Jul 11, 2012
Wes Welker had a remarkable year in 2011, recording 122 receptions ( 1st among WR) for 1,569 yards (2nd among WR) and 9 touchdowns ( tied for 4th among WR). Those numbers were good enough to make him the 2nd best fantasy wide receiver in most scoring formats. The question is can he repeat those numbers this year because he is going to be one of the first WRs taken after Calvin Johnson?
First, let’s look at his history which we will go back to 2007 because that is when he became a full time starter:
2007- 112 Rec, 1,172 Yds, 8 TDs
2008- 111 Rec, 1,165 Yds, 3 TDS,
2009- 123 Rec, 1,348 Yds, 4 TDs while missing 2 games
2010- 86 Rec, 848 Yds, 7 TD
2011 122 Rec, 1,569 Yds, 9 TD
The obvious thing to take from these stats is that this guy is almost a sure thing to get 100 receptions which makes a big difference in PPR leagues. However, there are a couple things that stand out to me about last year: He easily surpassed his career numbers in receiving yards and had a career high in TD’s. So what can we look expect from him this year?
Look for a major regression in receiving yards and in touchdowns this year. Why? Last year’s receiving core for the Patriots wasn’t that great ( not including their TE’s), and by not great I mean pathetic. The only WR’s that caught more than 10 catches besides Welker were Deion Branch with 51 and Chad Johnson with 15. THAT’S IT! This year the Patriots added a lot of fire power at the Wide Receiver position in Brandon Lloyd (2010 leader in Receiving Yards w/ 1,448) and Jabar Gaffney. Before you scoff or laugh at the Jabar Gaffney addition, realize that he had 68 receptions, 947 Yds, and 5 TDs for the Redskins last year. Add in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and that’s 5 quality targets for Brady to throw to. Add in the fact that Welker only had 3 TDs from week 7 and on with 2 of those coming in one game. It is going to nearly impossible for him to replicate last years numbers.
Projections for this Year: 105 Receptions, 1,100 Rec Yds, 5 TDs. Those are great numbers but are nowhere near his elite numbers from last year. Unlike most fantasy players, do not draft Welker based on his numbers from last year because you will severely disappointed. He will be drafted in the 2nd round of most drafts even though I wouldn’t take him till the 3rd or 4th rounds because he is going to have a major digression.