Fantasy Football ADP Duel: Would You Rather Draft Julian Edelman or Kenny Golladay
By Dan Israeli
When drafting your WR2 in fantasy football, there's usually two routes you can go – grabbing the more reliable option with a high floor, or passing him up for the big upside play who can produce like a WR1, if everything breaks right.
For the upcoming season, fantasy owners will be posed with that question in the fourth or fifth round, depending on the league size and format they're playing. That's when both Julian Edelman, of the New England Patriots, and Kenny Golladay, of the Detroit Lions, are likely to be available. Edelman has an average draft position (ADP) of 39 overall as WR15 off the board, while Golladay is going six spots later, at pick 45 on average (WR18).
Edelman has had to deal with injuries and a suspension in recent seasons, but when he's on the field, the production has remained consistent. Upon returning from his four-game suspension last year, he finished with 74 catches, 850 receiving yards and six touchdowns in 12 games. Over a full season, that extrapolates to a 98-catch, 1,133-yard, eight-TD stat line.
Golladay followed a relatively quiet rookie season in 2017 (28 catches, 477 yards, three TDs) with a productive second year, as he finished 2018 with 70 receptions, 1,063 receiving yards and five touchdowns. Now, Golladay is expected to have an even bigger year in 2019, considering Detroit will be without Golden Tate – who they traded to the Philadelphia Eagles last October, and is now on the New York Giants – for an entire season.
Edelman and Golladay clearly represent two players at different stages of their respective careers. The 33-year-old Edelman will be playing his 10th NFL season, while Golladay, who turns 26 in November, is entering his magical third year, which is considered a breakout season for wide receivers on the field and in fantasy.
While Golladay will likely have a bigger piece of the receiving pie with Tate gone, he will still see competition from incumbent WR Marvin Jones, newcomer Danny Amendola, rookie TE T.J. Hockenson and second-year RB Kerryon Johnson, who's expected to have a bigger role in the Lions' passing game.
Edelman will no longer have to compete with the now-retired Rob Gronkowski for targets, but the Patriots' passing hierarchy is a bit muddled behind him, with guys like rookie N'Keal Harry, veterans Phillip Dorsett and Dontrelle Inman and pass-catching RB James White.
While Edelman is seemingly projected for slightly more targets, Golladay is still likely to see an increase from the 119 he saw last season, which was good for 22nd in the league.
Based on his upside and relatively safe floor, Golladay looks like a potentially stronger draft pick for those with fantasy football title aspirations in 2019, but you can't go wrong by selecting Edelman either.
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