Julian Edelman Who?

Julian Edelman Who?

Fantasy football is supposed to be fun. That’s what we tell ourselves all offseason when envisioning how dominant of a team we’re going to draft. … You take Antonio Brown 1.01, draft Tyrod Taylor in Round 7, and you’re done. Log out. Collect your trophy at the end of the year. Then injuries happen like the Cleveland Browns starting three different quarterbacks in their first three games. Or the studs you expected to live up to the high expectations you put on them turn into duds, like the aforementioned Tyrod Taylor in Week 1.

Then there are some things that happen in the world of football you never expected to see. Like Tom Brady replacement Jimmy Garoppolo being lost to injury leading to a rookie third-string quarterback to start for the New England Patriots. That’s not so unusual. We’ve seen rookies start at quarterback before. So while we may not have predicted Jacoby Brissett would be under center for the Patriots in Week 3, it’s not that difficult of a situation to envision. What really makes you go huh is Julian Edelman as the team’s backup quarterback.

You’ve probably heard of Edelman. He’s the Patriots’ number one receiver and second BFF to Tom Brady after Wes Welker. He’s the guy that has caught 341 in his eight-year career and become a staple in PPR leagues. Julian Edelman the wide receiver we are well aware of. But did you know he’s a converted college quarterback?

It might have been mentioned once or twice since the speculation began, but many forget the diminutive Pats receiver was once a college QB. And #heisthisclose to being under center for the Patriots in a meaningful live football game. As is our wont at TwoQBs, we go deep on the unknown quarterbacks of the NFL in the event they might one day become fantasy relevant. Even if Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick hasn’t made the news official, Tom Brady sure seems confident it will happen.

“If [Brissett is injured] I’d expect Julian to go in there and the coaches to be comfortable with the plays they’re calling for him. He still talks about that touchdown pass he threw against Baltimore a few years ago.”

Hey, nobody thought Trevor Siemian would be the QB1 in Denver when I profiled him in June; yet here we are. This might be an exercise in futility, seeing as how Garoppolo is likely to return to the field in Week 4 and Tom Brady is back in Week 5. But I once wrote 10,000 words on Drew Stanton the day before Carson Palmer became an Arizona Cardinal. A few hundred words on Julian Edelman isn’t going to kill me.

Who is Julian Edelman?

This is a simple one to answer: he’s an eight-year NFL wide receiver, who has caught 341 passes for 3,576 yards and 21 touchdowns during his career. He didn’t become a prominent fixture in the Patriots’ offense until 2013 though, seeing 285 targets and catching 197 of them for 2,028 yards and 10 touchdowns in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

However, in his college days at Kent State, Edelman was a quarterback. During his three-year collegiate career, Edelman completed an underwhelming 54.5 percent of his passes for 4,997 yards, a 6.0 AY/A, and he sported a 30:31 passing touchdown to interception ratio. He did tack on 2,483 and 22 scores on the ground, so if he had come out this year I probably would have written an article touting him as a late-round option ala Jeff Driskel.

A 54 percent passer who threw more interceptions than touchdowns? It’s not surprising Edelman was drafted as a wide receiver and not a quarterback. An Edelman scouting profile on NFL.com said he lacked “the size and passing accuracy to remain at quarterback in the NFL” and called him a gimmick prospect. Ouch. Think that motivated him?

Should You Start Julian Edelman in Your 2QB League?

No. Not at quarterback. Not because he’s a backup QB who has thrown one pass in his NFL career…

Although it was a touchdown. And the possibility he pulls a Mr. Perfect intrigues me…

The reason you shouldn’t start Edelman at QB is because he doesn’t have QB eligibility in fantasy. This isn’t a Marques Colston WR-with-TE-eligibility cheat code situation. Edelman is a WR and that’s that. Even if he was QB-eligible, facing the Houston Texans is not a favorable situation…

You probably don’t want to start Jacoby Brissett either this week.

*Stats used in this article courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference and Sports-Reference College Football

Salvatore Stefanile

Salvatore Stefanile is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) and has been playing fantasy football since his high school days. He is a proponent of 2QB fantasy football leagues and his work has been featured on XN Sports, RotoViz, and Rotoworld. His writing on 2QB fantasy football leagues earned him the FSWA award for 'Best Fantasy Football On-Going Series' in 2013. He earned a second FSWA nomination in 2015. You can follow him on Twitter @2QBFFB

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