I have always had a soft spot for tight ends, many things contribute to this but mostly, there is something exceptional about finding the next breaking out tight end. Something so visceral, it just makes you want to find the next big thing; it started with Kittle, then Andrews, now, well we will see.
In comes Logan Thomas, a 29-year-old, 6-foot 6-inch, 248-pound tight end converted from his drafted position quarterback. Recently signed this off-season by the Washington Football Team (WFT) he quickly solidified himself as the top tight end, besting NFL journeyman Jeremy Sprinkle. Camp reports were glowing about Logan Thomas, most including myself were concerned for a variety of reasons.
Thomas converted from a quarterback back on November 30, 2016 and spent two years with the Buffalo Bills (2017/2018) starting 5 games. In those two seasons he had 19 receptions for 142 yards and 1 touchdown. The 2019 season Thomas signed with the Detroit Lions starting three games, getting 173 yards on 16 receptions and a touchdown. Over those last three years his average yards per reception was 9.1, his catch percentage was 64.8 and he was averaging 5.9 targets a game. That is the entire career of Logan Thomas as a tight end, which as you can tell has led many off his scent of a breakout campaign.
Thomas’s adjusted profile now as a tight end looks impressive from an athletic profile standpoint. Per Playerprofiler.com Thomas had a speed score of 112.1 (91st percentile), a burst score of 121.1 (71st percentile) and an agility score of 11.23 (87th percentile). As we have outlined before, athleticism is not the end all for a fantasy relevant tight end, but it certainly helps to have an athletic tight end. These numbers are very promising especially when you accompany his exceptional height and weight.
Thomas has the qualities you want to see in a potential breakout tight end, but does he meet the criteria we laid out for the Chris Herndon article as a potential breakout.
1. Is this player in the top-3 in the team’s hierarchy of targets?
2. Does this player fit in the predictive measure of success model (PMOS)?
3. Does the player project for a snap share of 70% or for a 100-target season?
4. Is this player efficient with his targets?
Luckily, we have a game to help with some of these questions, the WFT beat the Eagles 27-17. Thomas helped contribute 6 of those 27 points. Thomas was the most targeted player week one with 8 targets converting that into four receptions, 37 yards and a Touchdown. He Averaged 9.2 yards per catch with his catch rate at a flat 50%. Clearly this is an incredibly small sample size but the main sticky factors to me are his targets, his YPR (yards per reception) and the fact he was targeted in the red zone and converted.
Logan Thomas ranked #3 for most yards and #1 in most targets, assuming this keeps up Thomas will fit nicely in the top three of the target hierarchy. Without any college collegiate work, Thomas’s PMOS is not very stable but his athletic profile would rank him well if the model dated that far back; we can call this a push. Thomas had a snap percentage of 74 week 1, and if you expand his targets per-game he is looking to be around 102 targets for this full year; another check for Thomas. Thomas’s efficiency is a tricky answer, he had a catch percentage of 50% but he was averaging 9.2 yards per catch. I think it is a fair assumption that his catch percentage will only increase as he grows into the tight end role. Even if he makes it to his ‘career’ average his season line be: 106 targets/67 receptions/617 yards/7 touchdowns/10.67 fantasy points per game (ppr). I would call this a tentative yes for the last criteria.
Thomas has a current ownership of 0.5% in ESPN leagues. If I had to guess most people will be preoccupied with other positional breakouts and not focused on the often-overlooked Washington Football Team. Thomas marks three of the four indicators with a solid week 1. The light is green for Thomas, get him now before you have to spend up to get him.