Should I start Wes Welker or Brandon LaFell in my non ppr league? I was leaning towards LaFell with how few looks Welkers been getting, but with Hernandez out, that might change. On the other hand, Lafell is looking good on his own...
Here's why, while Hernandez will be out, that might actually turn out to be irrelevant for Welker. The Patriots have gone from a 3 WR, 1 RB, 1 TE base offense into a 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB offense. What that means is that their playbook that the team learned this year is based off of the new set, not the old. Welker plays in the slot position, or 3rd WR in the old set. In a 2 WR, 2 TE set. Welker becomes a rotational and package player. He is out of place as the outside receiver in a two TE set. Because the TE is out, a new TE will most likely take that spot instead of Welker. Will NE run more 3 WR sets with Hernandez out? Probably, but the slot WR spot will still remain shared by Edlemen and Welker.
LaFell will remain the number two guy in the Panthers offense behind Smith.
Also remember, Fantasy Football for WRs often comes down to who is more likely to score a TD, and I think LaFell will have a better chance because he will be on the field more.