Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Best Buy: Julian Edelman

ESPN is reporting that WR Wes Welker is traveling with the Pats to Atlanta and QB Tom Brady is feeling Grrrrreeeaaaat! This is good news for the Patriots but a little perplexing for fantasy owners. At least the Welker part is.

His 6 month recovery from a torn ACL is remarkable, and the fact that he appears to be on target to start the regular season has put most owners at ease and his draft stock has only fallen from mid third round last year to early 4th round this year.
I've owned Welker in a keeper league for the last three seasons, and this will be the first year that I go a different direction with my keepers. Part of my problem is that the format we play advances a player's draft slot two positions a year (Last year I got to keep Welker in the 5th, this year he would take the place of my 3rd round pick) so Welker is no longer a "value" as the 6th pick of the third round. But also, like anyone, I'm worried that a guy who makes his living making sharp cuts on quick inside routes might be more than a little hampered by a surgically repaired knee. Especially one so fresh.
This is not, however, bad news. In fact if you are a gambler, which I am, this opens up the door to one of the great values in the draft. Julian Edelman. He performed wonderfully filling in for Welker at the end of last season, and his first preseason game showed signs of brilliance. It's almost like Coach Belichick has figured out how to clone his best players.
Edelman will be available deep in the draft and may go undrafted altogether in some leagues.
His value is more than just as a backup plan for if Welker's knee isn't what it once was, team officials are saying that we might be seeing the Pats line up three wide more often to take advantage of Edelman and perhaps (unstated) to relieve the stress on Welker's knee.
This guy is the biggest sleeper in the draft and in keeper leagues could turn into the guy that you can keep forever and pay a very little for.
-Eric Edwards


Troy said...

Edelman looks poised to have a year that will be better than most. I like the blog - read it every day right after I read the Hockey Insider.