New England Patriots receiver Julian Edelman seemed set for a comeback fantasy season after missing all of 2017 with a torn ACL. However, that narrative has taken a turn. Edelman is reportedly facing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances according to ESPN.
Edelman’s suspension is currently under appeal, but the chances of winning are low.
What does Edelman’s ban mean for his stock?
Assuming the suspension is upheld, Yahoo Fantasy analyst Brad Evans believes Edelman will drop from a potential fifth-round pick to a seventh- or eighth-round selection in PPR drafts.
Who does this benefit?
Evans makes the case that Jordan Matthews, who struggled in his only season with the Buffalo Bills but still just 25, could emerge. He caught eight touchdowns in each of his first two NFL seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and was once a premier red-zone weapon. The Patriots took a one-year flier on Matthews in free agency and he now has the chance for a bigger role if he shows anything in training camp.
Others who could see a bump in value include tight end Rob Gronkowski along with running backs Rex Burkhead and James White. Fellow fantasy analyst Liz Loza isn’t buying the Matthews endorsement, but does agree that Burkhead benefits while Edelman is out.
— Liz Loza (@LizLoza_FF) June 7, 2018
One player you shouldn’t necessarily expert to make a leap is Chris Hogan, a favorite fantasy draft target last season who was limited to nine games due to injury.
The Chris Hogan hype is sure to reach deafening proportions, but what’s changed from last year? He played on 94% of snaps when healthy and was a fringe WR2 in ppg. Very different WR than Edelman. Short-field, over middle options benefit most – Gronk, White, Burkhead, Matthews.
— Brad Evans (@YahooNoise) June 7, 2018