Hall of Fame coach Bill Parcells had a saying that’s appropriate for this topic…
A football player’s best ability is his availability.
Indeed, Parcells’ patience eroded when his guys failed to shake injuries. Similarly, there’s nothing worse for fantasy owners than drafting an exciting, high-upside talent … only to have him spend more time on the sideline than on the field.
So, we’re using Sports Injury Predictor as a guide to find players that profile as relatively safe fantasy targets. Not only are we looking at their medical backgrounds, but we’re considering situation (volume, supporting cast, etc.) and ADP, too.
Note: ADP numbers are taken from My Fantasy League PPR “best ball” drafts after August 1.
SIP Projected Games Missed: 0.60
Thomas’ résumé looks awfully pretty.
Since 2012, he sits 2nd among WRs in catches and yards. (Antonio Brown ranks #1 in both categories.) Thomas’ 46 TDs over that stretch place him behind only Dez Bryant, Brown and Brandon Marshall.
Entering 2017, the 29-year-old remains in a great spot for volume. The Broncos simply lack pass-catching depth beyond their starting WR duo.
We also like the return of OC Mike McCoy, who oversaw Thomas’ 2012 breakout. Of course, Peyton Manning proved critical, but Thomas still earned 141 targets as a 3rd-year player. Only 11 WRs saw more looks.
While Thomas played through a hip injury last year, he managed to play 16 games for the 5th straight time. Even if QB play remains shaky, Thomas’ body of work suggests you can trust him as a WR2. He’s draftable in the mid-Round 3 range.