Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Julian Edelman soars back into fantasy minds with a huge performance in the clutch Sunday night.
The Pats receiving corps, outside of the now sure-thing Rob Gronkowski, is as messy as their running backs. This is a timeshare no one will be able to get right down the stretch of fantasy, apparently.
As the weeks wear on, it is looking more and more like Danny Amendola is a bust. He is at least healthy now, but he was limited to just three catches for 17 yards Sunday night and had just one catch after halftime, despite the fact the Pats were storming back from a 24-point deficit.
Julian Edelman was Tom Brady's feature performer out of the slot in lieu of Amendola, racking up nine catches for 110 yards and two touchdowns.
"He's been a good receiver," said Wes Welker, who, even after a tough loss, was effusive with his praise to ESPN's Field Yates. "I've told a lot of people that he's a good player. People are finally starting to take notice."
Edelman wasn't the only surprise contributor off the bench for the Pats. Kenbrell Thompkins added six catches for 56 yards. Aaron Dobson was held without a catch.
We went into the game thinking Amendola and Dobson were the leading threats on the outside. Naturally, Bill Belichick has to make a star again out of Edelman and feature Thompkins again over Dobson.
Heck, Thompkins was a healthy inactive in Week 10. Now, Edelman and him are back to being potential fantasy options.
The biggest takeaway from Edelman's performance, though, is he drew Belichick's praise and has his head coach's confidence. Those are not easy to achieve. Belichick told Yates:
Julian did a great job. First of all, he did a good job of handling the ball, especially in the third and fourth quarter there—made a couple good runs with the ball in his hands, also got open, caught the ball. The end route he got there gave us the field position in the overtime. It was a big play.
Perhaps equally important is the fact Edelman has his quarterback's confidence. Tom Brady told Yates:
He's been so dependable and consistent all year for our team. He's been the one veteran player on our offense that's been in there and has been around. He always does a great job. He's tough, smart, disciplined. It's fun to see him do well, because he deserves it.
Edelman, owned in just 42 percent of CBS Sports leagues, might be just as likely to be held without a catch next Sunday at Houston as he is to star, but you have to take notice of him off waivers in all leagues.
When the chips were down, Belichick and Brady went to the veteran they could trust.