Peyton Manning isn't the only Denver Bronco who lit up the fantasy football scoreboard on Thursday night. Two of Manning's seven touchdown passes went to Demaryius Thomas. The fourth-year receiver from Georgia Tech had five receptions, 161 yards and two touchdowns against the Baltimore Ravens.
Manning spread the ball around well. He completed passes to seven different receivers, but Thomas stands out because of his tremendous run-after-catch ability. He turned this simple screen pass into a 78-yard touchdown reception.
No other Broncos receiver has the ability to be this explosive on short passes. Because of Thomas' success last season with Manning (94 catches, 1,434 yards and 10 touchdowns) he has established himself as one of—if not the—favorite target of the future Hall of Famer.
According to traditional fantasy football scoring, per Fanatic Fantasy Football, Thomas' day was good for 30.6 fantasy points. Getting that type of production from a wide receiver is huge. It takes a lot of the pressure off your running backs and quarterbacks to carry the day.
If the big guns go off and you have a guy like Thomas, you should wipe the floor with your opponent.
Making big plays is nothing new for Thomas. In 2012, he averaged 15.3 yards per reception. Even before Manning arrived, Thomas helped Tim Tebow become a Broncos favorite the season prior to Manning's arrival.
His 204 yards receiving and game-winning 80-yard touchdown catch from Tebow beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2011 playoffs.
With Manning looking as if he's set up for a monumental season, fantasy owners would be wise to hold on to—or attempt to acquire—Thomas. The 25-year-old looks to be headed for a huge season himself.
If you have a chance to make a deal for Thomas don't hesitate. Take advantage of skeptics who question whether he can maintain this pace. You may be able to luck up on an owner who has a wealth of receivers and feels he or she can spare the Broncos star.
In either case, it is your gain. As long as he stays healthy, Thomas is going to be a major stud all year long.
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