• Julian Edelman

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  • 35
  • 198 lbs
  • 6' 0"
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Scouting report

by Spencer Babbitt

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 1 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 1 vs. Miami Dolphins
Julian Edelman is in an interesting fantasy situation heading into Week 1. By all accounts he is still the top target in the New England passing game, but there are questions about his fit with new quarterback Cam Newton. Edelman's experience and steady hands should secure him a healthy target share, especially without proven receivers behind him on the depth chart. He should be playable in fantasy as a high-floor WR3, especially in PPR leagues. Edelman carries more risk than ever before, but he's still worth starting in Week 1.

by Spencer Babbitt

NE WR Julian Edelman - 2020 Fantasy Football Outlook

Fantasy Upside
Julian Edelman fought through an assortment of injuries to finish as the 14th-ranked wide receiver in half-PPR formats last season. Edelman’s fantasy value hinges on his high-volume role in a Patriots’ offense that will have to adjust to a new era with Tom Brady headed to Tampa Bay. Edelman finished third among receivers in total targets last year and his 26.2% target share ranked seventh at the position. The Patriots’ skill group is little changed from last year, meaning Edelman should retain this role even in his age 34 season. Cam Newton is more than capable of providing Edelman with sufficient accuracy and volume to remain a fantasy asset even if he is no longer the locked-in WR2 in PPR that fantasy players are accustomed to. Edelman should be good for another year as a reliable possession receiver in New England and fantasy owners should not hesitate to grab Edelman if he falls in drafts due to Brady’s departure.

Fantasy Downside
The obvious concern with Edelman is the absence of Brady and the impact Newton will have on the Patriots’ longtime slot receiver. Edelman always enjoyed excellent chemistry with Brady and any drop off with Newton would put a dent in his fantasy numbers. Edelman’s efficiency metrics are mediocre at best at this point in his career, so volume is crucial for him. It is also fair to ask questions about Edelman’s durability going into his 11th season. Edelman played in all 16 games last year but was clearly limited by injuries, particularly in the second half of the season. He turned 34 in May and the injuries will only take a greater toll in 2020.

2020 Bottom Line
Edelman should have another year of fantasy utility left in him, though it is hard to trust him as a WR2 like it was when he was paired up with Brady. His high-volume role in the Patriots’ offense makes him a WR3 in PPR, but he will be a risky play in standard leagues.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 17 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 17 vs Miami Dolphins
Julian Edelman is having the best fantasy season of his career, ranking as the WR7 through Week 17. Just when it looked like a knee injury might be a death knell for Julian Edelman's end-of-season fantasy value after a Week 15 dud, he rebounded somewhat with a WR31 performance in Week 16. It seems likely that if the Patriots final game had no bearing on their playoff seeding, they would rest Edelman for the playoffs, but they don't have that luxury. His snap shares of 62% and 71% over the past two weeks were his lowest of the season by a large margin, as he averaged a 90% snap share from Weeks 1-13.

The Dolphins have the highest aFPA to wide receivers, and receivers lining up in the slot as Edelman regularly does have taken advantage of this secondary repeatedly. Edelman's lowered snap count could be a limiting factor, and if the Patriots can build a comfortable lead early, Belichick would probably jump at the chance to rest him. If Week 16 was an indicator that Edelman is improving quickly from his injury, he has a high ceiling in this matchup. He's not without risk, and you'll have to pay up in DFS to start him, as he's got a top-ten price on both DraftKings and FanDuel.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 16 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 16 vs Buffalo Bills
Julian Edelman's long string of consecutive double-digit-target games was finally broken last week, as Edelman played through a knee injury that clearly limited him. He was targeted just five times in a game in which the Patriots ran the ball on 51% of their offensive snaps, their second-highest total of the season. Edelman finished as the WR90, a nightmare scenario for fantasy owners in the playoffs after he finished each of the previous six games among the top-24 fantasy wide receivers.

Edelman has continued to appear hampered by his injury in practices this week and will face off against a Bills defense allowing the 16th-lowest aFPA to wide receivers. Normally, this would be a matchup that Edelman could overcome, given that star Bills cornerback Tre'Davious White rarely covers the slot, though Edelman was held to 30 yards on four receptions in their Week 4 matchup on seven targets. If you've got a lesser-owned or rookie late-season star on your roster like Courtland Sutton, Terry McLaurin, or James Washington, I wouldn't fault you for starting them over Edelman to avoid the potential for getting burned by him playing at far less than 100%.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 15 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 15 at Cincinnati Bengals
Julian Edelman has become a machine from Week 6 onward, earning double-digit targets in each of the last eight consecutive games, and finishing is a top-20 fantasy wide receiver each week. He's done so despite facing three different defenses in that span ranked among the top ten in aFPA to wide receivers.

Edelman faces a Bengals defense that ranks 21st in aFPA to wide receivers. Over the last five games, here are the weekly fantasy points they've allowed to the opposing team's highest-scoring wide receiver in 0.5 PPR scoring formats:

Week 10 - 16.0
Week 11 - 10.2
Week 12 - 17.3
Week 13 - 13.6
Week 14 - 9.6

Only one of the above wide receivers was targeted more than five times. If Edelman is on your fantasy team, you're starting him confidently as a WR1.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 14 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 14 vs Kansas City Chiefs
The Patriots' Week 13 game against the Texans was Julian Edelman's seventh straight game with ten or more targets. He remains the second-most targeted wide receiver behind Michael Thomas, and his WR9 finish last week bumped him up to the WR8 for the season. Edelman is Brady's most reliable target, and despite a nagging shoulder injury, that should translate into massive fantasy value in these next few playoff weeks. Edelman also leads all NFL wide receivers with 18 red-zone targets, and his touchdown total of five is the only thing that's keeping out of the top five fantasy scorers at the position.

Edelman's target volume makes him virtually matchup proof, which is valuable this week against a Chiefs defense that ranks fourth in aFPA to wide receivers. The defensive back duo of Tyrann Mathieu and Kendall Fuller cover the slot for Kansas City, but neither is skilled enough to win the majority of their snaps against Edelman. If Kansas City finds offensive success against the Patriots defense, the Patriots will have to lean on the passing game more heavily, and Edelman will continue to earn regular red-zone targets. Start him confidently as a WR1.

by Andrew Fleischer

NE WR Julian Edelman - Week 13 Fantasy Football Outlook

Week 13 at Houston Texans
Following a 12-target game in Week 12 that led to a WR18 finish, Julian Edelman has double-digit targets in six straight games and now ranks as the number ten fantasy wide receiver overall. Michael Thomas is the only wide receiver to garner more total targets than Edelman after 11 games played. Whether or not Edelman fits the expected mold for a WR1, he is one, and he's been one without a heavy reliance on touchdowns.

Edelman will see primary coverage from Vernon Hargreaves when he lines up in the slot, and it's a sizeable mismatch in Edelman's favor. Hargreaves has allowed 1.54 yards per snap in coverage, which is tied for the sixth-highest number among all starting cornerbacks. The Texans are allowing the sixth-highest aFPA to wide receivers, and only five teams have allowed more than Houston's 14 touchdowns to receivers. Edelman should continue to fulfill his role as a number one wide receiver for your fantasy team.

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