Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 9/6/13
There's no way around it, Julius Thomas had a monster fantasy game against the Ravens. Here are his statistics from the game on Thursday night: 5 receptions (on 7 targets) for 110 yards and 2 TDs.That's 23 points in leagues with standard scoring and 28 points in point-per-reception (PPR) leagues.Where does Thomas go from here? Some fantasy owners will remember the first game of the 2012 season. A Cowboys WR named Kevin Ogletree blew up with 8 receptions for 114 yards and 2 TDs. That lead to Ogletree being one of the hottest waiver claims heading into Week 2.At the end of 2012 he had accumulated 32 receptions for 436 yards and 4 TDs. Needless to say, that Week 1 performance was a fluke.Does that mean that Julius Thomas is a fluke? Not at all.But there are similarities between Thomas and Ogletree. Most notably, they both play in high-powered offenses driven by elite NFL QBs. Unfortunately, just like Ogletree, Thomas is no better than the fourth option in the passing game. Thomas does have a distinct advantage over Ogletree. Thomas is a TE. While there are always tons of quality WR options popping up on the waiver wire, quality TE options are few and far between. That alone will make Thomas worth picking up in all leagues. If you do pick up Thomas, you don't have to instantly plug him into your starting lineup. Peyton Manning isn't going to throw 7 TDs every week. That means that every week, one or two players on that Broncos offense are going to have poor fantasy games. Look at the passing target breakdown for the Broncos against the Ravens:Demaryius Thomas - 11Wes Welker - 11Eric Decker - 7Julius Thomas - 7Knowshon Moreno - 3Ronnie Hillman - 2Andre Caldwell - 1I would expect Demaryius Thomas to easily be the most-targeted Broncos WR. I would expect Welker and Decker to both average 8-9 targets per game. That would probably put Julius Thomas at about 5-6 targets per game. For a TE, that's not bad. For a TE catching passes from Peyton Manning, it's quite good.That could change a bit when the Broncos have all of their TEs healthy. While Thomas played the majority of snaps on Thursday, the Broncos will rotate Joel Dreessen and Jacob Tamme in at times. They shouldn't take too much away from Thomas, but they could hurt his consistency. Given this, I prefer Thomas in standard scoring formats as opposed to PPR leagues.Where do you rank Julius Thomas? Here are the TEs that I would start ahead of him, regardless of the matchup:Jimmy GrahamRob GronkowskiJason WittenTony GonzalezVernon DavisGreg OlsenJared CookJermichael FinleyThat's about it. I would group Thomas in with the following group of players that I like to use based on their matchup:Kyle RudolphAntonio GatesOwen DanielsJordan CameronMartellus BennettBrandon MyersBrandon PettigrewZach SudfeldAt this point, I would actually cut the following TEs to pick up Thomas:Fred DavisDwayne AllenBrent CelekJermaine GreshamMercedes LewisCoby FleenerTyler EifertRob HouslerIf you wind up with Julius Thomas on your roster, I would shop him around your league immediately. He's not going to get the consistent targets needed to be an elite fantasy TE. If you can get somebody to offer your elite TE value for Thomas, you should take it.When you combine the shakiness of the TE position with the performance Thomas had on Thursday night, somebody is going to want him on their team. Find that guy and get yourself a quality RB or WR in return. Or whatever it is that your team needs.Could Thomas finish the year as a top-12 TE option? Absolutely. But I can't see him breaking into the top-7. I think it's fair to treat him as a mid-to-low range TE1. That's a player worth owning. But it's probably not a player worth breaking the bank for. I wouldn't blow more than 25 percent of my FAAB (Free Agent Acquisition Budget) on him. Nor would I pay top-dollar when trading for him.I don't think that Thomas will be a guy who flames out and winds up getting dropped. Just don't go expecting 15+ fantasy points every game. While Thomas might have Jimmy Graham-like skills, he's not going to be Jimmy Graham for fantasy owners.It's great that fantasy football is back and we're all very excited. Don't get carried away because Thomas was the first waiver wire guy to "pop". He could end up being the 2013 version of Dennis Pitta. Or he could end up being the 2013 version of Kevin Ogletree. Thanks for reading and good luck to you this season. If you played against Peyton Manning on Thursday night, my condolences.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Eagles rookie nixes anthem protest after talking to agent

Report: Romo has no ligament damage, to resume training soon

Michael Phelps to be honored with unique Wheaties box

Woman suing Brewers after being struck by foul ball

Report: ‘Strong chance’ J.J. Watt will play in Week 1

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Broncos name Trevor Siemian their Week 1 starter

Report: Jets fielding calls for Geno Smith

Report: Bryan Stork fails physical, rights revert to Pats

Eric Berry signs franchise tender, returns to Chiefs

Brandon Jennings takes swipe at Reggie Miller's career

Report: Kaepernick facing ‘uphill battle’ to make roster

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

Six NFL quarterbacks the Cowboys must consider

Dwight Howard trying new way to improve free throw shooting

Eight players who have stepped up in NFL preseason so far

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

WATCH: John Randle on the first time he talked trash in the NFL

The hottest hitters in MLB heading into September sprint

Who has the most to prove at the US Open?

A sports history of not standing up for the national anthem

Premier League notebook: The love affair at Man U

Heading into the homestretch: 2016 ROY favorites

One Gotta Go: NFL legends talking comedians is no joke

It's all about timing: The evolution of the clock in sports

Predicting the unpredictable: Your MTV VMAs rundown

10 great moments in the career of Roberto Duran

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker