Julius Thomas Fantasy: Don’t Bail on Him


Julius Thomas traded Peyton Manning for Blake Bortles when he decided to follow the money and join the Jacksonville Jaguars. That quarterback swap is enough for many people to be wary of the stalwart tight end in the upcoming fantasy football season.

I’m here to tell you to not bail on him just yet.

While it is fair to temper your enthusiasm for a team in fantasy football (like many of us Jacksonville Jaguars fans who may draft players from the team despite knowing they won’t produce…not that I ever do that) and turn your sights on productive players instead, don’t let that turn away from Julius Thomas just yet. It’s true that Bortles as a rather terrible quarterback last season. It’s true the offensive line couldn’t hold up against a group of high schoolers at times in 2014. It’s also true that the running game just wasn’t there as well.

All of those issues should be addressed this year.

With Bortles coming in off an offseason of intense work to correct his mistakes and with a rebuild offensive line, the passing attack may finally be up to snuff. With T.J. Yeldon in the backfield there may be a running game in Jacksonville again. All of those are good thing for Thomas as he seeks to be the big scorer on an offense that is improving. He’ll get plenty of looks in the red zone and will be the primary scoring target for Bortles, just like he was for Manning.

Frankly, it’s tough to just ignore the 24 touchdowns he put together in the last two seasons. That’s quality production that just doesn’t happen, even with Manning throwing you the ball. He’ll find a way to catch some touchdowns in 2015 with the Jaguars as well, especially as the most prominent offensive target for the team.

Others may have a different opinion, like the guys over at NFL Mocks:

"Nobody can blame Julius Thomas for following the money.  Free agents are expected to do that.  However, he did so at great risk to his own reputation as a playmaker.  Thomas emerged with the Denver Broncos when he had Peyton Manning as his quarterback.  Now he joins the Jacksonville Jaguars with second-year kid Blake Bortles coming off a rookie year where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns.  Nobody is debating Thomas has talent, but he can’t be expected to duplicate his numbers with that steep of a drop in QB play."

I just don’t see Thomas dropping off the face of the earth. Even if he only catches six touchdowns he will still be among the more productive tight ends in the NFL. Don’t expect him to crash and burn just because he has a different quarterback. He won’t be a part of the most prolific offense in history, true, but he will still be among the more productive players at his position.

Next: What Role Will Allen Hurns Play?

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