Daily Dr. Roto — June 8, 2018
King Julian No More
I am sure that most of you were as shocked as I was to learn that Patriots WR Julian Edelman is facing a four-game suspension for PED use. Edelman is appealing the decision and will find out shortly to see if it has been upheld. The Patriots obviously knew this decision was coming as there were reports out of Patriots camp that WR Philip Dorsett was getting tons of targets in practice in recent days.
If he is suspended, the Patriots will be especially thin at receiver. Two of Tom Brady’s biggest targets in 2017, Brandin Cooks and Danny Amendola, are now with the Rams and Dolphins respectively. This leaves Chris Hogan and Jordan Matthews as the team’s top two receivers. I would also expect that Rex Burkhead and James White will see more time in the slot as well.
Hogan could really see his Fantasy stock soar. He has a good bond with Brady, and he always seems to find a way to get open, especially in the red zone. Matthews is new to the Patriots system, but he is an exceptional blocking wide receiver (which helps the running game), and he has had a tremendous number of targets in the past few seasons. Once he creates a rapport with Brady, he might turn into one of the top Fantasy Football sleepers this season.
Can the Patriots survive without Edelman? Absolutely. Brady will rely on Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead in the running game and TE Rob Gronkowski will be targeted more than ever in the early part of the season. However, in the long term, I think the Patriots air of invincibility seems to be waning. Edelman’s suspension, coupled with Gronk’s ongoing contract talks, and Brady’s potential retirement means that the Patriots winning dynasty might be in danger sooner rather than later.
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