Julian Edelman vs. Wes Welker, Identical Twins?

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    09/21/2009 5:56 PM - 

    Who is Julian Edelman you ask? He is apparently the best impersonator of Wes Welker the Patriots can muster. Yesterday the rookie strolled in, with Wes Welker inactive due to a knee injury, lined up in the slot and was targeted 16 times, finishing with 8 catches for 98 yards, not bad for a rookie. Sound familiar? Yeah, thats what Welker does game in and game out.

    Does he have lasting Fantasy relevance? Obviously, the first question is how long will Welker be out? Its likely the Patriots won’t try to employ both consistently, meaning Edelman is probably only going to be a great source for Fantasy points when Welker is hurt. Since the Patriots are notoriously mum on injury issues, the dreaded wait ‘n see approach is the only one we can take. However, if Edelman does crack the lineup, now we know he is about as close to an interchangeable Fantasy part as you can get.

    The interesting bit is how physically similar Edelman and Welker are. Edelman is 6’0 / 198, Welker is 5’9′ / 185. Edelman was drafted in the seventh round and Welker was not drafted at all.

    Both of these players have phenomenal versatility. Edelman played QB at Kent State and led the Golden Flashes in passing and rushing his senior year, breaking the single season record for total offense formerly held by Joshua Cribbs. He also punted four times and played some safety. Welker’s history is worthy of a movie, having been proficient at virtually every conceivable football position since his high school days.

    Although I find all that stuff fascinating, it won’t score you any more Fantasy points. Still, it goes without saying now that we have seen Julian once, you’d be foolish not to at least put him on your watch list. If you own Welker, consider adding him now for insurance if you have the roster space.


    1. Robert Cobb says:

      Great quick read. Thanks.

    2. shbrewer says:

      Some good info here.

      I think Edelman does have value. He stood out in week1 of the preseason then got injured (knee?) and then didn’t play again in the preseason. So the fact that he made the team after playing in one preseason game should tell you something. He was inactive week1, again because of the injury (I think), because the Patriots could have used him returning punts IMHO.

      He IS sort of a twin of Welker, but looks bigger that the 15lbs he has on him.

      I think if both buys are healthy, you WILL see them on the field at the same time. I think Brady LOVES these types of receivers, shifty, quick, can get open.. Deion Branch won the Superbowl MVP and he is(was) the same type of player.

      Regardless, thanks for the article and if you have room (bigger leagues, longer benches) Edelman has value, especially if Welker isn’t on the field.

    3. Chris Farmer says:

      Thanks for the comments gents. I hope we get to see both on the field together a la Troy Brown and Deion Branch. Wow doesn’t that seem like a long time ago? All I know is Edelman wasn’t invited to the Combine but would have had the best 20 yard shuttle speed there of anyone. Which also happens to beat Welker’s 20 yard shuttle time from his Combine. Given that Welker makes his living with his quickness, that is an eye opener.

    4. shbrewer says:

      I didn’t even think of Troy Brown, that’s terrible of me! I WAS a long time ago…. and don’t forget Mr. Moss on the outside… of course the O-line needs to keep Brady’s jersey clean, so we’ll see. BTW, word is you will NOT see Edelman running any sort of Wildcat/Option for the Patriots, but that could always change.

    5. Chris Farmer says:

      I hope they break out the Edelman wildcat when they play Miami…that would be beautiful

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    9. [...] Julian Edelman’s ascension to third receiver in New England just became official with the release of veteran Joey Galloway today. While he is not a must-own by any stretch, he had six catches last game to bring his ‘09 total to 21, not too bad for someone that is virtually an unknown. With people questioning Tom Brady’s play he answered the call with six TD passes vs the hapless Titans, which could be the beginning of the return of the juggernaut pass-happy Patriots of ‘07. Edelman can pad his stats with return yards because he returns punts and kickoffs, and has shown the ability to take ‘em to the house. If you are weak at receiver, you could do worse. If you aren’t quite that desperate yet, put him on deck. [...]

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