Denver Broncos Wide Receiver Demaryius Thomas’ mom will see play in the NFL for the first time this week. Why does this matter? Well, it’s a nice story. It’s also one of the rare times that parenting and fantasy football intersect. Since I do both of those things, I had to write about it.
Stay with me. There’s a point here. I promise.
Thomas will face the worst secondary in the NFL and will be playing with a little more on the line. Peyton Manning is fully aware that this will be the first time Thomas’ mother will see him play in a professional football game, and he will make it a special day. I am going bold here in predicting two touchdowns for Thomas this weekend.
I will admit that my heart likes the analysis. (Also, I’m starting Peyton Manning in my fantasy league, and two passing touchdowns would be nice. Three or four would be better.) Manning has been disappointing to fantasy football players (I dislike the term “owners” in this context although that’s typically what people say) this season, largely because he has such a staggering history of putting up insane stats. The couple of times that I’ve won in my league, Peyton having a career year was usually the reason. (Aaron Rodgers has also been good to me — in terms of fantasy football production. I’ve never met the man.)
My head tells me otherwise. Granted, Thomas is a great receiver who is due for a big game, and the Broncos’ offense has started to wake up after a slow start. Despite this, the team was undefeated until last week, thanks largely to their amazing defense. The Kansas City Chiefs are a team that, according to experts, give up strong fantasy numbers to opposing quarterbacks, which means they must also give up numbers to wide receivers. So there are other reasons to think that Thomas and Manning will hook up for a couple of touchdowns this weekend. But do we really think that Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ coaches are creating a game plan to get Demaryius Thomas more involved just because his mom will be there?
Welllll… could be. On the surface, it seems silly. I mean, these people are playing REAL football, not fantasy football. They want to win the game, and if the best way to do that is to run the ball 45 times, that’s what they’re going to do. That said, the Broncos have not had much success running the ball this season (one of the reasons their offense has struggled), and both Manning and Thomas need to get going if Denver wants to have any success in the post-season. (Hint: they do.) So it’s not like the folks at FantasyPros are saying that some guy off the practice squad is going to come into the game and start because his mom will be in the stands. And football players and coaches are human beings. (Although we think it’s possible that Rob Gronkowski was created in a lab. The dude is just SO big and SO strong, it’s kind of ridiculous.)
SO. Bottom line: is Peyton Manning aware of the fact that Demaryius Thomas’ mom is going to see her son in an NFL game for the first time this week? Probably. Are the Broncos planning to get Thomas the ball more than they otherwise might?
We’ll have to watch and see.