Julian Edelman, the guy who made that crazy catch in the Super Bowl 51 against the Falcons, when he collided into three defenders and still managed to make the catch! Julian Edelman, Tom Brady’s number one receiver (if you don’t count tight ends) with 1,106 receiving yards. That is who Julian Edelman was during his 2016 campaign. A campaign that turned out to be his best to this point in the NFL.
Edelman’s 2017 campaign, however turned out to not be one to remember. He quickly became injured with a torn ACL before the season started. It lead to him being placed on the IR list. His season was over before it stared. Missing a whole season due to an injury must have been awful for Edelman. It also stunk for Brady, who had to play a season without one of his favorite targets.
This upcoming 2018–19 season was probably one Edelman has been looking forward to for a while. He probably wants to show everyone that he can do what he used to do. But that will have to wait, at least a little.
During this week, Edelman has been suspended the first four games of the 2018–19 NFL season. Edelman has been accused of taking performance enhancing drugs. This will mean that Edelman will not participate until week five. So against the Texans, Jaguars, Lions, and Dolphins, the Patriots will have to without Edelman.
So what does this mean for those first four weeks of the season?
Brady already has Gronkowski as a go-to guy although the Gronkowski rumors right now are all over the place. From the trade rumors (which are incorrect) to the retirement rumors, Gronkowski won’t be there forever.
This means someone else will have to step up to the plate. Edelman is a great receiver, but Brady is going to have to settle for a new number one wide receiver. At least during the time Edelman will be absent this season.
For me, this guy is Chris Hogan. When Hogan is healthy, he performs at a high level.
Chris Hogan CAN be the number one wide receiver for Brady if he is asked to step up to the plate. Last season, injuries caused things to go downhill for Hogan. However, in his limited action Hogan produced 439 receiving yards and five touchdowns during the regular season.
In the Super Bowl, Hogan had his best game of the season. He finished the game with 128 yards and a touchdown!
The season before this past season, Hogan produced nearly 700 receiving yards with 57 targets. Hogan is a play maker! He may not have had the targets to really shine through yet, but he makes the most with the targets he does get.
This upcoming season, we will be able to see Hogan’s level of play with more targets. It could be his best season yet in the NFL. Edelman’s suspension lead to the “next man up” mentality! For the Patriots, this is Hogan.
When one door closes another, another one opens! It will be interesting to see if Hogan can step up to the plate, while Edelman is suspended. One thing is for sure, it may be Hogan’s four most important games of his career! It could give him an opportunity to become a number one target for years to come!
Hogan could be a sleeper in Fantasy Football this season, although he is now probably on a lot of people’s radar due the suspension. If Hogan falls to you in Fantasy Football, don’t be afraid to step up the hype train! Especially in re-draft leagues!