The Texans are trading for Thomas due to Will Fuller’s season-ending knee injury. Thomas won’t replace Fuller’s deep speed, but he’s a capable receiver that can work short and intermediate routes and occasionally go deep. His arrival hurts Keke Coutee’s outlook, since he was likely to see most of Fuller’s targets once he returns from his hamstring injury. Coutee has been playing in the slot but he can play outside as well. It’s an upgrade for Deshaun Watson since he’ll have another solid weapon to throw to. We view this as a downgrade for Thomas since he’s changing teams midseason and joining a receiving corps that is dominated by DeAndre Hopkins.
In Denver, Thomas’s departure opens up a boatload of snaps and targets for Courtland Sutton, who is immediately upgraded to a WR3 with WR2 upside. He’s the big winner in this trade. Emmanuel Sanders may see a slight target bump, and this is a downgrade for Case Keenum. Tim Patrick (1-24-1 on one target in Week 8) likely serves as the Broncos’ WR3 while DaeSean Hamilton recovers from his sprained MCL. Rest-of-season rankings will be updated today.