Dynasty

Dynasty Building Blocks: Demaryius Thomas

dthomas

In the RotoViz Dynasty league (read about it here), I made Demaryius Thomas my first round pick. Here’s why I did, and why you should consider making him a top building block of your dynasty franchise.

Specific to our draft, which may or may not apply to yours:

  • C.J. Spiller was gone. I tried to trade up to get him, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
  • By my pick (1.10), the three slam-dunk RBs, in my opinion, were gone: Doug Martin, Trent Richardson, and C.J. Spiller. Shawn has written about the RB-RB strategy being viable again this year, and I considered it. But I felt more confident about Thomas than the remaining RBs.
  • Our league is PPR, starts three WR, and could feature up to five, if a WR is used in both flex spots, putting a premium on the position.

Team-related reasons that should factor in to your thinking:

  • Peyton Manning. Not only a good QB, but a good mentor and teacher.
  • Wes Welker. I think Welker and Thomas fill different roles in the passing game, and thus help, not hurt, each other’s potential.

Player-related reasons, which should constitute most of your reasoning:

  • Ideal WR1 size. Only 25, Thomas is 6’4”, 229 pounds, and runs a sub-4.4 40. Sounds like Calvin Johnson. Shawn Siegele has written about Height Adjusted Speed Scores and Dominator Ratings for WRs. Thomas has one of the best-ever Dominator Ratings.
  • Jon Moore pointed out some favorable comparisons to Calvin Johnson in this article about Stephen Hill.
  • Check out how well Thomas compares to these WRs.

Let’s look at Thomas’ 2012 season comparables, using the WR Similar app.

NAME SEAS AGE WEIGHT GMS TRGS RECS YDS TDS recFPOP YPT
Larry Fitzgerald 2008 25 218 16 9.56 5.94 89.00 0.75 0.26 9.31
Javon Walker 2004 26 220 16 9.00 5.56 86.38 0.75 0.41 9.60
Miles Austin 2009 25 217 16 7.75 5.06 82.50 0.69 0.51 10.65
Vincent Jackson 2009 26 230 15 7.13 4.53 77.80 0.60 0.58 10.91
Marques Colston 2011 28 225 14 7.64 5.71 81.64 0.57 0.48 10.68
Marques Colston 2007 24 225 16 8.88 6.06 74.19 0.69 0.17 8.36
Plaxico Burress 2002 25 226 16 9.00 4.88 82.81 0.44 0.20 9.20
Marques Colston 2006 23 225 13 8.85 5.38 79.85 0.62 0.26 9.03
Andre Johnson 2009 28 225 16 10.69 6.31 98.06 0.56 0.19 9.18
Brandon Marshall 2009 25 230 15 10.27 6.73 74.67 0.67 0.03 7.27
Larry Fitzgerald 2005 22 218 16 10.31 6.44 88.06 0.62 0.19 8.54
Larry Fitzgerald 2007 24 218 15 11.13 6.73 94.13 0.67 0.19 8.46
Marques Colston 2009 26 225 16 6.62 4.38 67.12 0.56 0.41 10.13
Anquan Boldin 2003 23 220 16 10.25 6.31 86.06 0.50 0.12 8.40
David Boston 2001 23 240 16 10.94 6.12 99.88 0.50 0.18 9.13
Andre Johnson 2010 29 225 13 10.62 6.62 93.23 0.62 0.23 8.78
Andre Johnson 2008 27 225 16 10.69 7.19 98.44 0.50 0.14 9.21
Brandon Marshall 2007 23 230 16 10.62 6.38 82.81 0.44 -0.03 7.79
Calvin Johnson 2008 23 236 16 9.44 4.88 83.19 0.75 0.36 8.81
Larry Fitzgerald 2011 28 218 16 9.62 5.00 88.19 0.50 0.21 9.16

That’s an impressive list of comparable seasons, and generally a good batch of long term fantasy-relevant WRs. Let’s look now at the N+1 season for Thomas and his comparables. Here’s how Thomas projects.

N+1 Projection Standard PPR
Low 8.2 13.2
Median 9.6 14.4
High 11.1 17.6

Thomas’ floor (13.2 points per game) is solidly in WR1 territory. The spread between his projected floor and ceiling scores is relatively low: a standard deviation of just 2.27 indicates his projected results are likely pretty reliable.

Here’s the average N+1 season for Thomas’ comparables. The average is pretty good.

NAME SEAS AGE WEIGHT GMS TRGS RECS YDS TDS recFPOP YPT
–Average– ———– 26.1 224.8 12.7 8.89 5.17 69.29 0.43 0.03 7.84


Next, let’s use the
WR Career Graphs app to check out Thomas’ career trends. He posts year-over-year gains in Targets, Receptions, Yards, and TDs per game. Here’s the impact on his FPOP production.

thomas7

Finally, I used the College Career Graphs App to compare Demaryius Thomas to the WRs taken ahead of him in our draft. Thomas compares very well, dominating market share of yards and TDs. Here’s the Heat Map.

thomasheat

Could I have taken a different player, or gotten more value with a different receiver later? The next five receivers taken in our draft were Brandon Marshall, Randall Cobb, Percy Harvin, Jordy Nelson, and Roddy White.

PLAYER HEIGHT WEIGHT SPEED QB AGE SEASONS
Demaryius Thomas 6’4” 229 4.38 P.Manning 25 3
Brandon Marshall 6’5” 229 4.52 J.Cutler 29 7
Randall Cobb 5’10” 191 4.46 A.Rodgers 22 2
Percy Harvin 5’11” 192 4.39 R.Wilson 25 4
Jordy Nelson 6’3” 217 4.51 J.Nelson 28 5
Roddy White 6’0” 211 4.47 M.Ryan 31 8

All of these WRs have good QB situations, at least for a couple seasons. But Randall Cobb is the only one younger or with fewer seasons in the NFL than Thomas. Thomas is younger and has better measurables than all of them. I like him as my Dynasty Building Block.

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By James Todd | @spidr2ybanana | Archive

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