Week Seventeen Analysis:
Denver needs to beat the Raiders on the road to ensure home field advantage throughout the playoffs, and that's great news for Demaryius Thomas owners because he projects to garner a good amount of playing time. Thomas has topped 100 yards and/or scored at least once in his last five road games. He also had a season-high 10 catches in the first meeting with the Raiders, who rank 28th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus.
Week Sixteen Analysis:
Last week, Demaryius Thomas failed to top 100 yards and/or score for the first time in eight games. He should have a good shot of bouncing back in Houston this week against a team that is now ranked 27th in pass coverage by Pro Football Focus while also surrendering nearly a touchdown per game to wide receivers. Speaking more specifically to recent No. 1 receivers against the Texans, T.Y. Hilton went for eight catches and 78 yards against them last week, and in three of the four games prior, No. 1 receivers either scored or eclipsed 100 yards.
Week Fifteen Analysis:
After dismantling the vaunted secondary of the Titans, there's no doubt Peyton Manning and his fleet of pass-catchers are premium plays regardless of matchup. Leading that pack is Demaryius Thomas, who has now topped 100 yards and/or scored at least one touchdown in seven consecutive games. Denver takes on the Chargers on Thursday night, a team that allows the most yards per game to wide receivers at 203. Thomas had seven catches for 108 yards and three touchdowns when these two teams met five weeks ago. A repeat performance isn't impossible with Wes Welker declared inactive with a concussion.
Week Fourteen Analysis:
Stock in the Broncos has been one of the wisest investments in fantasy football this year, but the Denver passing attack will face arguably their toughest test to date against the Titans on Sunday. Behind standout cornerbacks Alterraun Verner and Jason McCourty, Tennessee has allowed only two touchdowns to receivers all season and none in the last 10 games. Those are absurd numbers. Thomas has been on a tear though, scoring at least once and/or topping 100 yards in the last six games, so he's virtually impossible to sit. The Broncos also possess the most prolific offense in the league, and the Titans will surely be tested in a way they haven't all season.
Week Thirteen Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas continued to dominate the stat line for Denver receivers and has now scored at least once and/or topped 78 receiving yards in nine of 11 games this season. The Broncos play the Chiefs for the second time in three weeks, and the ripple effects on Kansas City's defense would be huge if linebackers Tamba Hali and/or Justin Houston were declared inactive (which is likely). That would be icing on the cake for Thomas, who caught five balls for 121 in the first meeting. Peyton Manning wasn't touched when these teams last met, and he could have even more time in the pocket.
Week Twelve Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas has tallied 304 yards and four touchdowns in the last three games. And his numbers have come at the expense of Eric Decker and Wes Welker, who have combined for one touchdown and only 35 more receiving yards. Demaryius is clearly top dog, and he'll next attempt to mark his territory in New England, and it will be interesting to see how cornerback Aqib Talib is utilized in coverage. Last week, Talib shadowed Steve Smith, but he's also been anchored on the left side against teams with multiple receiving threats (like the Broncos). Either way, Thomas was targeted a season-high 13 times against a tough Chiefs secondary last week, and there's no sign of him slowing down.
Week Eleven Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas has distanced himself from the rest of Denver's pass-catching pack over their last three games. He leads the team in targets, red zone targets, receptions, yards, and touchdowns during that span. Thomas also leads the league in yards after the catch, and he'll look to keep streaking Sunday night against Kansas City. He scored in both divisional meetings with the Chiefs last season while tallying more than 200 receiving yards. Though the Chiefs have a solid defense, they can be susceptible to the pass. No. 1 receivers like Josh Gordon and Denarius Moore have scored on them in recent weeks, and they've allowed five touchdowns to wideouts in the last six games.
Week Ten Analysis:
With Peyton Manning as his quarterback, Demaryius Thomas has eclipsed 82 yards and/or scored a touchdown against every AFC West opponent they've faced. Denver visits San Diego this week, a team that Thomas tallied two touchdowns against last season and is ranked 31st in pass coverage this year by Pro Football Focus. The Chargers have also allowed 34 receptions and nearly 500 yards to receivers in their last two games. So, Demaryius remains an elite start despite competition for luck from his teammates.
Week Eight Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas found pay dirt for the fifth time last week and now has topped 78 yards in five of seven games this season. He hasn't eclipsed the century mark since Week 1, but he averages over eight targets per game and is top-10 in receptions with the fourth-most yards among receivers. Washington will be in town this week, and their defense has allowed the fourth-most yards per game to receivers this season. Demaryius could draw DeAngelo Hall in coverage, who has played well as of late, but safety support behind him is thin with Brandon Meriweather suspended and Reed Doughty undergoing the protocol tests for concussion.
Week Seven Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas didn't factor much in Denver's win over Jacksonville last week, but he did top 75 receiving yards for the fourth time this year and still ranks top-five in yards among receivers. Thomas also leads his team in yards, and garners over 20% of targets, so be patient, he'll put points on the board soon enough. Needless to say, Peyton Manning should be motivated in his return to Indianapolis, and he has attempted over 40 passes in both road games this season. The Colts have also surrendered touchdowns to three different receivers in the last two weeks and should continue to be without strong safety LaRon Landry.
Week Six Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas didn't participate in Peyton Manning's point orgy last Sunday, but the Broncos will have plenty of chances to score this week at home against the Jaguars – a team that's allowed the second-most passing touchdowns this season and the second-most touchdowns to wide receivers specifically. Jacksonville employs Will Blackmon, ranked the seventh overall cornerback per Pro Football Focus, but he's allowed three scores in coverage – two last week in St. Louis – and Thomas has at least three inches and 20 pounds on him and every other corner for the Jaguars.
Week Five Analysis:
Demaryius Thomas has another enticing matchup this week against the Cowboys, who were just rick-rolled by Philip Rivers in San Diego. Dallas has allowed the fifth-most passing yards this season and 180-plus receiving yards per game to wideouts. Their secondary is now in disarray with the demotion of cornerback Morris Claiborne, and according to Pro Football Focus, the Chargers starting safeties Barry Church and Will Allen have three combined touchdowns in their coverage. That's the second-most of any duo in the league. Demaryius will see a lot of Brandon Carr, but he dwarfs the corner by three inches and more than 20 pounds.
Week Four Analysis:
We have now gone two weeks without a Demaryius Thomas touchdown dance but, Thomas continues to add serious fantasy value. Last week, he was one of two receivers with double-digit receptions and is currently fifth in receiving yards with 307. The Eagles are next on the docket for Demaryius, and they employ one of the worst defenses in the league. Philly is tied for the most touchdowns allowed to receivers with five, and starting strong safety Patrick Chung has been wearing a sling and is iffy to play with a shoulder injury suffered last Thursday.
Week Three Analysis:
Could there be two teams more opposite than the Jaguars and the Broncos? Oakland faces the daunting task of schematically transitioning from Chad Henne to Peyton Manning in preparation for their Monday night matchup. Demaryius Thomas is undoubtedly the top option in Manning's fleet, and although he hasn't scored against the Raiders in his career. He averaged five catches and 93 yards in two games against them last year. Oakland lost a key figure in their secondary when safety Tyvon Branch broke his leg last week. Look for Thomas, who holds the highest yards per catch for players with 10-plus receptions, to try and take full advantage.
Week Two Analysis:
If Demaryius Thomas were to stand by his "only winners get wings" statement, he'd have to slaughter millions of chickens to make good on it! His 161 receiving yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets surely led to a lot of wins. Thomas was electric with the ball against Baltimore, gaining 128 yards after the catch – the most of any player in Week 1. It's no surprise the Giants struggle against the pass. Their personnel is pretty lousy. Though they did effectively double-team Dez Bryant last week. New York could deploy the same strategy, but Denver has so many weapons, selling out to take away Thomas seems foolish.
WHAT WE SAID ABOUT THOMAS:
Last year, Demaryius Thomas outplayed his fifty-something ADP and took a quantum leap into the top tier of wide receivers. He had the highest yards per catch and yards per target amongst receivers with 75 plus receptions. And he was one of ten players to register double-digit receiving touchdowns. These two teams met last year in Week 15 and then the AFC divisional playoffs. But after Extreme Makeover: Ravens Edition this offseason, personnel changes make their past performance practically irrelevant. Ravens' lockers were cleared for Ray Lewis, Ed Reed, Bernard Pollard, Carey Williams, and Dannell Ellerbe. Promising replacements are in place, but they are unproven and Peyton Manning should pick them apart with Denver's updated, up-tempo offense. In the third preseason game, Broncos starters ran 30 plays in the first quarter, and 49 in the first half! Thomas finished that half with seven catches on nine targets for 64 yards and a score.