A lot of people had high hopes for Brandon Lloyd entering the season. Having joined Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, there was good reason (though with numerous other options there was also reason for skepticism). He got off to a good start, but things have been inconsistent since:
- Week 1 – 5 receptions for 69 yards and 0 TD (8 targets)
- Week 2 – 8 receptions for 60 yards and 0 TD (13 targets)
- Week 3 – 9 receptions for 108 yards and 0 TD (12 targets)
- Week 4 – 3 receptions for 50 yards and 1 TD (7 targets)
- Week 5 – 3 receptions for 34 yards and 0 TD (5 targets)
- Week 6 – 6 receptions for 80 yards and 0 TD (12 targets)
- Week 7 – 1 reception for 6 yards and 0 TD (8 targets)
One of the problems with the majority of the Patriots players is that you never really know who the main focus is going to be from week-to-week. We have seen it in the running game (Stevan Ridley and Brandon Bolden) and we have become accustomed to seeing it in the passing game. As it is, a lot has changed from Week 1 until now.
First of all, you have the reemergence of Wes Welker who was ignored in the first week. Now, he leads the team in targets (74), receptions (54) and yards (688). There’s no way he is suddenly going to become a non-factor once again.
You also have a return to health of Aaron Hernandez, who missed a chunk of time early on. You know he is going to be a factor, as is Rob Gronkowski (who leads the team in touchdowns with 5). That’s three players who need to be involved in the passing game and, with more of a focus on running the football than in years past, there are only so many balls to go around.
Granted, Lloyd has been targeted at least 7 times in all but one game this season. However, getting targets and converting them are two different things. Over the first three weeks he had 22 receptions on 33 targets, a 66.7% completion rate. In the four games since he has 13 receptions on 32 targets, good for a pitiful 40.6% completion rate.
Obviously, that is skewed a bit by his awful Week 7 performance, but that doesn’t fully explain the issue. Could Tom Brady simply start going to other options instead of Lloyd? Possibly, though the Patriots are saying differently (as one would expect). According to Tom E. Curran CSN New England (click here for the article):
“A couple of those catches would have been great catches and the funny thing is that we always anticipate that he is gonna do it because he has so many times previously,” said McDaniels. “I think he will going forward. I think it was a matter of one of those days where we were close on some of those deep throws, there were some missed opportunities there and I’m sure Brandon would like to make some of those plays.”
Time will tell, but for now fantasy owners should consider Lloyd a WR3, at best. There are just too many other options in New England and too shaky of a performance to trust him as anything more.
Make sure to check out all of our Week 8 rankings: