New England Patriots slot receiver Danny Amendola didn't post a lot of fantasy points upon his return from injury in Week 5 against the Cincinnati Bengals.
The 27-year-old caught four passes for 55 yards in the 13-6 loss at Paul Brown Stadium, leaving fantasy owners who started him to cry out in agony, just like Patriots fans.
But don't give up on Amendola yet.
Keep in mind, Amendola racked up 10 catches for 104 yards on 14 targets against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1. Yes, it was against the Bills, but it was still a fine performance from the former Ram.
It's also worth noting that Amendola played 38 of 64 snaps, including penalties, per ESPN.com. The Patriots were being cautious as he returned from a groin injury.
And despite the fact that Amendola played just 38 snaps, he was targeted a team-high nine times by Tom Brady.
On top of that, you have to consider the defense the Patriots were facing. The Bengals ranked ninth in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt coming into the contest, and they racked up four sacks and eight quarterback hits against the Patriots, as Brady was constantly facing pressure.
There's also this, per Drew Bonifant of the Concord Monitor:
There are bound to be some bumps and bruises early on as Amendola works his way back from injury, and the reality is Brady also had an uncharacteristically poor game on Sunday.
The Patriots face the New Orleans Saints at home next week, who have generally been a dicey matchup, so I would avoid starting Amendola.
But there are still some favorable matchups down the stretch for the Patriots. The face the Miami Dolphins in Week 8 and Week 15, who were ranked 18th in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt headed into Sunday.
They also face the Carolina Panthers in Week 11, the Denver Broncos in Week 12, the Baltimore Ravens in Week 16 and the Bills in Week 17. Each of these teams was ranked 17th or worse in yards allowed per pass attempt headed into Sunday.
Amendola is a plug-and-play starter at this point, but I think you hold on to him for those favorable matchups. He showed last season with the Rams that he's a talented player, and the Patriots have shown they like slot receivers.
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