Demaryius Thomas: A No. 2 Fantasy Football WR with Top-5 Upside

Nick CaronAnalyst IAugust 4, 2012

Aug 7, 2010; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) during training camp at Invesco Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-US PRESSWIRE

If you’ve read many fantasy football articles this off-season, you’ve probably heard the same thing repeated over and over again when it comes to wide receivers—the position is deep.

Aside from Calvin Johnson, the clear-cut top receiver in the league, there seems to be quite a bit of debate over who are the next best receivers. It’s because of this debate that many of the receivers are falling further than they probably should.

One of those players who may be valued too low at the moment is third year Denver Broncos receiver Demaryius Thomas.

Thomas, a physical beast who actually shares many of the same characteristics as his fellow Georgia Tech alumna, the aforementioned Calvin Johnson, had some big games for the Broncos and his fantasy owners in 2011.

Thomas seemed to catch on, particularly near the end of the season where, in the final seven games of the year, including the playoffs, he averaged 106 yards per game.

The problem was that while he was capable of putting up a big day on any given week, Thomas also threw in numerous weeks where he was a complete dud, causing headaches for many fantasy owners who were simply looking for some consistency.

Of course, it didn’t help matters that Thomas was catching passes from the most up-and-down quarterback that we’ve seen in years, Tim Tebow, in 2011. 

With Tebow now out of the picture and replaced by Peyton Manning, the sky truly is the limit for this former first round NFL draft pick. The raw, physical ability he brings to the table and the hall of fame experience that Peyton Manning has could make the Broncos duo a major sleeper in 2012.

Thomas is currently being selected as the No. 49 player off the board in 12-team leagues, making him just the No. 19 receiver drafted on average.

This means that he is, at worst, a team’s No. 2 fantasy wide receiver. There will even be some teams that have the pleasure of having him as their No. 3 wide receiver, further minimizing the risk of selecting him.

It’s this kind of low-risk, high-reward player that can truly make a fantasy team without the real worry of breaking it. That’s exactly what savvy fantasy owners are looking for—it’s just that most of them haven’t wised up to the potential that “Bay-Bay” has.  

While other fantasy owners are busy playing it safe with receivers such as Marques Colston and Jeremy Maclin, or scrambling to find another running back in the heap of names like BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Shonn Greene, you have the opportunity at a potential top-five fantasy receiver if you have the guts to select Demaryius Thomas.

With Peyton Manning behind center in favor of Tim Tebow and Kyle Orton, if Thomas can stay healthy, he truly has the potential to be this year’s breakout star at the wide receiver position.