Redskins running back Chris Thompson is taking the fantasy world to school so far this season. He is teaching a class in scoring touchdowns.
But before we give him an ‘A’ for the season, let’s do some homework.
There are a lot of things to like about the explosive Washington back. He has four touchdowns in the first three weeks. He has a stable role as the passing-down running back in what should be a productive offense. The two-down RBs he shares the backfield with are unimpressive, so the Redskins likely will lean more heavily on the pass, giving Thompson more playing time.
All of those are good things. That’s why he likely was scooped up off the waiver wire last week. That’s why, if he somehow still is available in your waiver period this week, he will be in high demand.
For those few leagues in which he is available, your homework assignment is to be responsible. Don’t blow your entire free-agent auction budget to get him. For the rest of you who already have him on your roster, your class project is to shop him for a trade.
Yes, little Joey in the corner, do you have a question?
Joey: Why would you try to trade someone who is producing at this level? Isn’t this the type of player every fantasy owner wishes every waiver claim becomes?
Good questions Joey. And yes, if you grabbed him earlier, that move has paid off. But today’s lesson is about supply and demand. Right now, Thompson is in high demand, because productive fantasy running backs are in short supply. Those two factors inflate his value. If his value rises to a point that it exceeds expected future production, or his value becomes higher than other players who have a better projected future, then you can make a fantasy profit by trading him for a better commodity.
Joey: But why has his value exceeded future production?
Good question, Joey. We can point to one primary stat that suggests a steep decline. That stat is TD rate. Right now, heading into Monday night, across the whole, wide NFL, there is an average of one touchdown scored for every 21.6 “touches” — that is, rushing attempts plus pass receptions. Thompson, though, has scored once every 6.75 touches. That is a rate more than three times the average.
Joey: Well, maybe he’s just better than everybody.
You might be onto something Joey. In his five-year career, Thompson has averaged a TD every 18.6 touches. So he has performed above this season’s average for some time. But, his current rate still is…