Patriots Re-Sign Julian Edelman
Edelman emerged as Tom Brady’s most reliable weapon in 2013 following four years in a reserve role where he caught a combined 69 passes. Last season, Edelman exploded for 105 catches on 151 targets following Wes Welker’s departure from the Patriots. His 1,056 receiving yards ranked him No. 21 in the league.
After storming out of the gate in Week 1 with a two-touchdown game, Edelman cooled off and looked to be a flash in the pan. However, down the stretch Brady frequently looked his way. Edelman topped double-digit targets in five of the final six regular season games, and saw nine targets in the remaining game.
His success continued into the playoffs where Edelman caught 16-of-24 targets for 173 yards and a score. Edelman is also one of the league’s more skilled punt returners.
It’s likely both Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins take a step forward in their sophomore seasons, but their presence doesn’t impact Edelman much. Like Welker, Edelman is more of an underneath security blanket for Brady.
The question is ultimately what the Patriots do with Danny Amendola. He was brought in last season as a potential replacement for Welker, but injury issues and Edelman’s emergence prevented that from coming to fruition. Amendola’s name has come up in trade rumors this offseason, so his future in New England is far from concrete.
With Thompkins and Dobson on the field, it’s unlikely Edelman repeats his impressive 2013 numbers. A healthy Rob Gronkowski will also eat into his targets. However, this is far from certain as Gronkowski is recovering from ACL and MCL surgery.
Still, Edelman will see a full complement of targets in his role as the slot receiver. Despite the targets, his yards ceiling is quite low and he only makes for a WR3 in standard formats. However, in PPR league’s Edelman’s value jumps into the WR2 range.
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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.