Was my title original? Absolutely not. You could argue it's not even clever, but hell I enjoyed it.
Now that we've got that out of the way we should discuss the impact of Wes Welker's suspension.
Wes Welker was suspended for the first 4 games of the 2014 NFL season for testing positive for amphetamine use. It's an unfortunate development for fantasy owners who took a chance on him in drafts this weekend, despite knowing about his concussion issues. I'm thrilled that I don't own him, and as a fan of a division rival I don't mind that he'll miss the game against the Kansas City Chiefs. But I'm letting my fan loyalties interfere here, so I digress.
Wes Welker was already a question mark heading into the 2014 NFL season and has now become an even bigger headache. Details that have emerged online are indicating that Welker took Molly while at the Kentucky Derby earlier in 2014. The same Kentucky Derby where he was handing out $100 bills to people. We can't personally confirm this information and are operating based on general information from the media.
With that being said, this suspension has fantasy football repercussions. Repercussions that you're likely concerned about if you've made it this far through my nonsense.
The Fantasy Impact of the Wes Welker Suspension
Prior to the suspension the hype train on Emmanuel Sanders was starting to get out of control. He was rising up draft boards due to the concussion. With this suspension now in effect, expect him to rise even further in drafts that haven't already happened. For those of you who own Sanders already, congratulations. You've likely won the sweepstakes on the positive side of Welker's suspension.
I think this puts Sanders firmly into a WR2 ranking for the first 4 weeks while we're missing Welker. I mean he'll likely be playing in the slot. And his quarterback is still Peyton Manning.
The other two guys that the fantasy world is abuzz about is Andre Caldwell and Cody Latimer.
It's likely that Andre Caldwell will see more snaps on the outside, at least that's the original reaction. However many believe, myself included, that Latimer is the better and sneakier lottery ticket here.
In fact, our very own Nick Walsh recently said on our fantasy podcast that he believed Latimer could hold fantasy value this year. This was prior to the Welker suspension, so he deserves a nice tip of the cap for being ahead of the Latimer love going on right now.
Latimer had a nice preseason recording 5 receptions for 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Although we've only seen a small sample size from Latimer so far, it may be his time to shine.
I don't expect him to blow up in week 1, but I think it's the beginning of great things to come for the youngster. If you're looking to add a WR between Latimer and Caldwell I'll put my chips on Latimer.
Fantasy Expectations for Weeks 1-5
As the Denver Broncos have their bye in week 4, the earliest we will see Welker back on the field is in week 6 of the 2014 NFL season. Unfortunately Wes Welker is someone who is going to be burning a spot on someones bench. I wouldn't drop the guy, but it's unfortunate you're going to have to hold onto him.
Expcept Sanders to perform nicely in Welkers' absence. As Manning's go-to-guy last season Welker had 73 receptions for 778 yards and 10 touchdowns. While Sanders won't see all of the production that Welker would have gotten, he's definitely going to see a boost. If you own him, nice work.
As far as going after the other two guys, I believe Latimer is your man.
Love it or hate it, Peyton Manning receivers simply perform. There's no reason to expect anything different this time around.Bummed About Welker? Pick a Team Name To Show Us
For the record, I never actually played football. I have no doubt that I would get crushed running across the middle for a pass, every single time.
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