De’Anthony Thomas: The New X-Factor


When thinking about the X-Factor, many Kansas City Chiefs fans will undoubtedly think of Dante Hall and some of his electrifying returns. While Hall was definitely the original X-Factor, he may have to make way for De’Anthony Thomas.

Thomas is never going to be a top receiver on any team in the NFL, nor will he be a featured back. He will however be able to break entire games open with one play from anywhere on the field. He has the type of big-play capability Chiefs fans have been craving since the early 2000s.

Thomas will see tons of open field this year in an offense loaded with individual talent such as Jamaal Charles, Travis Kelce, and newcomer Jeremy Maclin. Alex Smith should be able to spread the defense out enough for Thomas to make some magic happen. Look for him to get the ball in similar ways that he got them last year, like screens and jet sweeps. The difference being that last year defenses could pack eight players in the box and stop the run. That won’t be an option with Maclin out wide. Albert Wilson may be able to help this cause, as well, with a big game or two early. Teams will have no choice but to respect to his speed.

It’s hard to predict what kind of year Thomas could have statistically, and he won’t be a contributor on many people’s fantasy teams. Thomas may only get the ball five to six times a game (excluding punt returns). Still, I don’t think it is outrageous to predict anywhere between six and 10 touchdowns for Thomas this season, with two coming from punt returns.

He won’t get the praise he deserves at the end of the season because he isn’t an offensive superstar. No matter where he is on the field, the defense will have him accounted for. Otherwise, they may have a glimpse of him as he trots by for a 60-yard touchdown. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t just bring big play capabilities for himself, he opens it up for the rest of the team. And that is the recipe for a successful offense to complement a stellar defense.