Skip to main content

Is Logan Thomas This Year’s Darren Waller? (2020 Fantasy Football)

by Isaiah Sirois | @is_sirois | Featured Writer
Sep 15, 2020

Last year, Darren Waller broke out for a TE1 season, despite being a late-round pick or waiver-wire add for most teams. He found himself playing a different position from the one that he’d been drafted to play (wide receiver), and he did it for a team that he didn’t draft him (the Raiders). He would go on to lead his team in targets with 117, ranking him 24th among all players and third among tight ends — more than George Kittle and Mark Andrews.

As a result, speculation swirled around who this year’s Waller would be. As it turns out, the best candidate for Waller 2.0 might be a player who also changed positions since entering the NFL: former quarterback Logan Thomas. And as of publication, he’s rostered in just one percent of fantasy leagues.

Import your team to My Playbook for instant Lineup advice >>

Player Profile

The Arizona Cardinals spent a fourth-round pick on Thomas in 2014. They quickly moved on from him, however, and he floated around practice squads until he changed his position to tight end in 2016.

Since then, Thomas has been a depth option for the Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions. The Washington Football Team gave Thomas another chance this March, and he managed to beat out competition from Jeremy Sprinkle, Richard Rodgers, and Thaddeus Moss to earn the starting job.

Thomas is incredibly athletic. At six-foot-six and 250 pounds, he has 91st percentile speed, 87th percentile agility, and a 94th percentile catch radius. While Waller’s 99th percentile speed makes him a bit faster, his 82nd-percentile agility makes Thomas the more agile of the two.

State of the Offense

Thomas led Washington in targets for Week 1. Sophomore quarterback Dwayne Haskins didn’t take a ton of risks as the Football Team ground out a win against Philadelphia, and he threw to the openings that the Eagles gave him.

Late in the second half, Philadelphia to cover Thomas in the end zone, and the tight end scored an easy touchdown.

 

There aren’t many mouths to feed in this offense. Aside from Terry McLaurin, Haskins targeted just two wide receivers: Steven Sims and Dontrelle Inman. Every other one of Haskin’s 31 passes went to Thomas or a running back (Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic).

Ron Rivera has successfully coached offenses with limited talent at wide receiver before. In 2015, Rivera and Cam Newton led the Panthers to a 15-1 record with Ted Ginn, Devin Funchess, Corey Brown, and Jerricho Cotchery as the team’s best wideouts. So who led the team in targets? Tight end Greg Olsen, and by a wide margin.

Thomas’ Outlook

Thomas looks like a high-volume, short-yardage guy that Haskins trusts. Yes, McLaurin will get some of the bigger chunk plays, but Thomas should see more than enough usage to justify some spot starts at tight end. And if you lost Blake Jarwin this week, Thomas makes a great replacement (although Dallas Goedert would be a much better option if he’s not rostered).

While it’s still early, Washington’s defensive line may help their underwhelming offense stay in games. And even if they can’t, negative game scripts would force Haskins to pass more frequently, which would be good for Thomas’ production. Thomas is no Greg Olsen (and Haskins is no Cam Newton), but I expect Ron Rivera’s passing scheme to look similar to how it did in 2015.

I’m penciling Thomas in as a low-end TE1/high-end TE2 for the rest of the season. I would add him if you need a replacement at the position, and he could be a viable streaming option if he doesn’t stick on a roster in your league.

Import your team to My Playbook for instant Lineup & Trade advice >>


SubscribeApple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Stitcher | SoundCloud | iHeartRadio

If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – that allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.

Isaiah Sirois is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Isaiah, check out his archive and follow him @is_sirois.

Featured, Featured Link, NFL, Player Profile