May 27, 2012
I was getting set to head out for the day Saturday and noticed I was up for my 3rd pick in this startup Dynasty League draft. I did not take a lot of time making my pick, but I liked my pick of Wes Welker. I seriously considered Greg Jennings, who I love, but Jennings has never even caught more than 80 passes in a season and has actually had more injury issues than Welker over the last five years.
This is a PPR league, and Welker is coming off an incredible season in this format, ranking as the #2 WR in PPR leagues last year, second only to Calvin Johnson. There are reasons to believe his production will drop off a bit going forward, such as the addition of veteran wideout Brandon Lloyd, his advancing age, and a potential contract squabble. Welker will at least play under the franchise tag in 2012, so he’ll be a Patriot this year. I would imagine the two sides will nail down a new deal, at least one for 2-3 years. Whenever you see a player whose production and effectiveness is tied to his specific team and system, I think you can expect him to remain with that team. Marques Colston in New Orleans is a good example.
Welker just turned 31, but there’s no slowdown to his game whatsoever. In fact, his 12.9 yards per catch in 2012 was his highest total as a Patriot. Lloyd will command some targets, so Welker may not hit 100 catches this year. But even if Lloyd has a big year, Welker should come close to triple digits. The only time he hasn’t gone over 100 catches in New England is 2010, when he was coming off an ACL injury suffered only seven months before the ’10 season. The offense changed from 2007-2011, yet Welker’s 100+ catches remained in all but that one season. Most likely, had he not been coming off a serious knee injury, he would have caught 100+ balls in each of his five seasons with the Pats.
This pick is a classic example of how one should not overrate youth and long-term potential in a keeper or dynasty league draft. It is still wise to focus on the here and now, unless you’re talking about a WR in his mid-30s or a RB who’s older than 29 and has a lot of carries under his belt. I’m glad to hang my hat on 90-100 receptions at least the next 2-3 years with Welker.
At the absolute least, I know I can count on Welker in 2012, which is key because I’m not sure 100% sure I can count on my #2 pick, RB Adrian Peterson.
So far, I like my start in this dynasty draft, as I try to spread the stud options around to three positions as my starting point for each position.
You can follow the draft here