in 2013 produced a record-setting season. Thomas was a big part of that and finished the season with 92 receptions for 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns. They took their impressive run all the way to the Super Bowl, but the team wasn't able to overcome the Seattle Seahawks, ultimately losing 43-8.

2014 was another season where Thomas was able to be an elite receiver. This time, breaking the franchise record for receiving yards in a single game, with 226 yards. Thomas finished the season with 111 receptions for 1,619 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thomas finished second in receiving yards, only behind Antonio Brown.

The Denver Broncos placed the franchise tag on Thomas for 2015, before ultimately signing a five-year, $70 million contract extension. Thomas had a down season in 2015, with a struggling Manning suffering injury, and Brock Osweiler never having started a game before the season. Thomas still finished the season with 105 receptions for 1,304 yards and six touchdowns. Thomas would struggle to make an impact in the Super Bowl against the Carolina Panthers, only catching one pass for eight yards, although the Broncos won the big game.

2016 was a season of change for the Broncos with Manning retiring and Osweiler heading to the Houston Texans. Thomas finished the season with 90 receptions for 1,083 yards and five touchdowns. The next year, Thomas had his first season since his breakout in 2012 where he didn't finish with over 1,000 yards, ultimately finishing with 83 receptions for 949 yards and five TD.

2018 meant that Thomas was due to work with yet another new quarterback in Case Keenum. Thomas was still a big part of the offense, but ultimately he was traded away mid-season to the Texans. Thomas had 36 receptions for 402 yards and three touchdowns while he was with the Broncos. Thomas was traded to the Texans to finish the season, and would ultimately only play three games for them before suffering a torn Achilles. Thomas finished his season with the Texans with seven receptions for 99 yards and two touchdowns.

In February, the Texans released him, before he recently signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots.

 

Dynasty Value

Thomas is an effective receiver, who has a catalog of top performances, but has struggled with limited quarterback play in recent years. Signing for the Patriots (albeit on a one-year deal) means that Bill Belichick has a plan for him in his offense led by quarterback Tom Brady.

Thomas will have competition for targets with Julian Edelman still on the roster. However, with the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski, departure of Chris Hogan, and continued absence of Josh Gordon, there are still plenty of targets available.

According to Fantasy Football Calculator, Thomas is currently undrafted in dynasty leagues, but that is likely to change to him being selected in the late rounds with his recent signing with the Patriots.

 

Possible Trades

Thomas' age, combined with the struggles he has had in recent years has affected his dynasty value- especially for trading. Thomas is likely able to be picked up for little-to-nothing, such as late-round rookie picks, or for little compensation in terms of players.

While there is a clear upside for a player who is still talented on a great offense, it's more likely you are going to be able to buy him at value than sell him for anything of worth.

 

Conclusion

Thomas is a great low-risk, high-reward gamble at the wide receiver position. I would try and pick him up if I needed WR depth and was relatively young at the position, but only if I could do so without a significant investment. DT could be a valuable WR4 on a contending team in 2019 and his value will only rise as the preseason progresses.




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