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Dynasty & Redraft: WR Demaryius Thomas, Free Agent

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Rotoworld:

NBC Denver reports Demaryius Thomas turned down a seven-year, $100 million deal before signing his five-year, $70 million pact.

Per reporter Mike Klis, Thomas' agent "wasn't comfortable with the final two years of the deal," which included non-guaranteed $15 million salaries for 2020 and 2021. It appears the structure would have been the exact same of the contract he ended up signing, save for the final two years, where the Broncos would hold all the cards. Heading into his age-28 season, Thomas will be 32 at the end of his new pact. Between salary and bonuses, he's making a fully guaranteed $22 million in 2015.
Source: NBC Denver
Jul 16 - 11:26 AM

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Mike Klis @MikeKlis 17m17 minutes ago

Demaryius Thomas: "I'm fit. I think I'm a little faster. I think I'll play at a smaller weight this year, see how it goes."

Mike Klis @MikeKlis 22m22 minutes ago

Demaryius Thomas said he was never going to miss a regular-season game. Was going to play all 16 games no matter what. #9News

Edited by Faust

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Rotoworld:

Demaryius Thomas cut weight this offseason and is down to 222 pounds.

Thomas' 2010 Combine weigh-in was 224, and he says he usually plays in the 228-229 range. "I'm fit," said Demaryius, who "held out" for all of OTAs and minicamp. "I think I'm a little faster. I think I'll play at a smaller weight this year, see how it goes." Not yet 28 years old, Thomas enters 2015 having finished as a top-five fantasy wideout in three consecutive seasons.
Jul 17 - 2:03 PM

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So denver was incapable of negotiating a contract with Thomas a month ago so the just threw up their hands and decided on "Whatever Dez gets!"???? I guess that's as good a reason not to have your best player learning the new offense as any. Shrewd.

???

the Broncos sent him a playbook, video clips of practice, and he kept in touch w/ Denver's WR coach during the summer

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Anyone worried about the hand injury, especially on a short week? Word is DT was scheduled to undergo a X-ray but no word yet.

I would be more worried with peyton and this new offense. This might be the end of him if Kubiak doesn't give the offense back to peyton

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Anyone worried about the hand injury, especially on a short week? Word is DT was scheduled to undergo a X-ray but no word yet.

I would be more worried with peyton and this new offense. This might be the end of him if Kubiak doesn't give the offense back to peyton

The end of him? How? He still saw 11 targets and of course he's a threat to take it to the house on any given screen play. He was able to do damage with Tebow so a declining Manning/Kubiak (who funneled balls to AJ his entire career) doesn't scare me in the slightest.

A possibly fractured hand on the other hand..that scares me.

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Anyone worried about the hand injury, especially on a short week? Word is DT was scheduled to undergo a X-ray but no word yet.

I would be more worried with peyton and this new offense. This might be the end of him if Kubiak doesn't give the offense back to peyton

Youd be more worried about a worse offense than him possibly being out 6 weeks? Makes sense

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Hand's fine per rotoworld. Go back to worrying about the offense.

Just some reinforcement.

Demaryius Thomas (hand) is "fine."

Coach Gary Kubiak made the disclosure at Monday's presser. Thomas banged his hand late in Sunday's win, but missed only 1-2 plays. He'll be ready to rock for Thursday night's game against the Chiefs. Although Peyton Manning's play is a concern, Thomas remains locked in as a WR1.

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How Denver, Kansas City and New England played 'tag' this offseason:

http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/13631127/breaking-demaryius-thomas-justin-houston-stephen-gostkowski-offseason-transactions

Excerpt:

IS DEMARYIUS THOMAS OUT OF PEYTON MANNING'S RANGE?

What do 297 catches (No. 3 from 2012 through 2014), 4,483 receiving yards (No. 2) and 1,874 yards after the catch (No. 1) add up to? For Thomas, the total is $70 million -- a contract, signed on July 15, decreeing him one of the NFL's most valued targets.

But here's the catch: Even if he's worth the big bucks, the Manning-to-Thomas connection might not be.

Consider: Only three receivers racked up more yards on vertical passes (thrown 11-plus yards downfield) than Thomas last year (965), and his 30 grabs on medium-range lobs (11-19 air yards) ranked second. Unfortunately for him, that's no longer Manning's sweet spot. Despite having Thomas as a target, Manning struggled on medium-range throws: No. 17 in ypa (9.9), No. 21 in QBR (78.1) and dead last in INTs (8). And that last mark is why Manning, just two years after ranking fifth, finished 32nd in bad decision rate (4.5 percent) -- how frequently a QB makes a mental error that leads to a turnover opportunity -- on passes thrown 11 to 19 yards downfield. His seven bad decisions? Worst in the league.

The Broncos' brain trust -- ahem, John Elway -- is planning accordingly. New coach Gary Kubiak brings his ground-game-first attack to Denver, putting Manning under center more than ever before. And that sum? With Manning on a pitch count, Thomas' 100-plus-grabs potential will be all but a memory. -- KC Joyner

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Why are we posting stories from months ago?

Which posting are you referencing? The last one that I added was very recent from ESPN.

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Peyton is done. I'd say he's a wr2. I could've had freeman for him last week but i chickened out. Now I'm stuck with him

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Rotoworld:

Demaryius Thomas secured 10-of-14 targets for 95 yards in the Broncos' Week 14 loss to the Raiders.

Although it was a big PPR day for Demaryius, he left gobs of yardage on the field by dropping multiple passes, losing a fumble, and failing to convert several end-zone targets early in the game. Since his one-catch, 13-target disaster against the Patriots in Week 12, however, Thomas has largely been efficient with 16 catches for 156 yards and and touchdown on 20 looks over his last two games. He'll be a low-end fantasy WR1 play when the Broncos visit the Steelers in Week 15.

Dec 13 - 7:47 PM

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Rotoworld:

Panthers RCB Josh Norman expects to primarily cover Demaryius Thomas in Super Bowl 50.

Norman has been having a war of words with Emmanuel Sanders, but it appears he'll be deployed on Thomas. Thomas had an up and down year, but still ended up with 105 catches for 1,304 yards. He's been limited to six grabs for 52 yards in the postseason, however.

Related: Josh Norman

Source: Conor Orr on Twitter

Feb 4 - 5:17 PM

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Quote
 

Demaryius Thomas believes he was "thinking too much" last season.

 

Thomas was third in the league in drops. He missed the entire offseason program as he negotiated a long-term deal under the franchise tag. His mother was also released from prison. "As I got my deal done, my mom got out," Thomas said. "I was happy to be back with my team, but it was going out on the field, getting the timing down with the new offense." Even with the disappointing season and loss of Peyton Manning, Thomas will likely finish as a top-12 receiver.
 
 
Jun 20 - 2:27 PM

 

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11 hours ago, spider321 said:

No, he won't.

theres almost no way his qb situation could be worse this year, he could lead the league in drops and still finish as a top 12 wr imo, the volume for him is not going away

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6 hours ago, Pwingles said:

theres almost no way his qb situation could be worse this year, he could lead the league in drops and still finish as a top 12 wr imo, the volume for him is not going away

OR...Kubiak will be more "Kubiak-like" now that Manning is gone and the Qb position is the weak point and he will run it more and play defense.

I think the BEST case scenario for Thomas this year is something similar to what AJ used to get when he was 28, 29 years old.  That was very solid for fantasy but the difference here is Sanders is much more of a threat to take targets from Thomas than anyone AJ had to contend with in Houston AND as silly as it sounds, Shaub was a better option than what Denver has right now.  Not so much in terms of overall ability but it seems pretty apparent that if the team is speaking as if Sieman is any type of answer AFTER drafting a QB in the first round, that says very little for Sanchez.  Its going to be a watched pot waiting to boil as to which QB is playing when so it is going to be inconsistent, at best.

I think Thomas will be lucky if he is inside the top 18 or so this year and that in itself is not bad but there a re a lot of people, even when you say "top 12" that aren't thinking top 12. They are remembering him and thinking of him as a top 4-5 guy. People are going to be disappointed.

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Shutout,

How many targets do you see DT having in 2016?

Broncos offense the last 3 seasons

2015 1056 plays 606pa 411ra
2014 1067 plays 607pa 443ra
2013 1156 plays 675pa 461ra

As you can see the offense dropped about 100 plays from their high mark in 2013. The offense still had 1056 plays last season. If they do run the ball more, which I am expecting that number could fall a bit and pass attempts could be lower than 600 as a result of this, but the team is good enough that I think they will likely run an average number of plays, which is about 1030-1040 total plays, which is only slightly less than they had last season. Perhaps the passing attempts are only 575 instead of 600, but I doubt the passing attempts would be lower than this.

Here are the targets for Thomas and Sanders(plus Decker in 2013) the last 3 seasons:

DT

2015 177 targets
2014 184 targets
2013 142 targets

ES(Decker)

2015 136 targets
2014 141 targets
2013 136 targets

Andre Johnson

Using Andre Johnson as an example makes some sense due to him being the primary WR in Kubiaks offense. Due to the heavy use of bootlegs and other aspects of the scheme the primary WR has been targeted significantly more than other WR. While Sanders will certainly be involved as well, and I recognize that some people think Sanders is a better WR than Thomas is, there is nothing from the historical evidence to suggest that these targets would be an even split. Thomas is likely to have a larger percentage of targets than Sanders will.

28 years old 171 targets
29 years old 170 targets (138 over 13 games =10.6 targets/game)

He only plays 7 games at 30 years old

31 years old 162 targets

32 years old 181 targets

I think 170 targets for DT in 2016 seems to be a pretty reasonable outcome. Perhaps his targets could be as low as 150 in 2016 for a downside projection.

So I would expect 150-170-190 targets for DT in 2016.

Thomas has a catch rate of 61.2% over the last 3 seasons. Last year was his worst mark at 59.3% if we assume a 60% catch rate, this would be 90-102-114 receptions.

Is that good enough to be a top 12 WR? Or are these numbers only good for WR 13-18?

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This sort of thing always happens this time of year. Doomsday psychics predicting the worst possible outcome that requires perfect storm like conditions to come true. Sanders is NOT going to start commanding more targets. I dont care how good he is. DT is the clear number one in that offense. Period. Sanders only got the shine he got because of Manning's ability to read defenses. Granted, Sanders is a solid receiver but it is clear to anyone without motive who the top dog is in Denver. I dont care how much Denver INTENDS to run the ball. The fact is, this is a passing league. They will have to throw and DT will be the primary recipient. Sanders is not a threat to DT's numbers and neither is Sanchez or whoever else they have starting at QB this year. Anyone who buys into this CHicken Little logic and avoids/trades DT because of it deserves exactly what they will get. Missed production. 

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45 minutes ago, georg013 said:

This sort of thing always happens this time of year. Doomsday psychics predicting the worst possible outcome that requires perfect storm like conditions to come true. Sanders is NOT going to start commanding more targets. I dont care how good he is. DT is the clear number one in that offense. Period. Sanders only got the shine he got because of Manning's ability to read defenses. Granted, Sanders is a solid receiver but it is clear to anyone without motive who the top dog is in Denver. I dont care how much Denver INTENDS to run the ball. The fact is, this is a passing league. They will have to throw and DT will be the primary recipient. Sanders is not a threat to DT's numbers and neither is Sanchez or whoever else they have starting at QB this year. Anyone who buys into this CHicken Little logic and avoids/trades DT because of it deserves exactly what they will get. Missed production. 

I haven't seen any of these doomsday scenarios being talked about here - just a drop in production.

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19 hours ago, Shutout said:

OR...Kubiak will be more "Kubiak-like" now that Manning is gone and the Qb position is the weak point and he will run it more and play defense.

I think the BEST case scenario for Thomas this year is something similar to what AJ used to get when he was 28, 29 years old.  That was very solid for fantasy but the difference here is Sanders is much more of a threat to take targets from Thomas than anyone AJ had to contend with in Houston AND as silly as it sounds, Shaub was a better option than what Denver has right now.  Not so much in terms of overall ability but it seems pretty apparent that if the team is speaking as if Sieman is any type of answer AFTER drafting a QB in the first round, that says very little for Sanchez.  Its going to be a watched pot waiting to boil as to which QB is playing when so it is going to be inconsistent, at best.

I think Thomas will be lucky if he is inside the top 18 or so this year and that in itself is not bad but there a re a lot of people, even when you say "top 12" that aren't thinking top 12. They are remembering him and thinking of him as a top 4-5 guy. People are going to be disappointed.

Did you watch football last year? The Broncos qb can't be worse nor will the play calling be more conservative.

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2 hours ago, voiceofunreason said:

Did you watch football last year? The Broncos qb can't be worse nor will the play calling be more conservative.

Yes, I did. And I also understand that what a lot of people tend to look at stats and echo other things they have heard and they completely overlook the human dynamic and intangibles of the most important position in football.  NFL football is played 90% from the neck up.  Everyone is an athlete but the elite players are the smart ones and there was simply no better QB in the league at understanding and, more importantly, dictating to defenses.  It only matters in the fantasy sense that 2015 Peyton Manning wasn't 2004 Peyton Manning. His mere presence on the field dictated to defenses a hundred things per game that 95% of the common football "watcher" will never understand.

You can harp and ballyhoo and echo the old "Manning was the worst QB on the field last year" thing all you want but you mark my words (and by all means feel free to correct me if it turns out to be wrong), people who watch football are going to see the Broncos struggle in a LOT of ways that they haven't the past few years. THey won't understand why it is suddenly so different but the answer is Peyton Manning.

All these things you and others take for granted when you say the Broncos QB position couldn't be worse, you're about three months away from seeing just how wrong you are.  Defenses are going to take more chances against non-Manning teams.  There is no Manning back there that is able to diagnose the defense in a split second and burn you alive by changing the play. Kubiak will do what Kubiak does and he will play the same vanilla 10-14 plays he plays, regardless of whether they are winning, tied, or losing. You think you saw conservative and predictable with Manning?  Buckle up.  The level of precision will be non-existent compared to when Manning was there. You're going to see more penalties on offense. You're going to see more mis-aligned players. You're going to see more busted plays and you're going to see a lot of WTF was that all about. 

I agree that Manning last year was not easy to watch in COMPARISON TO HIMSELF but those of you that begin and end the analysis with whether or not he can throw a frozen rope all the way out to the hashes anymore  are in for a rude awakening when you see just how far (or lack of how far) Sanchez, Sieman, a rookie, and Kubiak can take the position.

 

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He's going off the board at 2.12 in 2016 MFL10s as WR 15.  Seems fair to me, a good balance of floor/past production and risk of offensive change & new QB.

Cooper

Cooks

Marshall

Thomas

Hilton

all going in a row a little further down you have Hilton, Watkins, Landry, Cobb, Edelman, Tate.

Seems about right to me.  I might go with TY if you think Indy's offense will explode back to 2014, but there's no way I'm taking any of those other later guys over Thomas.  Just my 2 cents though, I'm wrong a lot.

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2 minutes ago, Monsters of the Midway said:

He's going off the board at 2.12 in 2016 MFL10s as WR 15.  Seems fair to me, a good balance of floor/past production and risk of offensive change & new QB.

Cooper

Cooks

Marshall

Thomas

Hilton

all going in a row a little further down you have Hilton, Watkins, Landry, Cobb, Edelman, Tate.

Seems about right to me.  I might go with TY if you think Indy's offense will explode back to 2014, but there's no way I'm taking any of those other later guys over Thomas.  Just my 2 cents though, I'm wrong a lot.

I agree but will differ slightly and say that in ppr, I think Tate is a serious sleeper with potential this year.

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