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Monday, July 10, 2017

2017 FANTASY FOOTBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: DEMARYUIS THOMAS WR DENVER BRONCOS

Around this time of year, it can become nauseating hearing all of the glowing reports coming out of the headquarters of the various 32 NFL teams.  This player is in the best shape of his life or this player is set to take no prisoners on the field.  It all is a bunch of nonsense.  However the one exception comes with health as a spry NFL body can do optimal things.  Thus it was nice to hear early Monday that Denver Broncos ace wideout Demaryuis Thomas was feeling no ill effects from the hip injury that dogged him for almost all of the 2016 season.  While Thomas still caught an excellent 90 passes for 1,083 yards, the general feeling among his owners was that he was a disappointment.  Some of that had to do with the fact Thomas was a victim of his previous success, having caught 111 balls in 2014 and 105 in 2015 for 16 total scores and over 1,300 receiving yards in each campaign.  Those were slam dunk WR 1 numbers in all fantasy football leagues but 2016 was a downgrade to WR 2 territory which can be blamed on the rough QB play of the Broncos.  With Peyton Manning off into retirement, Thomas was forced to catch passes from the inexperienced and noodle-armed Trevor Siemian and raw rookie Paxton Lynch.  Thomas of course can't throw the football to himself and so the drop in numbers was easy to understand and not totally blame him.  Unfortunately the same QB situation is in play for 2017 as Siemian and Lynch will battle it out.  While Lynch and his cannon arm would be more ideal from a TD and big-play perspective, Siemian's accuracy advantage would help in the raw catch totals.  Even more important and perhaps optimistic about Thomas' 2017 prospects is the fact he will be reunited with offensive coordinator Mike McCoy who helped turn him into a star.  McCoy employs the type of offense that is heavy on ball screens out side where Thomas boosts his catch totals and uses his supreme speed and athleticism to create yards after the catch.  This alone will help Thomas boost his yardage totals, while also giving him a good chance at 100 catches again.  Unfortunately TD's likely will remain volatile given the inconsistent QB play but Thomas at the very least is a top WR 2 play for 2017 fantasy football and should be drafted as such.

2017 PROJECTION:  98 receptions 1,121 yards 6 TD  


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