Player Outlook
Thomas spent his first two seasons as the tight end in waiting behind longtime star Greg Olsen, and he's spent the last two seasons out from under Olsen's shadow by delivering about the same level of production. That includes failing to top 200 total yards or reach the end zone in 2021 despite playing all 17 games and making 13 starts. If he caught 90 passes for 800 yards and four TDs in a season, anyone who backed him as a sleeper would have to be satisfied with the results; unfortunately, that's been his combined production for his four years in the league. That puts him well off the Fantasy radar heading into 2022.

Fantasy Stats

receiving rushing fantasy
Year rec
Receptions
yds
Receiving Yards
avg
Average Yards per Reception
td
Receiving Touchdowns
yds
Rushing Yards
avg
Average Yards per Rush
fpts
Fantasy Points
fpts/g
Fantasy Points per Game
2022
2021 18 188 10.44 0.00 181.1
2020 20 145 7.25 1 0.00 201.3
3y Avg. 18 156 8.67 1 0.00 211.3
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Fantasy News

  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Not expected to play Friday

    Thomas (ribs) isn't in line to play in Friday's preseason contest at New England, Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official site reports. Thomas got banged up in practice on Wednesday, Aug. 10 and has been sidelined with a rib injury in the meantime. He's among three tight ends that won't suit up Friday -- also, Colin Thompson (calf) and Josh Babicz (undisclosed) -- making Tommy Tremble, Stephen Sullivan and Jared Scott the Panthers available at the position.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: To catch passes again soon

    Thomas (ribs) is expected to continue catching passes this coming week, David Newton of ESPN.com reports. After sustaining a rib injury at practice Tuesday, Thomas was carted off the field and slated to be out 1-to-2 weeks, so the fifth-year tight end may be ahead of schedule in his recovery. Once he returns to the field, he'll be firmly entrenched as the No. 2 tight end to Tommy Tremble.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Out for week or two

    Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday that Thomas (ribs) will be sidelined for a week or two, Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official site reports. Thomas had to be carted off the practice field Tuesday, but he appears to have avoided a major injury. The 2018 fourth-round pick will likely miss at least one preseason contest, but he's still expected to open the regular season as the primary backup to second-year pro Tommy Tremble.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Carted off with rib injury

    Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Thomas suffered an injury to his ribs during Tuesday's practice, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. Per Darin Gantt of the Panthers' official site, Thomas had to be carted off the field after suffering the injury, which is always a concerning sign, but the extent of the issue remains unclear. If healthy, the 2018 fourth-round pick is expected to be the primary backup tight end to second-year pro Tommy Tremble, who has significantly higher fantasy value than Thomas.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Practicing to start camp

    Thomas, who previously carried an ankle injury this offseason, caught a touchdown pass from quarterback Sam Darnold in Wednesday's practice session, Ellis L. Williams of the Raleigh News & Observer reports. Thomas has been cleared to practice after tending to a high-ankle issue during June's mandatory minicamp. While Thomas should see a decent amount of snaps with Carolina's starting unit this season, he's more of a blocking tight end than teammate Tommy Tremble, who enters his second season with comparatively higher fantasy utility than Thomas.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Still not practicing

    Thomas (ankle) remains sidelined during the Tuesday's mandatory minicamp practice, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Thomas was inadvertently kicked during a practice session and has been dealing with a high-ankle issue. The severity of the injury remains unclear, but it's possible Carolina opts to hold the tight end out until training camp at the end of July.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Dealing with ankle issue

    Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said Wednesday that Thomas continues to be sidelined due to a high-ankle issue, Joe Person of The Athletic reports. Rhule added that Thomas was inadvertently kicked during a practice session last week and has reminded sidelined since. It's unclear how serious the issue is, but the tight end's participation in training camp will give a better indication as to whether or not the injury will affect his availability for the start of the regular season.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Re-signs on three-year deal

    Thomas agreed to terms with Carolina on a three-year contract Friday. Thomas was scheduled to hit free agency mid-March, but he will instead stick with the team that initially selected him back in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft. Though the 26-year-old was effectively invisible for fantasy purposes in 2021 -- he posted just 18 catches for 188 yards without a touchdown across 17 appearances -- he did solidify himself as a capable blocker. That said, positional teammate Tommy Tremble could well be the more interesting fantasy option next season.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: No looks in finale

    Thomas was not targeted in Sunday's 41-17 loss to the Buccaneers. Thomas saw rookie Tommy Tremble return to the lineup and lead him in offensive snaps, contributing to another quiet outing. Despite starting 13 of 17 games this season, Thomas managed just 18 catches on 30 targets for 188 yards and no touchdowns. The 2018 fourth-round pick is slated to enter unrestricted free agency this offseason and he could offer depth to a team's options at tight end. It's unclear whether the Panthers will try to bring him back.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Leads team in receiving

    Thomas caught all three of his targets for 33 yards in Sunday's 18-10 loss to the Saints. Thomas paced the Panthers in receiving yards while teammate Tommy Tremble wasn't activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list. His output was fueled by a 21-yard reception on Carolina's opening drive, gaining more yardage on that play than he'd posted in 11 individual games this season. In playing nearly 90 percent of the offensive snaps Sunday, Thomas again would stand to benefit should Tremble remain sidelined Week 18 versus the Buccaneers, but his upside nonetheless is relatively restricted overall.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Could see big snap count

    Thomas and recent practice squad call-up Stephen Sullivan are left as the only tight ends on Carolina's roster as Sunday's game against the Saints approaches after Tommy Tremble landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Friday. Thomas could be headed for a three-down role, though he's had that opportunity plenty of times in the past and never did much with it. He's also been quiet this season while splitting snaps with Tremble, catching 15 passes for 155 yards in 15 games.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Makes one grab

    Thomas caught his only target for seven yards in Sunday's 27-21 loss to Washington. Thomas has now hauled in just one pass in three straight games. In comparison, rookie Tommy Tremble caught two balls Sunday, going for 35 yards. Given his low involvement, Thomas holds minimal fantasy value.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Another one-catch outing

    Thomas caught one of two targets for nine yards in Sunday's 24-6 loss to the Patriots. Thomas also recovered a fumble, but he was flagged for a costly unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that pushed Carolina out of the red zone during the second quarter. Through nine games, Thomas has now hauled in more than one pass just twice, evidencing his rather restricted fantasy upside.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Makes one catch

    Thomas caught his only target for 10 yards in Sunday's 19-13 win over the Falcons. Thomas saw rookie Tommy Tremble outperform him for the second straight game, but neither tight end is particularly useful from a fantasy perspective. Through eight games, Thomas now sports just 11 catches on 17 targets for 130 yards and no touchdowns.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Blanked versus Giants

    Thomas didn't catch either of his two targets in Sunday's 25-3 loss to the Giants. Thomas played 70 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps, but a horrible performance on that side of the ball restricted the output of most players. Even though he usually carries limited upside, Thomas will nonetheless strive for an improved showing while the offense rebounds as a whole in Week 8 versus the Falcons.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Makes long catch

    Thomas caught one of two targets for 41 yards in Sunday's 34-28 overtime loss against the Vikings. Thomas was responsible for Carolina's longest offensive play of the day, helping him finish second on the team in receiving yards. The tight end has now posted at least 40 yards in consecutive contests, but considering he's only hauled in more than one pass in two of six games played so far, Thomas isn't getting enough volume even after the Dan Arnold trade to make much of a fantasy impact.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Best outing of season

    Thomas caught four of five targets for 40 yards in Sunday's 21-18 loss to the Eagles. Thomas once again played over 60 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps and helped the team with a couple of gains for first downs. With a long reception of 24 yards, Thomas enjoyed his best performance of the campaign, and although rookie Tommy Tremble managed a five-yard touchdown early, Thomas' outing Sunday still offers a slight boost to his fantasy stock ahead of Week 6's matchup versus the Vikings.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Logs three receptions

    Thomas caught all three of his targets for 15 yards in Sunday's 36-28 loss to the Cowboys. Thomas no longer had competition from Dan Arnold after the veteran was traded earlier in the week, allowing him to play over 60 percent of Carolina's offensive snaps. Overall though, Thomas' production wasn't too different from his usual output, as he caught a few short passes underneath. Despite now being the nominal starter, Thomas' upside remains restricted by his relatively small role within the Panthers' scheme, and rookie third-round tight end Tommy Tremble could also see his role grow over the course of the campaign.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Makes one catch

    Thomas caught one of two targets for seven yards in Sunday's 26-7 win over the Saints. Thomas made a minimal impact in the passing game, but it's worth noting he once again played more snaps than starting tight end Dan Arnold. In fact, with 52 offensive plays compared to Arnold's 22, Thomas was on the field far more than Arnold, but the latter's three catches for 55 yards Sunday evidenced his greater upside than Thomas, who sports just 24 yards through two games so far and has primarily been used as a blocker.
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  • Panthers' Ian Thomas: Makes long reception

    Thomas caught one of two targets for 17 yards in Sunday's 19-14 win over the Jets. Thomas opened the third quarter with a long gain and actually played two more snaps than starter Dan Arnold, who managed just a pair of catches for six yards. Although Thomas isn't expected to be much of a factor in Carolina's passing game this season, occasional impact plays like Sunday's grab would keep him in the mix for spare looks.
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