The New England Patriots have been a constant favorite of news outlets this summer after Aaron Hernandez’s off-field transgressions and alleged murder of Odin Lloyd, and the numerous surgeries for fellow all-pro tight end Rob Gronkowski.
While those stories are certainly worthy of mainstream media scrutiny, fantasy owners are focused on the lack of options perennial early round pick Tom Brady has to work with this season, and whether or not this is finally the year in which Brady is no longer considered a top-tier fantasy quarterback.
As of the date of publication, Brady’s starting wide receiver weapons include Danny Amendola, a talented yet injury prone wideout who has missed 20 games over the past two seasons, and Julian Edelman, a 5-10 veteran who has missed 10 games due to injury since the start of 2011.
Former Buffalo wide out Donald Jones appeared poised to start alongside Amendola at WR, but his abrupt release before the start of camp made that point moot.
To make matters worse, the Gronkowski’s status for the start of the season is unclear after a series of arm and back surgeries, leaving Micahel Hoomanawanui, Daniel Fells and Jake Ballard as the replacement tight end for Brady week one.
There is no doubt that Brady has a history of producing amazing numbers with and without star players, heck, he made Troy Brown look like a skilled NFL wide receiver. But at age 35 and with 44,806 yards logged on his right arm, perhaps this season will be the beginning of the end for Tom Terrific.
With that said, I do believe that Julian Edelman’s ascension to the starting number two wideout makes him a nice late round target in all formats. He is currently going very late in drafts if at all – Mockdraftcentral.com does not have him as one of the top 58 wide outs drafted in mock drafts YTD.