2011 Fantasy Player Profile | Wes Welker
Wes Welker caught 86 passes for 848 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. Those numbers are good for WR2 or WR3 status depending on your fantasy league. Not bad for a guy who was knocked out of Week 17 of the 2009 season with torn ligaments in his knee.
Despite not even having a full year to recover and being less than 100% for the majority of the year, Welker still topped 80 receptions and was a focal point in New England’s potent passing offense. Add in the fact that he did all of this without Randy Moss taking defense’s focus away from the slot machine, and his 2010 numbers are even more impressive.
So, what can we expect in 2011?
How about a return to his usual 111+ receptions and 1,100+ receiving yards? It’s not crazy. In fact, it simply makes sense.
Since coming to New England in 2007, Welker has done nothing but display reliable hands, great quickness, and elite route-running. Now over a year removed from a devastating knee injury, there’s reason for major optimism.
If this guy can put up 86 catches, 800+ yards and seven scores on basically one good leg, what can he do when his head and body are completely right?
Welker’s game isn’t scoring touchdowns or going after deep balls, and it never will be. But what he’s unstoppable at is penetrating the middle of defense’s and turning two-yard catches into first downs. He’s small, slipper, and faster than advertised. And despite not getting a ton of respect in fantasy football drafts, he’s actually one of the best wide receivers you could own.
First, his history shows us he can and will produce. And just as important, he plays with a stud quarterback in Tom Brady who not only loves to get him the ball, but also knows it’s the smart thing to do.
On top of his elite production over the years, Welker also offers some of the best consistency out of any receiver. In 2010 alone, he registered eight games with at least six receptions, while hauling in at least three catches in every game he played. And this was in a down year.
Welker clearly has more value in PPR leagues, but with Moss no longer in the picture (see: 2010), Welker could have a decent shot at scoring a decent amount of touchdowns, just like he did last season.
Look for Welker to return to form and crack 100+ receptions for the fourth time in five seasons.