Currently Julian Edelman is selected as WR18 in MFL10 drafts, while that’s seems reasonable – I’ll explain why he’s being drafted at his floor.
The Patriots Offense
The Patriots have run a similar offense since the emergence of Tom Brady. Although the offensive coordinators have changed, they love targeting slot receivers on crossing patterns over the middle. First that was Troy Brown, then Wes Welker, and now Julian Edelman. It’s a role that has provided a lot of value in PPR leagues.
Let’s take a look at how Welker and Edelman performed in that role.
The lowest amount of targets either player received in this role is 123. The average season received 151.4 targets. It does, however, seem that Welker was better in this role than Edelman. Let’s take a look at their efficiency.
While Edelman is being drafted as WR18, this role has only finished as WR18 once. It hasn’t produced a below WR18 finish in the last eight years. With an average finish of WR10, Edelman looks like a pretty good bet to outperform in draft position.
Let’s compare Welker and Edelman’s average seasons.
Here are their efficiency and per game averages.
Welker saw almost a half target more per game and averaged almost one more yard per target. This could be due to the other offensive weapons on the team (Randy Moss and Aaron Hernandez) or it could be due to Welker being a better player.
Welker caught a higher percentage of his targets and had a higher touchdown rate. Welker averaged 2.31 more fantasy points per game. This led to an average finish of WR8/9.
While the Patriots offense may have been more potent during Welker’s seasons with the team, Welker may have also been a superior player. Either way, the targets remain there for Edelman, which gives him a very high floor.
If he can be a little more efficient, Edelman has the potential for a WR1 season while seeing this many targets. Finishing as WR17 with two missed games in 2014, Edelman is currently being drafted at his floor.