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TE Julius Thomas - Denver Broncos

6-5, 246Born: 6-27-1988College: Portland St.Drafted: Round 4

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Photo: Matthew Emmons, US Presswire

Preseason player page

Week 8: vs San Diego Chargers

Mark and Joe say: Neutral matchup. This is a crucial AFC West showdown between two of the hottest offenses in the NFL - it should be an exciting, fast-paced game under the Thursday Night lights in Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium tomorrow. An aside - according to Demaryius Thomas, Peyton Manning himself planned the 'keep away' prank after Manning broke the NFL career-TD mark with 509 TDs during the destruction of San Francisco last week. In true Manning fashion, he reportedly had his receivers practice it during the week, too. Manning plans all aspects of his offensive performance each week, friends. He is a model of preparation and hard work. The Broncos have benefited from Manning's hard work this year, currently sitting at 5-1 after destroying the 49ers 42-17 last week. Manning threw 22/26 for 318 yards passing, four TDs and zero interceptions before taking the fourth quarter off and letting Brock Osweiler get some regular-season snaps under his belt (Osweiler mostly handed the ball off, with just one passing attempt for zero yards). Demaryius Thomas continued on his insane tear through the league with nine targets for 8/171/2 receiving, catching TD 509 from Manning, while Emmanuel Sanders (three for 3/41/1) and Wes Welker (three for 3/50/1) both also found pay dirt. Only favorite tight end Julius Thomas (six targets for 4/27/0) missed out on the TD catch party last weekend. It's all good for the Broncos' passing attack, friends. The Chargers' pass D is ranked third in the NFL allowing an average of 209.6 net yards per game, with 11 passing scores given up vs. four interceptions (tied-18th in the NFL) and 15 sacks (tied for 16th in the NFL) generated to date. The Chargers coughed up a modest 19/28 for 211 net yards, one TD and zero interceptions to Alex Smith last week (three sacks taken for -11 yards), but were bombed for four TDs by Derek Carr two weeks ago (18/34 for 282 net yards, with one interception thrown and zero sacks taken). It's fair to say this secondary has been up and down over the recent past. Denver has home field advantage, but San Diego isn't a pushover in this phase of the game - we see this as a neutral matchup with neither side holding a huge edge, but Peyton Manning is so hot right now you shouldn't let a neutral matchup scare you off of him as your starting quarterback.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPRECYDTDFumL
5 vs ARI 6 66 2 0
6 at NYJ 4 51 2 0
7 vs SF 4 27 0 0
8 vs SD PROJ-Dodds 5 * * *
8 vs SD PROJ-Tremblay 5 * * *
8 vs SD PROJ-Bloom 5 * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2014 Week 5 vs ARI (7 / 6 / 66 / 2 rec)

With Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders proving so effective against Arizona's cornerbacks, Peyton Manning did not look Julius Thomas' way often against the Arizona Cardinals. When Thomas did receive targets, though, he made them count; three of Thomas' targets came inside the red zone, and those targets resulted in two touchdowns and a third-down conversion as Arizona's safeties had no answer to Thomas' size on a short field. While Thomas remains one of the league's biggest mismatches in the passing game, his blocking continues to be atrocious. Thomas gave up a hurry, frequently lost at the point of attack in the run game, and committed an illegal chop block that negated a 77-yard touchdown pass and injured Cardinals defender Calais Campbell. While it appears he meant no harm with the block, Thomas is a danger to teammates and opponents alike when he is kept in to block instead of releasing into a pass pattern.

2014 Week 6 vs NYJ (6 / 4 / 51 / 2 rec)

Julius Thomas continues to make the most of his limited opportunities. He matched his season average with six targets against New York, but converted two of those six targets into touchdowns, giving him a league-leading nine for the season on just thirty targets. The fact that he is on pace to demolish scoring records is likely not lost on Thomas; after his second touchdown of the day, microphones picked up Julius yelling "It's so easy!" during his celebration.

2014 Week 7 vs SF (6 / 4 / 27 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas, Manning's favorite red-zone receiver this season, had a quiet night overall but came just inches away from securing the record-breaking touchdown pass. Lining up outside from the 1-yard line, Thomas drew single-coverage from a 49ers CB and managed to beat him, but the pass was just a little bit behind and Thomas could not quite bring it in. Outside of his near-miss, Thomas finished second on the team in targets but mostly just ran short routes against San Francisco's reserve linebackers; none of Thomas' four catches gained more than 10 yards.

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Latest News

Broncos | No new deal for Julius Thomas soon (Thu Oct 23, 11:21 AM) - Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas is not expected to have contract extension talks with the team during the season. Thomas will be a free agent this offseason, and the two sides are expected to talk after the season.

Our View: Hopefully this won't be a distraction, but so far it hasn't bothered Thomas that we can see. Expect another top TE1 game this Thursday against the San Diego Chargers and another zero or two added to his contract demands this offseason.
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Broncos | Week 11 Return for Montee Ball? (Tue Oct 21, 08:45 PM) - In a recent interview on ESPN Denver radio, Mike Klis of the Denver Post speculated that Montee Ball might be able to return by the Week 11 game against the St. Louis Rams. At this time, it seems like Ball is still a couple of weeks away from returning from the groin injury he suffered in the Week 5 game against the Cardinals.

Our View: Ball might return to a much different role. Ronnie Hillman has been productive as the team's starter over the last two weeks. If Hillman continues to produce (and hang onto the rock), we could see Ball as a backup. Right now, Juwan Thompson serves as the primary backup behind Hillman.
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Broncos | Julius Thomas works with Tony Gonzalez (Thu Oct 16, 10:38 PM) - Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas received several tips from Tony Gonzalez this offseason. 'I wasn't going to rest on what I did last year,' Thomas said. 'I was really determined to come in and keep working and try to find every way I could to get better.'

Our View: The work Thomas did this offseason is certainly helping him dominate this season. He's the top tight end in fantasy football, and Thomas is leading the league with nine touchdown receptions so far. With the way that he's catching touchdowns on such a frequent basis, he could surpass the single-season record (17) for touchdowns by tight ends in a season (Rob Gronkowski, 2011).
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Denver Broncos Team Links

Depth Chart      Season Stats      Targets      Red Zone      Game Logs

Staff Dynasty Rankings

TE Dynasty - 3, 2, 3, 3, 3
Overall Dynasty - 13, 14, 19

Footballguys Articles

Preseason Roundtable #1
  FBG Staff - June 4
AFC Roster Check Pre-Free Agency
  Jeff Tefertiller - March 3
Dissecting Dwayne Allen and LeVeon Bell
  Cian Fahey - July 11
Pushing the Pocket - Examining the Potential Ramifications of an Andre Johnson Trade
  Cian Fahey - June 19
The Gut Check No.297: Make or Break Questions
  Matt Waldman - June 16
The Gut Check No.300: Gut Checks Part I
  Matt Waldman - July 7
The Gut Check No.302: PPR Tiers
  Matt Waldman - July 14
How to Attack Your 2-QB PPR Draft
  Jeff Tefertiller - July 10
How to Attack Your Small-League PPR Draft
  Jeff Tefertiller - July 15
Keeper Leagues: Looking For Future Free Agents
  Jeff Tefertiller - July 16

Articles from around the web

My First Post-Draft Mock Draft Team
   - May 22
Post-Draft Dynasty Ranks - WR
  Mike Clay - May 23
Post-Draft Dynasty Ranks - TE
  Mike Clay - May 27
Early Draftmaster Strategy & Observations from MFL10s
  Scott Pagel - June 6
Silva's July Rankings, 1-100
  Evan Silva - July 2
How to Attack Your 2QB Draft 2014
   - July 4
How to Attack Your 2QB Draft 2014
   - July 4
The Fabled Sophomore TE Leap
  Raymond Summerlin - July 12
Eric Decker Will Still Deliver
  Joe Kilroy - July 13
2014 Version of 2013 Breakouts
  Mike Clay - July 16

Schedule

8vs San Diego Chargers
9@ New England Patriots
10@ Oakland Raiders
11@ St. Louis Rams
12vs Miami Dolphins
13@ Kansas City Chiefs
14vs Buffalo Bills
15@ San Diego Chargers
16@ Cincinnati Bengals
17vs Oakland Raiders