Daniel Thomas: Dolphins RB a Viable Fantasy Football Flex Play Going Forward

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IISeptember 25, 2012

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - AUGUST 24: Daniel Thomas #33 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball against the Atlanta Falcons during a preseason game on August 24, 2012 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida. The Falcons defeated the Dolphins 23-6. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Daniel Thomas will be an important part of the Miami Dolphins backfield going forward, and he is a viable option as a flex play in any fantasy football league.

Thomas suffered a concussion in the season opener against the Houston Texans. He sat out the following week’s game against the Oakland Raiders.

He returned to action this past week as Miami took on the New York Jets, and he received the most carries of any back thanks to Reggie Bush leaving the game due to a knee injury. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported (via Twitter) that the injury to Bush is not serious, and he may not miss any time.

An MRI showed Reggie Bush did not suffer any structural damage to his left knee and he could play Sunday at Arizona.

— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 24, 2012

Thomas finished the game with 69 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries.

Rookie Lamar Miller also poses a threat to Thomas’ fantasy production, as the speedy back gained 48 yards on nine carries against the Jets.

However, Thomas is a different type of runner than both Bush and Miller. At 6’1” and 233 pounds, he is a significantly more powerful player.

His hard-nosed style provides excellent contrast to both Bush and Miller, who are home-run hitters. Even with Bush healthy, the Dolphins will want to protect their smaller, quicker backs by letting Thomas handle the runs between the tackles, in addition to goal-line duty.

Thomas, a second-round pick out of Kansas State in 2011, gained 202 yards on the ground in his first two games, but then he injured his hamstring and missed the next game.

He never found his rhythm again last season, but the early flash of potential has not been forgotten in Miami. His skill set makes him a valuable asset going forward for Miami, and he will receive plenty of carries.

This will translate into fantasy production. Due to the crowded backfield in Miami, it will be difficult to predict when Thomas will have a productive game, and he will be a hit-or-miss player.

However, with bye weeks starting in Week 4, players who were deep on the bench will now have to fill out starting lineups. Thomas may be a risky play, but he will be getting in the end zone this season and is a solid flex play.