(All offseason, Michael Moore will be looking at some specific draft conundrums facing drafters in an effort to determine which player should be the preference.)
Deciding between either Julian Edelman or Emmanuel Sanders was a much better problem to have a year ago. Both were coming off 1,000-yard seasons and top-20 fantasy finishes. But one year can make all the difference in the world. For Edelman, a torn ACL cost him all of the 2017 season. For Sanders, he also suffered an injury. Instead of keeping him out the season, Sanders pressed on while the injury lingered, causing him to miss more games in 2017 (four) then he had his entire three-year tenure in Denver prior to that. Now the decision to draft either one looks a lot less appealing but both could rebound and be the surprise hero of your fantasy team.
Let’s start with Edelman, who, per Patriots requirements for pass catchers, is both highly effective and sensitive to injuries. When he plays a full (or close to full) season, Edelman is a solid contributor for the Patriots and your fantasy teams. He wasn’t always a big part of the Patriots offense but has been since 2013. In the five seasons he’s been considered a starter for New England, he’s played in 10 games or more in just three of them. He lost all of last season to the ACL injury and half of 2009 with an arm injury. However, in three non-injury-marred seasons, he’s been very productive. His most successful was 2013, when he caught 105 balls for 1,056 yards and six touchdowns. He followed that season up with 92 catches for 972 yards and four touchdowns in 2014; in 2016, his last healthy season, he had 98 catches for 1,106 yards and three touchdowns. In all three, he finished as a high- to low-end WR2, depending on the format.