27-Year-Old Safety – Seattle Seahawks
2016 Fantasy Football Outlook
Thomas has been maddeningly difficult to forecast from year to year. The skill set is a constant – he's simply an excellent safety, one of the best in recent memory – but his presence in the box score...
Earl Thomas Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $40 million extension, with $27.725 million guaranteed, with the Seahawks in April of 2014.
Thomas (hip) is active for Sunday's game at Minnesota.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|2016 Proj||27||SEA||Subscribe now to see our 2016 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)Activated from the PUP list nearly two weeks ago, Thomas was contained to walkthrough practices until he participated in some 11-on-11 drills with the first-team defense Tuesday, albeit in a red no-contact jersey. Expect the routine to continue for at least a few days, which should include an absence Friday at Kansas City, but the safety appears to be approaching full health in time for the regular-season opener.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)The occasion marks a necessary step in Thomas' quest for active status in Week 1, but he still has a decent road to travel to achieve such an end. As an IDP standout throughout his career, he's averaged 85.2 tackles (63 solo) per season, while adding 16 interceptions, eight forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries, and one touchdown across five complete campaigns.
Exclusive Fantasy Analysis (FREE PREVIEW)Thomas potentially missing games in the 2015 season was the risk the Seahawks took on when they played him in the Super Bowl with a torn labrum, so it isn't surprising he could miss at least one game. It will likely come down to when Thomas is able to reach training camp, so he should be monitored for the next couple of months to get a more concrete return time.
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
The league's premier playmaker at free safety, Thomas has even more interception upside than his career stats show — he's rangy, athletic and runs like a cornerback even as he provides a big-hitting presence in the secondary. He has 16 interceptions in five seasons but could be due for an interception spree behind's Seattle's fierce pass rush after snagging just one last season. He's had nearly 100 tackles in three of the last four years, a fluky 61-tackle season in 2012 the lone exception. Thomas played with a torn labrum in the Super Bowl and might not be ready for training camp, but is expected to be healthy for Week 1.
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.