Julian Edelman's Full Fantasy Scouting Report Following Danny Amendola's Injury

Ryan DavenportContributor ISeptember 8, 2013

Sep 8, 2013; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) catches a touchdown pass as Buffalo Bills defensive back Jim Leonhard (35) defends during the first quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Well, that didn't take long. 

Less than one full half into his tenure with New England, Danny Amendola did exactly what his fantasy owners and fans of the Patriots were afraid of: The 27-year-old receiver left his team's season-opening clash in Buffalo with an apparent leg injury (via the Patriots' official Twitter account). 

Though Amendola ultimately returned, the fact that he had to leave the game at all has to be more than a little worrisome for the Patriots, who already have to cope with the departures of Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez, along with the continued absence of Rob Gronkowski.

And if the former St. Louis Rams standout is unable to stay healthy, there will be a golden opportunity for Julian Edelman to make a name for himself in the NFL

So far, the results against the Bills have been stellar for the former Kent State star, as Edelman has already registered the first multi-touchdown game of his career, ending the first half with a pair of scores. 

For the time being, Amendola appears to be okay. 

Now, with Amendola once again (at least temporarily) potentially battling injury problems, Edelman will probably be a hot commodity on fantasy waiver wires, because as history has shown us, Tom Brady is more than capable of turning average receivers into Pro Bowl-caliber contributors. 

Of course, whether the 27-year-old Redwood City, California native's strong showing against Buffalo is a sign of things to come will depend on Amendola's ability to remain healthy, but Edelman certainly opened some eyes in Week 1. 

Though Amendola managed to return after halftime, he's had a long history of injury-related absences, and Edelman has to be viewed as an insurance plan, especially for those who already own Amendola. 

Regardless of whether you believe in Edelman's potential as a receiver at the NFL level, there are reasons to consider picking him up if he's still on the market in your league. 

That's because Edelman, who actually started over Welker for a time last season, has already matched his 2012 season-high of five catches in a game, and given the limited number of receiving options available to Brady, it seems logical that 2013 will be Edelman's best chance to earn a full-time starting role with New England. 

Despite the obviously small sample size, Edelman's terrific 2013 debut has already opened some eyes within the fantasy football community. 

Brady's ability to turn ordinary receivers into standouts is well-documented, and if his Week 1 performance was any sort of preview of what's to come from the unheralded fifth-year target, Edelman appears to be an increasingly likely candidate for a breakthrough campaign this season. 

Yes, it's too early to tab him as a surefire impact fantasy player, but if Amendola's injury issues persist, one has to think that Edelman will be the first to receive an audition as his replacement.