Trying to predict New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola's stats for the 2013-14 season is like trying to predict the weather. However, let's break it down and see where he may fall when this campaign is all said and done.
Amendola has had plenty of injury woes the past few seasons after playing in just 12 games from 2011 to 2012. This season has been no different as Amendola has suited up for just one game in 2013-14, and that was the season-opener against the Buffalo Bills.
However, things are looking up for Amendola this week, as NFL.com's Ian Rapoport has tweeted that Amendola looks "good to go" for the Pats' Week 5 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals as he returns from a groin injury:
Clarity on #Patriots WR Danny Amendola: Source tells me he's "good to go."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 6, 2013
When he's on the field, he's as deadly a slot receiver as there is in the NFL. In that Week 1 win for New England, Amendola caught 10 passes for 104 yards. It gave fantasy owners a lot of hope that Amendola was primed to have a big season, but then came the injury.
He may be healthy enough to go this week, but next week and beyond is never guaranteed for Amendola.
Should he stay healthy for the Pats, there's no question he'll remain a top target for quarterback Tom Brady with a ton of fantasy points to show for it. Not only does he have the potential for consistent 100-yard games with a good amount of touchdowns in between, but he should reach the 1,000-yard mark if he can stay on the field for the final 12 games.
Granted, Amendola has never gained that many yards in any season—even the ones he's been healthy in—but those Rams teams he was on never had a quarterback in the same universe as future Hall of Famer Tom Brady.
|Healthy (13 Games)||85||1,000||4|
|With Injuries (8 Games)||50||500||2|
Not to mention, the eventual return of star tight end Rob Gronkowski will help open up things over the middle for Amendola moving forward, which is a luxury he won't have until Gronk gets back.
Until Gronk does take the field this season, Amendola remains the most experienced, trusted target Brady will throw to thanks to a young receiving corps that features rookies like Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins.
Don't forget that Amendola is the replacement for Wes Welker, who caught over 100 passes in five of his six seasons with the team as a top target for Brady. Adding to that, Welker also notched 1,348 yards in 14 games back in 2009, so Amendola breaking the 1,000-yard mark in 13 total games isn't out of the question by any stretch.
If he becomes a weekly victim of the injury bug, Amendola's numbers will obviously go down considerably. That's why trading him now may end up being the best solution for fantasy owners.
The first thing that should worry owners is the fact that he's listed as questionable (per ESPN.com). Adding to those concerns, Jay Glazer of FOX Sports is reporting Amendola will see limited reps, so that pretty much confirms he isn't totally healthy and will likely see a frustrating drop in production from Week 1:
While his value is still high from a great game in Week 1, it would be wise to explore trade options with a team in need of a receiver. Amendola could garner a highly coveted RB2 in the right situation or a solid starter at most other positions.
Heck, you may be able to get a receiver back of equal or lesser value who could end up contributing more than an injured Amendola would. And, in turn, your trade partner will curse you once he realizes Amendola's injuries have once again gotten the best of him.
The sky's the limit for Amendola, but the concerns over his health from week to week make him risky at best. Hold on to him at your own peril because he may never be more valuable than he is right now.