Danny Amendola Injury: Ranking Fantasy Impact of Patriots WRs in Star's Absence

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Danny Amendola Injury: Ranking Fantasy Impact of Patriots WRs in Star's Absence
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

The New England Patriots' biggest offseason signing, wide receiver Danny Amendola, is already missing games because of injury and haunting fantasy owners everywhere.

The veteran wideout missed Week 2's showdown with the New York Jets while recovering from a groin injury and could potentially be out for up to six weeks, according to NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport via Twitter:

With Wes Welker now in Denver and Brandon Lloyd no longer in New England, Amendola was supposed to be Brady's reliable No. 1 option in 2013. His 10 receptions for 104 yards in Week 1 certainly backed that up.

Now, with news that Amendola could miss more games this fall, Brady and fantasy owners around the country must scramble to find a replacement. 

Below we'll rank the fantasy impact of New England's other wide receivers in Amendola's absence.

No. 3. Kenbrell Thompkins

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Undrafted rookie Kenbrell Thompkins looked lost at times against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, running the wrong route on more than one occasion and dropping some very catchable passes. 

But despite all of that, he's still owned in 45 percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues. Unfortunately for those hopeful owners, he has just six receptions for 89 yards through the first two weeks of the season. And 38 of those yards came off of one reception against the Jets.

Those owners still holding onto Thompkins and waiting for him to return to preseason form (15 receptions for 166 yards) would be wise to cut their losses now. 

Thompkins was targeted 14 times against the Bills but only came away with four catches. In Week 2, he was targeted seven times and was only able to reel in two balls. Sense the downward trend?

Sure, it's true that the Pats don't have many options at wide receiver. But Thompkins is blowing his opportunity to shine and may not get another if he doesn't show improvement in Week 3.

No. 2. Aaron Dobson

After sitting out Week 1 with a hamstring injury, second-round draft pick Aaron Dobson delivered in a big way in his NFL regular-season debut in Week 2 against the Jets, catching three passes for 56 yards and a key touchdown.

Even better news for fantasy owners, he was targeted 10 times in all against New York and is currently owned in less than four percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues.

Dobson's size also makes him an intriguing fantasy option this fall. At 6'3", 200 pounds, the former Marshall star is a can't-miss target for Brady down the field. Keep in mind that his touchdown catch in the first quarter against New York was from 39 yards out.

The only concern with Dobson is whether he can make a consistent fantasy impact without relying on big plays.

No. 1. Julian Edelman

Fifth-year wideout Julian Edelman is the most proven receiver at Tom Brady's disposal in the wake of Amendola's groin injury, and the numbers back it up.

Which WR will have the biggest fantasy impact in Amendola's absence?

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Edelman has been targeted 27 times and has 20 receptions through the first two weeks of the season. With 14 regular-season games still left to play, the former Kent State quarterback only needs 17 more catches to tie his career-high mark.

Edelman is owned in about 68 percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues this season, but that number was much lower before Amendola went down and will only continue to rise considering he's averaging 10 catches per week.

Although he wasn't able to stretch the Jets' defense in Week 2, Edelman was good for a career-best 13 catches, making him a must-have for PPR leagues and a worthwhile addition to any fantasy roster this fall.

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter. 

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