How To Treat Patriots WR Tyquan Thornton as Fantasy Football Waiver Wire Target
Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images. Pictured: Tyquan Thornton.
Patriots wideout Tyquan Thornton broke out in a big way in his second career game, registering two scores — one receiving, one rushing — in New England's trouncing of Cleveland.
You read that right — a Patriots rookie receiver was actually productive for once. But how should fantasy managers react to Thornton's big game given the mercurial nature of New England fantasy assets?
Our experts weigh in below on Thornton's prospects going forward.
Sean Koerner: Anytime a second-round rookie has a two-touchdown performance, we need to take notice.
Thornton is blazing fast (4.28 40-time) and his ability to score from anywhere on the field will allow him to offer more spike weeks in the future. However, it’s going to be tough for him to offer consistent WR3/4 value given the crowded Patriots WR room.
If Kendrick Bourne and Nelson Agholor’s injuries turn out to be serious enough to cost them multiple games, I would be much more interested in Thornton. He is a high-upside stash in deeper leagues.
Chris Raybon: Thornton ran a route on 64% of the dropbacks in his Week 5 debut and upped it to 72% last week. This is extremely encouraging given that the Patriots have a crowded WR room and young players typically take a long time to earn Bill Belichick’s trust.
With that said, Thornton may not have the same chemistry with Mac Jones that he has with Bailey Zappe. We also can’t fully trust Patriots WR usage, as snap counts have been volatile outside of Jakobi Meyers.
Still, Thornton is worth stashing in deeper leagues, as he could enter the WR3/FLEX ranks at some point if he keeps playing this well and his usage continues to grow.
Samantha Previte: Thornton turned heads in the second game of his NFL career. The rookie hauled in 4-of-5 targets for 37 yards and a touchdown and tacked on three carries for 16 yards and a rushing touchdown in the Patriots’ dominant victory over the Browns.
Thornton missed the first four games of the year due to a fractured clavicle he suffered in the preseason. The Baylor product, who stands at 6-foot-2 and 182 pounds, was selected in the second round of the 2022 NFL Draft. He nearly set a combine record with an unofficial 4.21-second 40-yard dash, which was later officially ruled 4.28 seconds.
The speed demon could be worth stashing on benches for now, especially with the Patriots playing shockingly well with third-string quarterback Bailey Zappe under center.