Wes Welker: Fantasy Football Owners Must Start Patriots WR vs. Ravens in Week 3

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent ISeptember 20, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 9:   Wes Welker #83 of the New England Patriots catches a pass before a preseason game with New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium on August 9, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker has been one of the most frustrating fantasy football players this season, but despite his lack of production, you must start the veteran on your team in Week 3.

Even though the Patriots are playing an elite defense on Sunday night in the Baltimore Ravens, there are a number of reasons why Welker should be started on your team anyway.

Let's look at three of those reasons.


Tom Brady will need to get rid of the ball quickly

The Ravens pass rush is fantastic, and even when they don't bring pressure via the blitz, they will still get to Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

This will force Brady to get rid of the ball quickly, and no other receiver in the NFL is better in this situation than Welker.

Welker's quick, short routes will be an important part of the Patriots offense this week, and since Brady won't have much time to throw, expect him to target his most reliable receiver often.


Welker's Fantasy Production Was Good in Week 2

Welker had five catches for 95 yards in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals, which is pretty good in most types of fantasy leagues, especially PPR ones.

Welker should set a season-high for catches against the Ravens, so if you do play in a PPR league, you should definitely start Welker.

His average yards per catch is 13.6, which proves how effective he is after he catches the ball. Welker should be your second or third option at wide receiver on Sunday, or someone to use in your flex spot.


Aaron Hernandez's Injury Should Help Welker

Since Aaron Hernandez is going to miss more than a month with an ankle injury, Welker should become a bigger part of the offense.

Teams will now have an easier time doubling Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski without Hernandez on the field, so Welker's role should become more important.

Welker is going to be the best player for the Patriots in short-yardage situations, and scenarios in which the offense is facing crucial third downs.