• Julian Edelman
  • WR
  • , New England Patriots
  • 33
  • 198 lbs
  • 6' 0"
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47.83362299

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Scouting report

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 6 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 6 vs New York Giants
Julian Edelman put together an impressive performance in Week 5, considering the fact that if I had suffered a similar chest injury, I would be incapacitated on the couch for two weeks incapable of communication beyond moans and eye movements. For his part, Edelman turned a 92% snap share and nine targets into eight receptions for 110 yards and a touchdown, making him the WR10 for Week 5 and elevating him to the fantasy WR17 overall.

Edelman draws a wildly enticing matchup with Grant Haley in Week 6, who has been one of the least-effective cornerbacks in the NFL in coverage. Vegas gives New England an implied team total of 31 points, and New York's secondary has struggled overall to stop the pass, allowing 42.0 aFPA to wide receivers, the sixth-highest average in the league. Another week removed from his injury and a key cog in the Patriots' projected pass-heavy game plan, Edelman is a borderline WR1 start this week.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 5 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 5 at Washington Redskins
Julian Edelman leads Patriots wide receivers in both in targets (32) and snaps percentage (32%) through four weeks. Edelman started in Week 4 despite an undoubtedly painful chest injury suffered in Week 3, and while he lined up for 95% of the Patriots' offensive snaps, his target rate was just 11.3%, behind both Philip Dorsett and Josh Gordon. His WR55 ranking for the week, playing hurt against a Bills defense allowing the seventh-fewest aFPA to wide receivers, is likely Edelman's worst-case-scenario for the season.

Another week removed from his injury, Edelman now faces a Washington defense whose 50.2 aFPA allowed to wide receivers is the highest number in the NFL. Edelman will see regular coverage from Washington slot cornerback Fabian Moreau, who's struggled on the season and was positively roasted by the Giants in Week 4. Edelman's four red-zone targets tie teammate James White, and his touchdown potential in this matchup is significant. Assuming he's closer to 100%, he should be a high-end WR2 this week.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 4 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 4 at Buffalo Bills
Julian Edelman's 79% snap share through Week 3 is tied with teammate Josh Gordon, despite Edelman having lined up for only 51% of the Patriots' offensive snaps last week due to a chest injury suffered before halftime. Edelman has gotten double-digit targets in both games without Antonio Brown involved, and his target volume is a big part of his WR28 standing.

Edelman has practiced in a limited fashion this week, but remains questionable for the Week 3 matchup with the Bills. If he does start, he could challenge the Bills secondary, as his 15 receptions, 174 yards, and a touchdown in two games against the Bills in 2018 were his best numbers against any opponent. While Tom Brady does spread the ball around pretty evenly in the red zone, Edelman has caught all three of his red-zone targets for 16 total yards and a touchdown. If your expectation for Edelman in Week 4 is a high-end WR3 performance, you shouldn't be disappointed.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 3 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 3 vs New York Jets
The wealth of receiving riches that the Patriots now posses has taken a bit of the luster off of Julian Edelman's 2019 upside. He has lined up on 92% of New England's offensive snaps, with an 11.3% target rate that's second only to Antonio Brown. Currently the WR37 overall, Edelman will need his red zone target volume to increase to move him into safe WR2 territory, as he's only gotten one such target through two games. His aDOT of 7.5 yards is the 18th-lowest among all wide receivers with at least 5 targets, while his 5.7 yards after the catch per target is tied for 21st among the same group.

Edelman's low target depth could pay dividends in the Patriots' Week 3 matchup with the Jets. With both starting tackles potentially missing the game, Tom Brady could see more pressure than he's accustomed to, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels should be ready to emphasize the short passing game. Edelman still likely won't match Antonio Brown's target volume, but game script could push his usage into WR2 territory.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 2 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 2 at Miami Dolphins
Just a couple months ago in the offseason, New England's group of wide receivers had so many question marks that Edelman was looking like one of the safer bets available as a WR1 in PPR formats. Cut to Week 1, and he's about to be surrounded by some of the most receiving talent the Patriots have ever had. Week 1 was still kind to Edelman, who turned 11 targets into 6 receptions for 83 yards, good for fantasy's WR28 in 0.5 PPR formats.

Week 2 is a juicy matchup against the Miami Dolphins, but it also (likely) brings the arrival of Antonio Brown to the fray. If Brown starts immediately, it's hard to see how that doesn't affect Edelman's target share somewhat. Edelman saw almost as many snaps lined up out wide as he did in the slot in 2018, but was the slot receiver almost 70% of the time in Week 1. That's likely to continue in Week 2 and throughout the season, but it shouldn't hurt his outlook as a high-end WR2 in Week 2 and moving forward.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 1 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers

Julian Edelman enters his age-33 season on the heels of a 2018 season in which he caught 74 passes for 850 yards and six touchdowns despite missing the first four games of the season. From Weeks 5-17, Edelman was the WR8 in 0.5 PPR leagues, and with Rob Gronkowski's retirement, Edelman becomes the Patriots receiver with the most experience catching passes from Tom Brady. He projects to be a focal point of the 2019 Patriots offense.

Edelman takes on the Steelers secondary in Week 1, and it's an enticing matchup. The Steelers allowed the ninth-most yards to wide receivers in 2018, and while slot cornerback Mike Hilton isn't a pushover, he has allowed the most yards per reception of any of the Steelers' starting trio. Edelman is startable as a likely top 12 wide receiver this week.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - 2019 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
Despite playing in only 12 games in 2018, Julian Edelman scored the 22nd-most .5 PPR fantasy points among wide receivers. From Weeks 5 to 17 he was the WR8 in total points, averaging 14.2 points per game, more than Adam Thielen, Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, and Stefon Diggs among other WR1's in that timeframe. Without Rob Gronkowski in the lineup, Edelman's average receiving yards went up by 20 yards on 3 more targets per game. If he can stay healthy and his projected increased target volume can offset any age-related performance decline, he could finish as a top-10 fantasy wide receiver.

Fantasy Downside
Edelman is about to enter his age-33 season, and he's accumulated a litany of right-ankle and foot injuries, an ACL tear, and four concussions in his nine-year career. He's only played in 16 games once in the past five seasons, and there is the possibility that added snap volume means more injury risk.

2019 Bottom Line
As long as he can avoid any serious injury that would sideline him for four-plus games, he presents value even if he misses a game or two. He's a virtual lock for 130-plus targets with Gronkowski out of the lineup, which is target volume seen by only 13 wide receivers in 2018. His 16-game target pace in 2018 was 170, which would have tied Julio Jones for the league-lead. We rank him as the WR12 for .5 PPR leagues, while his ADP makes him the 15th wide receiver drafted in the 4th round. He's a high-floor, high-ceiling option who's a clear value at his current cost.

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