DENVER (CBS4) – Through six games, Julius Thomas has 31 catches and seven touchdowns.
With stats like that, it makes sense that the starting tight end would be swamped with attention from excited Broncos fans, but another kind of NFL fan has also been approaching him lately with a different message of thanks.
Fantasy football owners who have Thomas on their teams might have smartly selected him the late rounds of their drafts, or perhaps they got him off waivers after his two touchdown performance in the first game of the season.
However they acquired him, those owners are now enjoying starting a tight end who was mostly unheard of prior to this season and is now among the league leaders at his position for receiving yards (381). He also leads all NFL tight ends in touchdowns.
“It’s actually been happening a lot,” Thomas told CBS4′s Vic Lombardi on Xfinity Monday Live when asked about the praise from the fantasy football types. “Everybody’s excited for me and happy to see me playing well. And it’s a bonus for them on fantasy. I’d say it happens a couple times a day.”
During the Broncos win against Jacksonville on Sunday Thomas found the end zone once again in the first quarter when he ran a cut in pattern, something he says was a bit of a different route than he’s run before.
“Every week we prepare our goal line package and that (play) was just something we wanted to get to,” Thomas said. “It’s hard to score points. Sometimes we make it look easy, but sometimes you’ve got to find little, different ways to get in the end zone, and it’s been working for us.”
Thomas almost scored again in the third quarter on a fade pass from Peyton Manning.
“I didn’t know if I got the foot in. When I first caught it I thought it was a touchdown but watching it on the replay, I thought ‘I’ve got to do a better job of dragging that toe,’ ” Thomas said.
Something strange happened en route to the Broncos sixth win of the season at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Sunday. When halftime began and the Broncos were only up by two points some fans hailed down boos on the Denver players as they headed to the locker room.
“Does any part of you, just human nature, say ‘We’re 5-0, we’re winning the game. Why is everybody mad?’ ” Lombardi asked Thomas.
“(In a way) it’s a good thing. We’ve set a certain standard and our fans and a lot of other people are starting to expect greatness out of us every time we hit the field, and we’re going to do our best to live up to that.”
Thomas says the Broncos have several things they can improve on after Sunday.
“We’ve got to come out better and go hard from the get go,” Thomas said.
Monday marked Thomas’ second appearance on Xfinity Monday Live so far this season. In his first appearance he talked about being a basketball star in college.
Watch more of the video with Julius Thomas in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.