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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.