The Bookmark Him Now series is all about research and attention to detail. Granted, most of the players featured here will not become every week starters or even significant fantasy contributors this year. These players are however, one or two small steps away from having their situation swing in their favor, at which time they would have the opportunity to become fantasy relevant. Bookmark them now, and be ready to pounce.
Many of you that follow my football analysis know that I have an affinity for undrafted players. So much so that it is the namesake for my blog, Undrafteds.com.
Knowing that, it doesn’t take a genius to realize I am a big fan of Wes Welker, one of the undrafted NFL heroes of all-time.
Like Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola is another Wes Welker clone. Danny is probably sick of hearing about the comparison, but the similarities cannot be denied. He is 5’11 and 183, or two inches taller and a tad lighter than the now immortal Welker. Where did he go to school? You guessed it, Texas Tech, Welker’s alma mater. What position did Amendola play there? Why of course, slot receiver and return specialist, where else? To ice it, after a stellar college career, including his senior season when he caught a whopping 109 balls for 1,245 yards and six TDs, Amendola went on to be, yes, undrafted.
WR Amendola is now a St Louis Ram, but he first gained a small degree of notoriety when he was highlighted on HBO’s Hard Knocks series, trying to make the 2008 Dallas Cowboys. He was cut and signed to their practice squad where he stayed for the entirety of the season. This past January the Eagles picked him up, only to be waived during final cuts, and placed on their practice squad. The Rams swooped in and signed him away on September 22nd.
In Week 3, five days later, they made him their primary punt and kickoff returner. He turned his first NFL touches into 206 yards, including a 42-yard kickoff return and an 11-yard punt return. If you are in a league that rewards points for return yards, this gives him an automatic fantasy boost.
In Week 4, Amendola was the recipient of his first NFL reception, and added 88 return yards.
In Week 5, in only his third NFL game, he caught five balls for 43 yards, and added 138 return yards.
These things make him one to watch:
- He plays on one of the worst teams in the league, that will be behind by a lot of points in most games. This will allow him to get a lot of practice returning kicks, so much so that it is fathomable that he could develop into one of the most reliable Fantasy return men in the NFL, if he holds onto the job.
- See above. St. Louis will have more opportunities to pass the ball than most.
- The Rams are noted for being thin at the receiver position. It is why they went out and grabbed Laurent Robinson in the off season to begin with. Now that Robinson is on IR, they are even thinner, and actively looking for players to step up.
- The Rams O-line is shaky. No matter who is playing QB, the short passing game will need to be utilized if they are to have any success whatsoever. Remember, they are going to be down by a lot of points, and opposing defenses are going to be blitzing and teeing off for the better part of the second half in most cases. Amendola is the classic slot receiver, and should benefit from the quick outlet passes.