During the 2014 offseason, the Chiefs let Dexter McCluster, their versatile returner/runner/receiver, sign with the Tennessee Titans. McCluster’s replacement, former Oregon Duck De’Anthony Thomas, came out of the draft and ultimately proved to be a better player than McCluster, who did nothing in Nashville. There were occasional flashes of excitement from Thomas last season and the Chiefs are hoping to further his development by having him focus on just playing wide receiver, as opposed to being a hybrid runner/receiver. With the Chiefs having a weak group at the position last year, can Thomas migrate into the fantasy mainstream?
Thomas is the kind of player who can score from anywhere on the field. Against Oakland last December, he had an 81-yard punt return for a touchdown. He is already one of the best punt returners in the NFL and also had a 30-yard reception in the season finale when the Chiefs beat San Diego. With defenses focusing on Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce and Jeremy Maclin, Thomas may be able to fly under the radar break more big plays.
At 5’8” and under 200 pounds, Thomas is the type of player who will likely never get the kind of usage necessary to yield steady fantasy production. The move to wide receiver sounds promising on paper, until you realize that Maclin, Chris Conley and Albert Wilson seem to have a lock on the top three spots. De’Anthony will be in some packages, but not the vast majority of them.
Thomas can help you if you are in a format where return yardage comes into play. Otherwise, it is best to leave him on the waiver wire.