New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola has had a tough time establishing himself in his first season in New England. After missing four games with his customary lingering injury, he wasn't a big part of the Patriots' game plan after Shane Vereen and Rob Gronkowski got healthy and Julian Edelman emerged as Tom Brady's top slot target.
Things changed on a dime in Week 14. Gronkowski went down with a torn ACL and MCL, ending his season. Amendola stepped up, catching the game-winning touchdown in the Patriots' dramatic win over the Cleveland Browns. He's up to 41 catches for 448 yards and two touchdowns in nine games this year.
Fantasy impact: Amendola is expected to have a much bigger role in the offense now with Gronkowski out and Kenbrell Thompkins sidelined, although he could still be behind Edelman and Vereen on the totem pole. The Patriots play the Miami Dolphins this week looking to clinch the AFC East, and Amendola should be a full-time player the rest of the way. He's a worthwhile risk as a WR3 for the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs.