After catching just 35 passes on 54 targets between 2017-2019, Washington tight end Logan Thomas came out of nowhere to be the waiver wire darling at the tight end position. The former Virginia Tech quarterback made the transition to tight end in the National Football League, and in 2020, he broke out. He caught 72 of 110 targets for 670 yards with six touchdowns. He ended as the TE6 in half-PPR formats last year, and the TE4 in PPR! He relied on massive volume to get there, but it’s hard to knock him for coming out of nowhere and ranking inside the top seven in targets, receptions, receiving yards and air yards at the game’s most fickle position. Tight end isn’t every deep, as everyone knows, and Thomas is coming off a year where he got 100+ targets. However, is the juice worth the squeeze in 2021?

A limited target tree in 2020 helped Thomas ascend to fantasy stardom late in the year. Over the final six weeks of the season, he was TE3 in PPR formats, averaged over eight targets per game and was tied for the most receptions at the position, per Pro Football Focus (PFF). Thomas was a TE1 in five of his last six games of the season, including four top ten finishes. Fortunately, he had a 24 percent target share to buoy his production because his 0.24 fantasy points per snap ranked outside the top ten, and his 2.04 fantasy points per touch ranked 54th, per PFF.

It’s easy to focus on the positives, which was Thomas’ final six games to the season. However, we can’t completely ignore the first 11 weeks of the season, when he was the TE15 in PPR. Through the first 11 weeks of the season, he had just a 16 percent target share, and had six games with single-digit fantasy points. He did post four games as a TE1 through the first 11 weeks, per RotoViz, but his inconsistency was prevalent.

For the season as a whole, he had the sixth-highest WOPR at the position and ran the most routes of any tight end. However, he ranked just 22nd in RACR, which is an efficiency stat based on a player’s catch rate and yards after catch, per RotoViz. Thomas was solid in the catch rate department, but he’s not elusive and isn’t a dynamic threat after the catch.

As the year progressed, the target tree for Washington became more and more defined. During Thomas’ best stretch (Weeks 12-17), he, J.D. McKissic and Terry McLaurin combined for 67 percent of the targets! That likely won’t be the case in 2021. The team retained the majority of the weapons, but drafted Dyami Brown (ACC-best 20.3 yards per catch in 2020 amongst receivers with at least 30 receptions) and signed Curtis Samuel to bolster the receiving crew. The team also will look to get Antonio Gibson more involved in the passing attack this year. Ryan Fitzpatrick under center helps the passing attack, but this team figures to rely on their excellent defense and run game to win football games. The passing attack can do it when called upon, but this isn’t going to be an offense that ranks in the top five or even top ten in total pass attempts.

In terms of adding competition, the biggest plus for Thomas is the move(s) the Football Team didn’t make. Washington didn’t bring in any notable threat at the tight end position, showcasing their commitment to Thomas as its primary tight end. In addition to that, they also signed him to a three-year extension on July 27th.

Ryan Fitzpatrick under center means one thing, and that is being aggressive downfield. That stands to benefit the receivers more so than Thomas, who saw over 60 percent of his targets behind or within ten yards of the line of scrimmage. Additionally, despite having pretty athletic tight ends, Fitzpatrick doesn’t necessarily utilize those guys downfield.

O.J. Howard4010.32
Mike Gesicki1217.89
Cameron Brate296.69

Courtesy of RotoViz

Overall, Thomas is the TE9 per NFFC data. If we take a look at it by month, it’s almost as if people are catching on a bit to his dependence on volume.

MonthTE RankOverall Pick

Courtesy of NFFC Data

Overall, sure, his ADP has remained relatively stable, but he’s slipped a half-round already since May. Why? Washington has added weapons and without a massive target share, Thomas is not dynamic or effective enough on a per-touch basis to provide a positive return on investment at his current price. I understand volume is key in fantasy football, but too much is going to have to go right for Thomas to even match his current price. There’s too much risk at his current price, and far better options multiple rounds later that likely finish ahead of Thomas this season.

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