Wes Welker has been Tom Brady’s “go-to” receiver over the past six seasons he was with the Patriots. After Welker signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Denver Broncos this offseason, the Patriots offense was looking like there was a major hole; the slot receiver. What did they do about it? They went out and signed twenty seven-year-old Danny Amendola to a five-year, $28.5 million deal. Strangely enough, both Amendola and Welker are Texas Tech products. While Amendola is five years younger than Welker, he surely doesn’t have the durability that Welker conveys to the team. He’s missed a total of twenty regular season games over the past two years. While many question Amendola’s durability, these missed games weren’t from nagging injuries. In 2011, he got injured in week 1 when he dislocated his elbow and missed the remaining fifteen games. In 2012, he missed five games with a broken collarbone. If injuries are what scares you away from drafting Danny Amendola, don’t let that be a factor in your decision as these injuries could have happened to any NFL player.
Wes Welker has been the backbone for the Patriots offense the last six seasons as their slot receiver. He’s missed just three games in the past six seasons with the Patriots. They are almost identical in size; Welker is 5’9”, 185 lbs. while Amendola is 5’11”, 188 lbs. Let’s take a look at some of their stats over the past few seasons;
Danny Amendola vs. Wes Welker Stats
|Danny Amendola||2010, 2012||74||9.2||112||6.1||678||50.2|
As you can see from the chart above, Wes Welker is the superior slot receiver over the past few seasons. As a side note, Tom Brady has a 5.4% better completion percentage than Sam Bradford for their careers. Comparing Amendola and Welker’s 2010 season since this was the most comparable, Amendola dropped 6.5% of catchable balls to him while Wes Welker dropped 10.7% so Amendola does have above average hands. Amendola should get many more targets this season with Brady in the pocket and a lack of weapons they’ll have early on in the season assuming Rob Gronkowski may not be ready for the start of the season.
The point of this article was to point out that Danny Amendola is being undervalued in fantasy drafts though his ADP has risen in the past month from 5.04 to 5.01. I think Amendola could put up third-round numbers this season, similar to those of Percy Harvin. While I don’t see him being anything close to the top WR this season, owners in PPR leagues should value Amendola heavily, as there’s no reason he can’t catch 110 passes this season if he can stay on the field. He should be valued ahead of Wes Welker (Welker’s current ADP is 4.10) as he will be the main target for the Patriots while Welker has to fight for targets with Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker which will not be an easy task. There’s no reason Amendola shouldn’t be drafted in the fourth or even third rounds of fantasy drafts this season. He’s simply being undervalued right now.
What’s your take on Danny Amendola? What type of season do you think he’ll have in 2013?