Fantasy Football Doubts: Wes Welker's role diminishing?

      September 12, 2012 @ 16:57:56 PDT

One of the many head-scratchers in Week 1 was Wes Welker catching only three passes for a whopping 14 yards in the New England Patriots' 34-13 drubbing of the Tennessee Titans. It was Week 1, so you know what that means? Welker owners are probably doubting if he'll be involved on a weekly basis. Eric McClung touches on New England's target distribution, and others, in KFFL's weekly On Target offering.

It's alarming, but don't overreact. Tom Brady will tell you first-hand.

New England Patriots WR Wes Welker
Week 1 in the past

It's convenient that Welker didn't receive the hefty contract extension he was seeking in the offseason and then was only involved in 64 percent of the plays in Week 1, but like Brady said, don't read too much into it.

New England has a plethora of options for Brady to use, and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels would be doing the team a disservice if he didn't find ways to utilize them all to expose weaknesses in the opposition's defense. McDaniels even said so himself; they game plan for a particular team differently each week, and Week 1 happened to be a week in which Welker wasn't involved as much as he normally has been.

The addition of Brandon Lloyd shouldn't be overlooked, as his presence will naturally eat away at some looks for Welker. McDaniels hasn't traditionally used the tight end position as part of an aerial attack in the past, but having both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez on roster kind of forces his hand. After all, the Pats used three-TE sets for 10 of their 67 offensive snaps last Sunday.

Will this year be Welker's second of six years with the Patriots where he fails to top 100 receptions? It could be, but coming into this year you had to think it would be pretty difficult for him to match his 122 receptions from 2011.

He should still be considered a No. 1 WR in point-per-reception affairs on a team that goes to the air frequently, scores frequently and doesn't let up when they have large leads (thank you Bill Belichick). Remember, not everything that goes does in Week 1 should be set in stone going forward. Trust me, they haven't forgotten about Welker in New England.

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About Keith Hernandez

Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.

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