Zach Thomas
46-Year-Old LinebackerLB
 Free Agent  
2019 Fantasy Outlook
There was no outlook written for Zach Thomas in 2019. Check out the latest news below for more on his current fantasy value.
$Released by the Chiefs in September 2009.
LBFree Agent
February 15, 2010
Thomas told the Miami Herald that he has played his last game in the National Football League.
ANALYSIS
Thomas hopes to sign a one day contract with Miami so he can retire as a Dolphin. He played 12 of his 14 NFL seasons in Miami.
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2019 Zach Thomas Split Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2009
2008
2007
2006
2005
2004
2003
Thomas used to be a premier IDP, but now, at age 36, those years are behind him. He should still approach 100 tackles, but his lack of other stats (sacks, interceptions, passes defended) and age will limit his value to deep IDP leagues.
A head injury limited Thomas to five games in 2007 and marked the first time since 2000 that he appeared in fewer than 13 contests. Thomas has long been one of the most consistent tacklers in the NFL. He made between 145 and 165 tackles in each season from 2001 through 2006. Thomas’ stock is diminished somewhat in 2008 because of his age (35 in September) and 2007 concussion (though doctors have given him a clean bill of health). Still, don't wait too long on Thomas, who at age 34 still averaged 10.4 tackles in five games last year. He's not as fast as he used to be, but his instincts are up there with the best of them.
Here he is, the best tackler in the NFL. Thomas has averaged 10 total tackles per game in each of the last six years save for 2002 when he missed the mark by just four tackles. At least 54 assists in each of those six years is a good reason why. With all those tackles, Thomas delivers fantasy points game in and game out. The most notable risk with Thomas is that he's played 16 games in less than half of his 11 NFL seasons, and he'll be 34 entering this year. On the flip side, last season he posted a career high in total tackles (165) and tied a career high in sacks (3) thanks to his first 16-game season since 2002. He's had at least a piece of a sack in all 11 of his campaigns and an interception in 10 of them. He's never had more than three sacks or three interceptions in a year but does just enough of that icing, guaranteed, to turn those tackles into a very special cake. If you're playing in a tackle-based system, it's Zach Thomas's world, and we’re just living in it.
Can’t go wrong with Zach Thomas. He just keeps going and going and going. A new 3-4 alignment? Fine. Going back to the 4-3? OK. He has at least one interception in every one of his 10 pro seasons, except one (2004), and has never failed to log a sack. The man has averaged at least five solo tackles per game every year and usually quite a bit more. The rub, though, is he’s played 16 games just once in the past six seasons, usually missing one or two to nagging injuries. Last year, it was a sprained ankle and torn labrum that cost Thomas two games. When he returned, he averaged 7.5 solo tackles per game the rest of the way. He’s a gamer. And he’s progressing well after off-season surgery on the shoulder. He’s unlikely to be the top guy in the league, but he’s a mortal lock to put up a top-20 per-game average, even while playing through the inevitable injuries.
Someone check Thomas for a servo or two – the guy’s a machine. In nine seasons he’s had at least half a sack every single year and last year was the first time he didn’t pick off a pass. That’s plain ridiculous. One of the best tacklers in the game, he averaged 6.5 solos per game in 13 contests last year, putting him on pace for an elite 104. Check that, it was 12 games, since he barely played in the game in which he tore his hamstring, raising the projection to a league-leading 113. The biggest question with Thomas is not if he’ll play well, but if he’ll play. To that end, he got with Junior Seau’s physical trainer to build core strength to avoid nagging injuries. Seau’s production sure has dipped, but the man keeps on chugging, and we like the prospects of what that means for Thomas, who shows absolutely no signs of slowing down so long as he’s on the field.
You can’t call Thomas (30) old, but he is slowing down. To be a competitive tackler in the NFL, you need to average at least six solo stops per game. One of the premier tacklers of his time, Thomas has done that over an entire career and in each individual season but last year. He logged at least four solo tackles every week in 2003, making him one of the most consistent defensive fantasy point producers, but totaled a career-low 84 on the season. A sack, three interceptions and 10 passes defended buoyed his overall numbers. Although a rebound isn’t out of the question, a la Michael Barrow’s career year at 33 in 2003, Thomas is clearly experiencing age-related slippage.
Thomas had 101 solo tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery a year ago, and as long as he can stay healthy – something he's had trouble doing in years past – he should continue to be a tackling machine, especially with big defensive tackle Tim Bowens absorbing blockers in front of him. Thomas is a little undersized for a linebacker (5-11, 235), and he's not particularly fast, but he reads and reacts as well as anyone in the league.
More Fantasy News
LBFree Agent
Hamstring
September 5, 2009
The Chiefs released Thomas (hamstring) on Saturday, the Kansas City Star reports.
ANALYSIS
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LBKansas City Chiefs
Hamstring
September 1, 2009
Thomas (hamstring) is still with the Chiefs and worked in the team's rehab area during Tuesday morning's practice, Chiefs writer Bob Gretz reports.
ANALYSIS
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LBKansas City Chiefs
Hamstring
August 31, 2009
Thomas' agent, Drew Rosenhaus refutes ESPN's report that Thomas is retiring.
ANALYSIS
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LBKansas City Chiefs
Hamstring
August 31, 2009
Thomas (hamstring) is expected to retire, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.
ANALYSIS
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LBKansas City Chiefs
Hamstring
August 20, 2009
Thomas (hamstring) still is not practicing and could be losing his starting job to Corey Mays, the Kansas City Star reports.
ANALYSIS
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