Thomas caught four passes for 37 yards and a touchdown on a team-high eight targets in Sunday's 27-17 win over the Eagles. Jeremy Sprinkle technically got the start at tight end, but he was limited to 40 percent of offensive snaps and zero targets, while Thomas was on the field for 74 percent of plays. Given his solid performance, Thomas figures to continue in his role as Washington's top pass-catching TE for Week 2 at Arizona, though he isn't a great bet to lead the team in targets again.
Thomas is listed as a starter on Washington's initial 2020 depth chart. This was fully expected after multiple reports out of training camp relayed that Thomas received most of the first-team snaps. He won't necessarily have a three-down role, but the 29-year-old does figure to see more targets than Jeremy Sprinkle and Marcus Baugh, potentially setting up a rare late-20s breakout. It wouldn't necessarily be the type of breakout that leads to mainstream fantasy value, but Thomas does have a good chance to set career highs in every major receiving category.
Thomas was the most heavily targeted player on the first-team offense at Tuesday's practice, coming away with five catches and a touchdown, Kyle Stackpole of the official team website reports. Thomas has built up some hype throughout training camp, with Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post supporting the notion of the 29-year-old emerging as Washington's top tight end. A two-year, $6.15 million contract may seem modest, but it's a big investment relative to what the team spent on Jeremy Sprinkle (2017 fifth-round pick), Richard Rodgers (veteran minimum contract), Hale Hentges (UDFA) and Marcus Baugh (UDFA). It seems the Washington front office saw potential in the former QB last season when he posted a 16-173-1 receiving line on 28 targets for the Lions. It may still feel like a stretch to draft Thomas in most fantasy leagues, but there's no question the Washington offense will have targets up for grabs among unproven players behind Terry McLaurin.
Thomas and Marcus Baugh worked with pass catchers during individual drills at Thursday's practice, while the other Washington tight ends were put in blocking drills, Sam Fortier of The Washington Post reports. Signed to a two-year, $6.2 million contract this offseason, Thomas is gearing up for a significant role in the Washington offense, perhaps becoming a starter for the first time in his age-29 season. That said, he won't necessarily handle a three-down role, and his new team is a good bet to land near the bottom of the league in cumulative TE targets. Thomas is an easy choice for fantasy managers interested in a Washington tight end, but in most cases the better option is to avoid the mess altogether.
The Washington Football Team activated Thomas (illness) from the reserve/COVID-19 list Sunday. When Thomas signed on the dotted line back in March, he joined a team devoid of depth at tight end, with Jordan Reed moving on after frequent concussions and Vernon Davis opting to retire. Aside from Thomas, the group currently includes Jeremy Sprinkle, Richard Rodgers and undrafted rookie Thaddeus Moss (foot), among others. That said, Thomas' start to camp was delayed due to his stay on the COVID list. Now cleared for action, he's coming off a 2019 campaign with the Lions in which he posted a 16-173-1 line on 28 targets.
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|5||10/11||Los Angeles Rams||9||2.00|
|6||10/18||@New York Giants||4||2.00|
|9||11/08||New York Giants||4||2.00|
|14||12/13||@San Francisco 49ers||6||2.00|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||18||12||106||1||5||8.83||16|