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TE Julius Thomas - Miami Dolphins

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

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Photo: Kirby Lee, US Presswire

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Week 12: at New England Patriots

All TE vs NE

FBG says: Good matchup. For whatever reason, Jay Cutler remains coach Adam Gase's preferred starter as he returns from a concussion. Cutler has been wildly ineffective all year, while backup Matt Moore has posted two great games during Cutler's inevitable injury timeout. We can't just apply late-game relief numbers to a full game, and Moore was indeed horrid in his lone 2017 start. But he was strong last year over 3 starts, completing 63.4% of his throws and tossing 8 touchdowns. In any event, Cutler is the chosen one for Week 12, so we should expect a sanitized, low-impact passing "attack" that's built around the king of low impact himself, slot receiver Jarvis Landry. He's topped 230 yards just once over 7 full starts, and it's not a volume problem: he's averaging a solid 34.3 attempts, but a pitiful 5.75 yards per attempt. Until he shows a willingness to uncork his downfield game, Cutler looks like nothing more than a volatile dink-and-dunker with a ceiling around 225 yards and 1-2 touchdowns. At least Moore shows a willingness to go downfield and create some degree of impact. Cutler has failed all year to incorporate big-play threats DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills in a meaningful way, so it's safe to project Cutler and company to nickel-and-dime their way to midfield a few times and give up possession plenty. It's hard to know what to expect week-to-week from this unit, which has been shredded at times throughout the year but tightened up majorly of late. After allowing their first 6 opponents to average a whopping 322.0 yards, they've given up just 225.8 to their last 4. As with the running game, flow is the determining factor here. When an opposing offense is close and utilizing its full playbook, the Patriots are generally toast in coverage. We saw that when Brock Osweiler of all quarterbacks chewed them apart over the first half of Week 10. But if/when the Patriots jump ahead comfortably, offenses have to adapt into a free-throwing passing attack into heavy coverage, one that's predictable and much easier for Bill Belichick's flawed defensive personnel to control.

Recent Stats and Projections

WEEKOPPoSNAPRECYDTDFumLPts
8 at BAL 36 2 2 0 0 0.2
9 vs OAK 49 6 84 1 0 14.4
10 at CAR 43 2 8 1 0 6.8
11 vs TB 51 4 30 0 0 3
12 at NE PROJ-Dodds * 3 * * * *
12 at NE PROJ-Tremblay * 3 * * * *
12 at NE PROJ-Bloom * 3 * * * *

Recent Game Summaries

2017 Week 11 vs TB (4 / 4 / 30 / 0 rec)

Thomas was more involved with Matt Moore in during the second half. He had a few catches in the red zone and showed some stubbornness running after the catch, even breaking a tackle on one of his receptions.

2017 Week 10 vs CAR (5 / 2 / 8 / 1 rec)

Julius Thomas caught two passes for eight yards and a touchdown on five targets against the Panthers. Thomas's touchdown catch came on an interesting play where he lined up on the right side of the formation and ran behind his offensive line while Jay Cutler scrambled left and then threw him a shovel pass. Thomas was used mostly as a blocker against the Panthers and the small number of targets he did see were either thrown inaccurately by Cutler where he had no chance of making the catch, or dropped by Thomas, including one easy pass where he just took his eye off the ball trying to look downfield before securing the catch.

2017 Week 9 vs OAK (8 / 6 / 84 / 1 rec)

Julius Thomas caught six of eight passes for 84 yards a touchdown, leading Dolphins receivers in receptions, yards and touchdowns. It was the first time that Thomas had seen five or more targets in a game, and he responded like the player we remember in Denver. He has a lost a step in terms of his speed, but he is still very quick for a big guy and runs precise routes. On Thomas's 15 yard touchdown, he lined up on the right side of the formation and ran a deep crossing route. Thomas made a subtle move to the inside of the field and instead of cutting sharply, he rounded his route so that he could be three yards deeper than the Raiders linebackers. Cutler delivered an accurate pass and Thomas made an easy touchdown catch, his first of the season.

2017 Week 8 vs BAL (3 / 2 / 2 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas caught two passes for two yards on three targets against the Ravens. Thomas was not a factor at all in this game, but it was not his fault. He was asked to block frequently against an aggressive Ravens pass rush that was daring the Dolphins to throw the ball all game. Thomas is not being used in the same capacity as we saw in Denver, although he has shown flashes of the athleticism that he displayed early in his career. The Dolphins passing game cannot consistently sustain more than two fantasy worthy receivers as they just don't pass the ball enough. Unfortunately for Thomas, he is the most likely victim.

2017 Week 7 vs NYJ (4 / 3 / 58 / 0 rec)

Thomas caught a ball downfield to open the game on a nicely executed rollout play, but wasn't able to reel in another downfield target from Jay Cutler when the adjustment to the ball was too much for him. He later made a highlight reel one-handed catch on a ball from Moore and had a two-minute drill reception to give him his best fantasy day of the season, which isn't saying much.

2017 Week 6 vs ATL (5 / 3 / 22 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas caught three passes for 22 yards on five targets against the Falcons. While Thomas has mainly be used in the short passing game, he did get targeted down the field once, but was unable to come down with the catch. With the exception of DeVante Parker, the Miami receivers are undersized, so Thomas is an important part of the Miami passing game, despite not seeing a heavy volume of targets. Three of Thomas's five targets came on third down, but two of those passes were incompletions (the only two passes that Thomas did not catch).

2017 Week 5 vs TEN (4 / 1 / 15 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas caught one of his four targets for 15 yards against a stout Titans secondary on Sunday. With DeVante Parker out with an injury, Thomas saw a target or two more than he normally would, but was unable to make them mean anything. Thomas's only catch showed that he had a little more left in the tank that I had originally thought, as he took a short pass over the middle and managed to fake out a defender, lowering his shoulder and running over a Titans defender before being tackled at the Tennessee five yard line. The play set up Jarvis Landry's touchdown, which ended up being the deciding factor in the game.

2017 Week 4 vs NO (4 / 2 / 29 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas caught two passes for 29 yards on four targets against the Saints on Sunday. Thomas had the long gain of the day for the Dolphins offense, turning a short six yard catch into a 23 yard gain that went all the way down to the four yard line. Unfortunately, Thomas saw Jay Cutler target him on a jump ball on the very next play that was intercepted when Thomas was unable to get proper position on his defender, despite the fact that he had at least a five inch height advantage and forty pounds on his defender. This wasn't exactly Thomas's fault though, as Cutler did not give him time to establish position, nor did he give him time to make a play on a jump ball fade in the corner of the end zone. Cutler's pass was intercepted, and that ended the only red zone opportunity of the day for the Dolphins.

2017 Week 3 vs NYJ (5 / 3 / 16 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas caught three passes for 16 yards on five targets. The five targets were a season high for Thomas, but that was also a function of Jay Cutler having to throw the ball 44 times. Thomas is a solid option, showing he can catch the ball in traffic, but it looks as though his previous injuries have robbed him of the athleticism we saw when he played in Denver.

2017 Week 2 vs LAC (3 / 3 / 26 / 0 rec)

Julius Thomas caught three passes for 26 yards on three targets, but was more of an afterthought in the Dolphins passing game. Adam Gase's offense does like to target tight ends in the red zone, and that will be where Thomas sees the majority of his targets. Thomas did show that he still has something left in the tank on a ten yard catch, where he was able to shake off one defender before turning the ball up the field. He is not the same game breaking player he was in Denver, but that is also because he won't see the same opportunities. With the Dolphins have diverse options in the passing game, Thomas can certainly make his mark in single coverage, especially in the red zone where his size and catch radius is something that Jay Cutler can exploit.

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Latest News

Dolphins | Four grabs for Julius Thomas (Sun Nov 19, 08:38 PM) - Miami Dolphins TE Julius Thomas posted four receptions for 30 yards in Week 11 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

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Dolphins | Julius Thomas might not return in 2018 (Sun Nov 19, 10:50 AM) - The Miami Dolphins are likely to cut TE Julius Thomas during the offseason in order to clear up $6.6 million in salary cap space for 2018, barring an incredible final two months of the 2017 season.

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Dolphins | Julius Thomas makes it two in a row with TD (Tue Nov 14, 12:37 AM) - Miami Dolphins TE Julius Thomas scored a touchdown for the second straight week -- after having none previously in the first seven games -- in the team's Week 10 loss Monday, Nov. 13, versus the Carolina Panthers. He finished the game with two catches for eight yards on five targets.

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Miami Dolphins Team Links

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Footballguys Articles

Offseason Injury Rounds: Offense
  Jene Bramel - April 1
Fantasy vs. Reality: Cutler to Miami
  Ryan Hester - August 6
32 Teams, 32 Critical Questions for 2017: AFC Edition
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Deep Sleepers: Quarterbacks
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Deep Sleepers: Tight Ends
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Quarterback Regression: Touchdown and Interception Rates
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Draft This, Not That: Target-Avoid Players by Round
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Value Plays: Quarterbacks
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What if Ryan Tannehill is Lost for the Season?
  Chad Parsons - August 5
Passing Game Weekly Ceiling Study
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2017 Fantasy Football Consistency: Tight Ends
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Dominant Red Zone Receivers
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  Evan Silva - July 11
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  C.D. Carter - July 14
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  Matt Franciscovich - July 18
Tight End Notebook
  Rich Hribar - July 21
Tight End Notebook
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4 Ideal Late-Round TE Pairings and When to Draft Them
  Jennifer Eakins - July 28

Schedule

12@ New England Patriots
13vs Denver Broncos
14vs New England Patriots
15@ Buffalo Bills
16@ Kansas City Chiefs
17vs Buffalo Bills