Week 8- Remember when we were all worried about Welker? Seems like a long time ago, but he’s an automatic WR1 every week as the top option on a prolific passing team.
Week 5- Julian Edelman and Aaron Hernandez are both likely out this week, and that means Welker will once again be an every down WR. Keep him in your lineup as a consistently great WR1.
Week 4- With Aaron Hernandez(and potentially Rob Gronkowski) out, expect Welker to get his usual workload. If Gronk plays, he’s a solid WR2. If he doesn’t he’s a WR1 who could duplicate last years production in week 4.
Week 3- With Aaron Hernandez out with an injury, you can expect more 3 WR sets from the Patriots in this one. That said, they are going against the Ravens Defense who has shown the ability to slow down Tom Brady. You likely won’t see Tom Brady numbers from him in this one, but Welker is still a solid WR3 as he should get plenty of snaps.
Week 1 – If you are in a PPR format Welker is a no-brainer WR1 as one of the top targeted receivers in the game. Last year he went over 100 receptions, and we expect the same in 2012. The first week matchup against the Titans is favorable, and if Brady liked to look for Welker more often in the end zone, he would be a WR1 in standard formats as well. Since Gronk and Hernandez figure to see the majority of red zone targets this week, Welker is a solid WR2 start in standard scoring
Many fantasy owners will be targeting Welker as a #1 WR in 2012, but we would advise them to pump their brakes and think for a second. The Patriots added Brandon Lloyd, and have two big time TE in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez that will also be getting plenty of looks per game. Last season may have been the peak of Welker’s career as he caught 122 passes for 1,569 yards, and the Patriots may not be looking to re-sign Welker to a multi-year deal after this season. We recommend Welker as a high #2 WR for 2012 that should be drafted in the 4th round of most formats. In PPR leagues, even if his numbers regress and he gets 95 looks he should be considered a 2nd or 3rd round pick.