Wes Welker Role Diminishing In New England, Fantasy Value Potentially Slipping

Sep 16, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker (83) runs the ball against Arizona Cardinals cornerback Jamell Fleming during the second half at Gillette Stadium. The Arizona Cardinals defeated the New England Patriots 20-18. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-US PRESSWIRE

Wes Welker is seeing his role diminish within the Patriots' offense. We break down the fantasy implications.

Wes Welker's role within the New England Patriots' offense has diminished significantly, according to the Boston Globe.

Julian Edelman started ahead of Welker during Sunday's loss to the Arizona Cardinals and, if not for an injury to Aaron Hernandez, Welker may not have finished with five receptions for 95 yards off 11 targets. Welker for saw the field for 64 of the Pats' 81 offensive snaps, compared with 75-of-81 for Edelman.

Fantasy Impact: Welker's situation in New England is a troubling one for both Welker and fantasy owners. The wideout was in a contract dispute with the organization throughout the offseason, and the Pats could be sending the message that the offense can function just fine without him. If Hernandez hadn't been injured, this would be a more dire situation for Welker owners. As things stand, he should still be a safe fantasy option going forward. Edelman could be a good sneaky waiver-wire pickup if he does develop into a Welker-like option for Tom Brady, however.

For more on the Patriots, head over to Pats Pulpit and SB Nation Boston. For more fantasy info, check out the SB Nation Fantasy War Room 4-8:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. Check out SB Nation's own Fantasy Football game, Pick 6!

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