26-Year-Old Safety – Seattle Seahawks
2015 Fantasy Football Outlook
A fluky 61-tackle season in 2012 stands out, but Thomas has otherwise been an excellent IDP over the last four years, averaging roughly 98 tackles and three interceptions in the three other seasons. P...
Earl Thomas Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $40 million extension, with $27.725 million guaranteed, with the Seahawks in April of 2014.
Thomas, who played through a fully torn labrum in the Super Bowl, has yet to have shoulder surgery but is expected to be ready for the start of the season, the Seattle Times reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2015 Proj||26||SEA||Subscribe now to see our 2013 projections for Earl Thomas|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Earl Thomas: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Thomas suffered the injury on the same play he dislocated his shoulder in the NFC championship game. Considering the severity of his injury, it's perhaps even more surprising he played in the Super Bowl. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Thomas is expected to be ready for training camp, though the recovery timetable casts doubt on that. Thomas, Kam Chancellor (knee) and Richard Sherman (shoulder) played the Super Bowl with injuries that would typically sideline a player for an extended period. Slot corner Jeremy Lane suffered a compound fractured arm during the game, and fellow cornerback Byron Maxwell is slated to become an unrestricted free agent. The Seattle secondary bears close watching this offseason.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Thomas lobbied for the job and looked decent in the role during exhibition games. WR/PR Bryan Walters, who was cut Saturday, was re-signed Monday. So while Thomas will start as the punt returner, Walters could see action, too.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Thomas has never returned a punt or kick during the regular season, but he did rip off a 59-yard punt return against the Bears in Seattle's third game this preseason. He has the athleticism to succeed in the role, and he might be able to tack on a touchdown or two through special teams. However, there's also the added risk of injury, which led fellow Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor to call it a bad idea, ESPN.com reports. Of course, Chancellor doesn't have much say in the matter, and it's far more telling that the Seahawks were willing to let Thomas return punts in the preseason.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Thomas has always earned extremely high marks for his effectiveness in real football terms – he's widely recognized as one of the top players on Seattle's league-best defense – but his IDP utility never really matched his real-life value before last season. His 92-tackle 2011 season was sandwiched between a 71-tackle 2010 rookie season and a 61-tackle 2012 season, so he didn't seem like much of a tackle-source heading into last year. Thomas went off in 2013, making 105 stops (78 solo) to go along with five interceptions, increasing his career interception total to 15. While Thomas' year-to-year tackle fluctuation implies that he might be a bit more risky than some of the other players in this range, his risk factor is offset a bit by his consistency in coverage. He has two five-interception seasons in his five-year career, and he should continue making plays in coverage thanks to Seattle's dominant pass rush forcing bad throws.
Thomas is coming off a remarkably weak IDP campaign in which he totaled just 61 tackles, but that number seems like a fluke, and few safeties have Thomas' ball skills. After such an improbably unproductive year, it's time for the pendulum to swing back for Thomas. He had 92 tackles in the 2011 season, and he's due for a breakout interception season after pulling in only five over the last two seasons. A stronger Seattle pass rush should help him on that front.
Thomas was the heavy favorite to be Seattle's the top IDP option last year, but his failure to meet that mark had more to do with Kam Chancellor's surprising ascent rather than any decline on Thomas' part. The 2010 first-round pick finished last year with 98 tackles (69 solo) and two interceptions. It was basically the opposite stat line than what was expected from Thomas, who is known for his coverage skills rather than his tackling ability. He remains one of the league's most talented safeties, in any case, so he could find a happy medium between last year's tackle-heavy stats and the turnover potential he showed as a rookie when he intercepted five passes. It's worth noting that though Thomas' ceiling doesn't appear to be as high as Chancellor's, Thomas' floor is arguably higher since he hasn't missed a game in his two NFL seasons.
The list of safeties that can match Thomas’ potential as a coverage specialist is very short. The 14th overall pick from the 2010 draft is a rangy playmaker with cornerback-like speed and generally good instincts. His short-term fantasy value might be limited due to his modest run-stopping abilities, however, as he finished last year with a mostly average total of 76 tackles (64 solo). He really hit the rookie wall toward the end of the year, totaling just 13 tackles (11 solo) in his last five games, but the 22-year-old should be more consistent in his sophomore season.
The 14th overall pick in the 2010 Draft, Thomas is expected to start at free safety for Pete Carroll’s Seahawks, replacing Jordan Babineaux whose 104 tackles ranked fifth among defensive backs last season. At 5-10, 197, Thomas is a touch on the small side for an NFL safety — he’s more of a cornerback/safety ‘tweener at this point — but is highly regarded for his ball-hawking skills. He’s not known for his tackling, but as Babineaux showed last season, the opportunities should be there. And whatever tackles he leaves on the field, he should make up for it with picks as he has great range.