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Underrated Chris Thompson

For the last few years, the majority of attention for drafters has turned to Alfred Morris, Matt Jones, Rob Kelley, or Samaje Perine. However, the most reliable and consistent option over the long term has been Chris Thompson. Regardless, Thompson remains underappreciated and seems to still be viewed as an afterthought.

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Despite being drafted in 2013, Thompson is still only 26 years old and looks to be improving year over year. He continues to make big plays on a regular basis and the community appear to look at them as flukes. It wasn’t that long ago that Vereen was viewed as a reasonably valuable asset in PPR leagues and Chris Thompson looks set for similar production.

Vereen was known for having 200-300 rushing yards, combined with 40-50 receptions for an additional 500 yards. After a pedestrian first 2 seasons to begin his career, Thompson is now fulfilling a very similar role. In 2015, he had 35 receptions for 250 yards, and in 2016 he continued his positive regression with 49 receptions for 350 yards. His start to 2017 has followed in positive fashion. All the while, the other Redskins RBs mentioned previously have struggled for form and fitness recently. A full breakdown of Thompson’s production can be seen below:

Part of the reason for Thompson’s slow start to his career is because of injury. After a productive career at Florida State, Thompson was selected in the 5th round and missed a large chunk of his senior college season as well as his rookie NFL season due to injury. In his senior season at Florida State, Thompson tore his ACL, ending his campaign. Once he entered the league, he was then placed on I.R. after tearing his labrum.

It wasn’t until Roy Helu and Silas Redd departed that Thompson was given the reigns to the 3rd down passing role with Washington. He’s now developed into a really useful flex option that isn’t a sexy name, but is productive. In 2016, Thompson finished as RB28 in PPR leagues. He was a high end RB3. He doesn’t look like losing his role any time soon…if anything it seems likely to expand. Yet, for some reason we don’t seem to be buying it. It’s not like he’s approaching the end of his career, considering his carries haven’t been exorbitant, and he’s 26 years old. His ADP sits at 191. He’s ranked as RB67. It seems weird to say that the RB28 from a year ago, who is 26 years old, is ranked as RB67.

I’m here to tell you to start buying into it, people! Prior to the season, the Redskins extended him to a 3-year contract. They’re not going to suddenly stop using this guy.  Even if they draft a quality RB in the 2018 draft, Thompson is sure to maintain a substantial role. Even if he only produces as a RB3/4 for the rest of his career, his price is much cheaper. Coach Gruden said recently that “we’ll try to expand his role a little bit, but we don’t want to go too crazy with him.” Better start believing that this is the guy to own in Washington’s backfield. Down the road I believe we could be talking about Thompson as someone who records 40-50 receptions regularly and becomes valued similarly to Theo Riddick. Take advantage while you can.

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About Jon Diment

Dynasty has caused many fights with all my friends, and I'm totally okay with the fact that fantasy football is now consuming our lives. The thrill we get every Sunday is like no other and makes it all worth it. I hope that my advice helps make your dynasty teams good enough to take your mind off life's other troubles. Currently working in business operations for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL. Follow me on twitter: @DynastyJon