by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
When the Patriots added Danny Amendola prior to the 2013 season fantasy owners were excited. They envisioned Amendola seamlessly sliding into the role vacated by Wes Welker, meaning immediate fantasy stardom.
The problem, as it always has been with Amendola, is his ability to stay healthy. He played 12 games last season, amassing 54 receptions for 633 yards and 2 TD, as Julian Edelman instead stepped up and assumed the role that had Amendola’s name on it.
As he enters Year 2 of his contract, is there any chance that he lives up to what had been hoped for?
Of course the first question you need to answer is if he can actually stay on the field. Only once has he played all 16 games over his five year career, so it’s hard to predict that he will.
Also, when he’s been on the field has the production really justified the hype? He has 250 career receptions for 2,359 yards, good for 9.4 yards per reception. He’s also scored just 9 TD, and never more than 3 in a season. Most of those numbers came in St. Louis, and without the aid of Tom Brady throwing him the football, but it’s noteworthy none the less.
Amendola did take steps this offseason to try and stay health. According to Christopher Gasper of The Boston Globe (click here for the article):
“Amendola worked with Guerrero, whom Brady called his “body coach” in a 2013 Men’s Health article, this offseason.”
Guerrero is Alex Guerrero, who the article says Edelman worked with prior to the 2013 season (the first one in which he stayed healthy). It may mean nothing, but if it helps Amendola stay on the field it would do wonders for his potential upside.
There were also questions about the rapport between Brady and Amendola (an issue with most of his receivers a year ago). In the article Brady was quoted as saying:
“I think everybody — Danny and all of the guys who are coming in here after their first year with our team — it’s a different offense [for them],” said Brady. “We do quite a few things. We move guys around a lot. There are a lot of post-snap reads, a lot of pre-snap reads. There is a lot of non-verbal communication that goes on.
“So we’re still working at it, and he’s been out here every day working his butt off, too. That’s been great to see.”
In other words, there’s still hope for Amendola to become the Welker replacement that the Patriots thought they were getting. While he’s never going to be the team’s top option, given the hopeful presence of Rob Gronkowski, the receiving corps remains in a state of flux and the potential is there.
Currently with an ADP of 144.8, making him the 50th wide receiver coming off the board, there is no downside to rolling the dice in the final rounds of your draft. If he fails you cut him loose, but if he finally lives up to the hype? We all know how good Welker was during his time in New England, so it would be like winning the fantasy lottery.
Sources – ESPN, Boston Globe, Fantasy Pros
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