Julian Edelman is known for being Tom Brady’s favorite target, but that does not mean you should start him in your fantasy lineup this week. If Edelman is on your roster, you would be wise to exercise caution for Week 5. The reason is there are a lot of unknowns for both Edelman and the entire Patriots offense this week.
New England is looking to get Josh Gordon more snaps. Phillip Dorsett has also been more involved in the offense, and Chris Hogan is in the mix as well.
With Edelman added to the Patriots offense, it means there are four wide receivers to try to divide Brady’s targets. It would be surprising if there is not at least one Patriots wide receiver that is fantasy relevant this week, but the challenge is we don’t know who it will be until after the game is over.
If Edelman ends up having a solid fantasy outing, it is still good news for you even if he is on your bench. This means you can feel comfortable putting him in your lineup moving forward.
Bill Belichick Has Downplayed How Much Julian Edelman Will Be Able to Contribute This Week
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has expressed some reservations about Edelman’s usage for this week. This could be coach speak to try to catch the Colts off guard, or Belichick could legitimately have concerns trying to bring Edelman back into the fold on a short week.
“Yeah, good to have him back, and we’ll see,” Belichick told the Boston Globe. “We didn’t practice [Monday] so we’ll get moving on some things today in terms of the game plan and trying to get as far along into Indianapolis as we can. It’s going to be a cram for us so we’ll see how it all comes together. I don’t know, [Edelman] hasn’t been here in a month and it’s a short week so we’ll just have to see how things work out.”
Belichick previously mentioned some of the challenges of bringing Edelman back this week during a Monday interview on WEEI per the Boston Globe.
“I talked with Julian this morning… we’ll see how it works out,” Belichick told WEEI. “This obviously isn’t going to be a big week of practice. It isn’t a good week of practice. We’ll do our best to evaluate things and make a decision prior to game time.”
Keep in mind, Edelman has not played in a regular season game since 2016. Edelman was injured during the preseason of the 2017 season. You are not only talking about a four-game suspension but a receiver that had an entire season off as he recovered from a serious injury.
It would not be shocking if Brady and Edelman lean on their experience together to allowing him to have a solid 2018 debut. With so many variables including the added receivers and long layoff, it just isn’t likely. You should hope that Edelman looks great, because that bodes well for the rest of your fantasy season. However, keep him on your bench for Week 5, but he should have WR2/WR3 upside the rest of the season if he shows he is back to form.