Kenbrell Thompkins had been on and off the fantasy radar for most of the season before the New England Patriots finally threw him on the back burner a few weeks ago. He’d been competing with Aaron Dobson for playing time and after a string of up-and-down performances from both players, the coaching staff eventually decided that Dobson had a brighter outlook and more upside.
Thompkins’ playing time decreased significantly, and he was even a healthy scratch in Week 9. So, why am I telling you to start him?
For the last two weeks, Thompkins’ playing time has not only been existent once again, but is also rising. In Week 11, he was targeted twice and secured both for a total of 60 yards, and last week he officially became relevant again. He was targeted nine times against the Denver Broncos, catching six of them for 56 yards. The yardage might not be anything special, but the targets are certainly worth noting.
It seemed like his sudden involvement came out nowhere until we learned that Dobson is dealing with a foot injury, the extent of which is unknown.
With Dobson ruled out for this week’s tilt with the Houston Texans, Thompkins will now step into the full-time “X” receiver role. It doesn’t suddenly boost him into stud territory, but he should at least turn in WR3 production. The Texans’ defense isn’t nearly as scary as its ranking suggests, so it’s not like he’s a candidate to get completely shut down either.
In an offense that’s finally starting to click and with Tom Brady looking a lot more like himself lately, Thompkins has enough appeal for anyone badly in need of a wideout this week. Don’t expect the world, but expect enough to warrant the spot you’ll give him in your lineup. He knows he needs to prove his worth while Dobson is out if he’s to have any real chance of playing once the incumbent returns. Take advantage of the opportunity while he tries to do the same.