Julius Thomas Fantasy News

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' overall health is 'night and day' compared to last year

Thursday, July 2, 2015, 11:39am

USA Today - [Full Article]

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles' shoulder didn't require surgery, said HC Jim Caldwell, who referred to it as a "dead arm" suffering from inflammation, forcing a reduction in practice reps after roughly 17 months straight of throwing through the quarterback's last year at Central Florida, the pre-draft process and his first NFL season.

A toe injury suffered in a December loss to the Baltimore Ravens exacerbated things by disrupting Bortles' footwork but didn't stop him from making a start four days later against the Tennessee Titans (one of the Jaguars' three wins).

"A lot of it was good until some of those (injuries) happen," said Caldwell. "Now he's gotten healthy, and he's gotten back to really taking care of his body. I just asked him today, 'How's your body feel compared to this time last year?'

"He said it's night and day, man."

Fantasy Impact:

Bortles averaged 12.0 fantasy points per game, which led to a #24 finish at his position. He's a passer who could make a leap in his second season if the Jaguars can give him time to throw and he continues to clean up his fundamentals. The receiving corps is young but talented, with Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns all capable of producing when given the opportunity. The team signed Julius Thomas to provide a dangerous weapon at tight end. Bortles averaged nearly 30 yards rushing, so he offers some baseline production as a runner.

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Jaguars Beat: WR Allen Robinson has the 'offseason look of a player on the rise'

Friday, June 26, 2015, 12:08am

Jaguars.com - [Full Article]

Jaguars beat writer John Oehser listed Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns as his top three breakout players:

Robinson missed the end of last season with a stress fracture in his foot, and then was limited early in the on-field portion of the offseason program. Once he returned to full speed around the third week of organized team activities early this month, he emerged quickly as one of the standout players of the offseason. He had the offseason look of a player on the rise, and if that look translates to the regular season, he could be a go-to player at a position where the Jaguars haven’t had one in a while.

Just because we’ve talked about Robinson a lot in the last few weeks doesn’t mean he’s the Jaguars’ only young, ascending receiver. Lee missed OTAs and minicamp with a knee injury, but he was close to being on the field during minicamp in June. He appears to have matured after struggling early in his rookie season and he has more explosiveness than any other Jaguars wide receiver. Hurns has been steady, consistent and reliable in a little more than a year since joining the Jaguars. He must reduce his drops, but he showed last season he can get open against NFL defenses.

Fantasy Impact:

Robinson averaged 5.2 catches for 61 yards and 0.22 TD from Week 2 to Week 10, which extrapolates to an 84-974-3.6 over the course of a full 16-game season. In other words, he posted fringe WR2-type numbers before suffering a stress fracture in his foot. He should be better this year, provided new TE Julius Thomas doesn't gobble up all the targets. Lee and Hurns are both late-round types as it's not completely clear who is next in the pecking order.

Jaguars Beat: TE Julius Thomas is team's 'best player'

Friday, June 19, 2015, 3:58pm

Florida Times Union - [Full Article]

Julius Thomas is the Jaguars’ best player.

Shocker, right? The way he moved around the practice field this month was unlike any player of the Caldwell-Bradley Era. For a franchise that’s been without difference making players, Thomas checks that important box.

If Thomas wasn’t leaping to catch a Blake Bortles catch down the seam — with a linebacker trailing him, he was running a post pattern to catch a Bortles offering — with a safety scrambling to cover him.

Fantasy Impact:

It's not shocking, but maybe a bit surprising. Thomas was a very productive tight end in Denver, but we're worried about the quarterback and offense downgrade to Blake Bortles and Jacksonville. He should offer at least baseline fantasy TE1 numbers, but we're dubious about a top 5 finish.

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles has done a 'great job of cleaning up his mechanics'

Wednesday, June 3, 2015, 9:50am

Jacksonville.com - [Full Article]

An early focus for the Jaguars' new OC Greg Olson and quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett was how Blake Bortles held the football and how it left his hand. They felt Bortles held the ball too low, leaving him susceptible to being stripped. And then the follow-through – making sure he has a more consistent spin on his throws, which will produce a tighter spiral.

“He’s done a great job of cleaning up his mechanics,” Olson said. “He’s very hard on himself and critical of himself but he recognizes what needs to be fixed and he’s able to do that. A lot of guys aren’t able to do that.”

Fantasy Impact:

Bortles averaged 12.0 fantasy points per game, which led to a #24 finish at his position. He's a passer who could make a leap in his second season if the Jaguars can give him time to throw and he can clean up his fundamentals. The receiving corps is young but talented, with Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns all capable of producing when given the opportunity. The team signed Julius Thomas to provide a dangerous weapon at tight end. Bortles averaged nearly 30 yards rushing, so he offers some baseline production as a runner.

Broncos' balanced offense is 'totally different,' per WR Emmanuel Sanders

Thursday, May 28, 2015, 9:54am

Denver Broncos - [Full Article]

Newly-appointed Offensive Coordinator Rick Dennison will look to have a more balanced attack in 2015. A trademark of Dennison’s traditional coaching style, the Broncos will now look to rely on both the rushing and passing offense as opposed to last year’s emphasis on the passing game.

“It’s definitely different,” said Sanders. “You talk about going from a no-huddle offense to an offense that’s huddling up, to an offense that is predicated off running a football and then throwing it. It’s different.”

“It’s a totally different set up, but I tell you what, the more and more I’m in it,” said Sanders. “Because we can get the run game going and just use my vertical speed on cross routes and all these different combinations of routes is based off the play action, then I think the offense will be successful with Peyton Manning at the helm.”

“Of course obviously it’s not going to be one of those offenses, well I’m praying that it is, but obviously it’s not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you’re going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes,” said Sanders. “Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get a 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games.”

Fantasy Impact:

The Broncos were pretty balanced last season when compared to the rest of the league. They had the 16th-highest pass/run ratio (57.8%), while new HC Gary Kubiak was running the Baltimore offense with the 22nd-highest ratio (55.3%). With Wes Welker and Julius Thomas gone, we believe that Sanders and Demaryius Thomas are still rock-solid investments in the early rounds, even when we account for a drop in pass attempts.

Jaguars Beat: T.J. Yeldon will 'win the starting job' and become the team's 'feature back'

Saturday, May 16, 2015, 8:16pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Jaguars beat writer Mike DiRocco: "T.J. Yeldon will win the starting job and become the Jaguars' feature back. Denard Robinson will still have a significant role in the offense and Toby Gerhart will get work, too, but the Jaguars are counting on Yeldon to revitalize a run game that hasn't finished higher than 21st in the NFL since the 2011 season."

Fantasy Impact:

Toby Gerhart struggled with injuries last season and may play more of a fullback/H-back position this season. Denard Robinson was solid in stretches, but apparently the Jaguars don’t view him as an every-down, feature-type back. Yeldon’s upside will depend heavily on the growth of QB Blake Bortles and the entire Jacksonville offense, which suddenly has a young and talented receiving corps (Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns) and a weapon at tight end in Julius Thomas.

Jaguars say RB T.J. Yeldon looks 'pretty smooth' in rookie camp

Saturday, May 9, 2015, 10:57am

Jacksonville.com - [Full Article]

Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon exhibited many of the characteristics Jaguars general manager Dave Caldwell and coach Gus Bradley talked about after drafting him.

“T.J. looked pretty smooth,” Bradley said. “A lot of the same things that we saw on tape. His ability to make quick decisions, spontaneous decisions, his instincts. One play really jumps out at me and it’s the same thing we saw on tape.”

Yeldon showed off his agility and acceleration during 11-on-11 work.

Fantasy Impact:

Toby Gerhart struggled with injuries last season and may play more of a fullback/H-back position this season. Denard Robinson was solid in stretches, but apparently the Jaguars don’t view him as an every-down, feature-type back. Yeldon’s upside will depend heavily on the growth of QB Blake Bortles and the entire Jacksonville offense, which suddenly has a young and talented receiving corps (Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns) and a weapon at tight end in Julius Thomas.

Jaguars QB Blake Bortles spent time 'tightening mechanics' with QB guru

Wednesday, April 22, 2015, 10:02am

Jacksonville.com - [Full Article]

Jagaurs QB Blake Bortles said he spent two months in the offseason in California and was mentored at times by quarterback guru Tom House.

“Tightening mechanics,” Bortles said in explaining what House did for him. “Throwing with not just all arm, using the whole body and figuring out how to do that. Having a checklist and being able to say it was a bad throw and this is what went wrong and this is how you fix it.”

The Jaguars coaches weren’t allowed to start working with Bortles and the other players until the offseason program started this week, so the two-month workout helped Bortles work on fundamentals.

Bortles also spent four days throwing to tight end Julius Thomas and three young Jaguars, Marqise Lee, Clay Harbor and Tony Washington.

Bortles also got his weight down to 238 after finishing the season at 250.

Fantasy Impact:

Bortles averaged 12.0 fantasy points per game, which led to a #24 finish at his position. He's a passer who could make a leap in his second season if the Jaguars can give him time to throw and he can clean up his fundamentals. The receiving corps is young but talented, with Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Allen Hurns and potentially Justin Blackmon all capable of producing when given the opportunity. The team signed Julius Thomas to provide a dangerous weapon at tight end. Bortles averaged nearly 30 yards rushing, so he offers some baseline production as a runner.

Broncos intend to use WR Emmanuel Sanders in the slot

Monday, April 13, 2015, 3:58pm

Lindsay Jones, Twitter - [Full Article]

Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders says coaches have told him he'll play more in the slot in the three-WR set this year.

Fantasy Impact:

Sanders performed very well in the slot last season, though he spent a majority of the time on the outside. He'll continue to play outside in two-WR sets and then move inside when the Broncos add a receiver to the formation. Sanders finished #5 in PPR formats and #7 in standard formats after catching 101 passes for 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns. With TE Julius Thomas gone, we wouldn't expect Sanders' targets to drop much, so his 3rd round ADP in early drafts looks quite reasonable. We expect Cody Latimer to compete with Andre Caldwell for snaps in three-WR sets.

It's official: TE Julius Thomas signs with the Jaguars

Wednesday, March 11, 2015, 10:26am

Ian Rapoport, Twitter - [Full Article]

TE Julius Thomas signed with the Jaguars for $46 million over five years with $24 million guaranteed.

Fantasy Impact:

Thomas was the #3 TE in 2013, but struggled to a #10 finish last season after dealing with torn ligaments in his ankle. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. If the Jaguars feature him in the passing game -- and why wouldn't they? -- he has the potential to finish as a solid fantasy TE1 provided he can stay healthy. It's certainly an upgrade for Bortles and a downgrade for Manning.

Broncos sign TE Owen Daniels

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 4:27pm

Adam Schefter, Twitter - [Full Article]

The Broncos have reached an agreement with TE Owen Daniels, per sources.

Update: He signed three-year, $12 million contract.

Fantasy Impact:

Daniels continues to follow HC Gary Kubiak around the league. In the 12 games in which he played at least 75 percent of the snaps, Daniels averaged 3.0 catches for 33 yards and 0.25 TD (on 5.1 targets). He'll be a serviceable TE2 playing with Peyton Manning, unless the Broncos aren't done trying to replace Julius Thomas.

TE Julius Thomas 'expected' to sign with the Jaguars

Monday, March 9, 2015, 9:16pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

The Jaguars have reached an agreement with free-agent tight end Julius Thomas, and he is expected to sign a contract with the team Tuesday, according to league sources.

The Denver Post, which first reported the news Monday night, said the multiyear contract is worth around $9 million a season.

Fantasy Impact:

Thomas was the #3 TE in 2013, but struggled to a #10 finish last season after dealing with torn ligaments in his ankle. He has considerable talent as a pass-catcher, but this is a huge system downgrade from Denver to Jacksonville. He'll no longer enjoy the benefits of playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense and will instead be relying on Blake Bortles to deliver the ball. If the Jaguars feature him in the passing game -- and why wouldn't they? -- he has the potential to finish as a fantasy TE1 provided he can stay healthy. It's certainly an upgrade for Bortles and a downgrade for Manning, though whomever wins the starting tight end job in Denver will be on the fantasy radar.

Broncos QB Peyton Manning officially returning for another season

Thursday, March 5, 2015, 1:27pm

Broncos, Twitter - [Full Article]

Broncos QB Peyton Manning officially returning for another season.

Fantasy Impact:

Manning first popped up on the injury report with a thigh injury after Week 15 (vs. San Diego). When looking only at his first 13 games, Manning averaged 301 yards, 2.8 TD and 0.8 INT, or 21.4 fantasy points per game. That would have been good enough for the third-highest average if he were able to keep that pace. In the final three weeks, including the game in which he injured the thigh, Manning averaged 272 yards and just 1.0 TD versus 1.3 INT. Even with the reduced production, Manning finished as the #4 quarterback in 2014. If he's fully healthy and ready to go, we'd expect him to be selected in the top 5 in 2015 fantasy drafts, though the Broncos' activity in free agency (namely re-signing Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas) will impact his value.

Broncos 'not expected' to outbid other suitors of TE Julius Thomas

Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 12:31pm

Jeff Legwold, ESPN - [Full Article]

Julius Thomas' representatives, with his back-to-back seasons of 12 touchdown receptions, are looking to move him into the upper reaches of the pay-grade at the position. With a long list of free agents that includes wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, the Broncos are not expected to put a better offer in front of Thomas than he could get elsewhere.

Fantasy Impact:

Thomas finished with the 4th-highest PPG in standard formats in each of the last two seasons, but he missed two games in 2013 and three more (plus reduced snaps in three additional games) in 2014. His value is likely to take a hit if he signs elsewhere.

QB Peyton Manning assures the Broncos that he's fit to play

Friday, February 13, 2015, 6:24pm

ESPN - [Full Article]

Peyton Manning reassured Denver Broncos officials, including general manager John Elway, that he is physically and mentally prepared to play at a significant level in 2015, league and team sources told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

The two sides met Thursday in Denver and while retirement technically remains an option for Manning, it is not one he expressed to Elway and CEO Joe Ellis, sources said.

Manning took it upon himself to get a comprehensive evaluation from a renown performance manager and trainer, Mackie Shilstone, during the past 2½ weeks in New Orleans. Shilstone, who was worked with several elite athletes in the latter stages of their careers, has given the quarterback a strong assessment based on numerous workouts and tests, a source said.

The quad injury that plagued Manning at the end of the 2014 season is fully healed.

Fantasy Impact:

Manning first popped up on the injury report with a thigh injury after Week 15 (vs. San Diego). When looking only at his first 13 games, Manning averaged 301 yards, 2.8 TD and 0.8 INT, or 21.4 fantasy points per game. That would have been good enough for the third-highest average if he were able to keep that pace. In the final three weeks, including the game in which he injured the thigh, Manning averaged 272 yards and just 1.0 TD versus 1.3 INT. Even with the reduced production, Manning finished as the #4 quarterback in 2014. If he's fully healthy and ready to go, we'd expect him to be selected in the top 5 in 2015 fantasy drafts, though the Broncos' activity in free agency (namely re-signing Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas) will impact his value.

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