For his entire tenure in New England, Bill Belichick has struck fear into the hearts of fantasy football managers everywhere. Save for a few outliers (Wes Welker, Randy Moss, and healthy Gronk come to mind), Patriots pass catchers rarely stand above the rest enough to be consistent fantasy starters.
This has been even more true since Tom Brady‘s departure, with no Patriots receiver cracking the top 30 in receiving yards in 2020 or 2021. But New England’s leading receiver in both of those seasons, Jakobi Meyers, is finally bucking the trend. At just 48% owned heading into Week 6, he could be your next waiver wire steal.
NO QB CONSISTENCY, NO PROBLEM
After building a strong rapport with Mac Jones during the QB’s rookie season, Meyers entered 2022 as New England’s WR1 and Jones’ favorite target. In Weeks 1 and 2, despite poor offensive outputs from the team, Meyers was able to put together 13 catches on 19 targets for 150 yards.
He missed the following two weeks with a knee injury, and upon his return in Week 5, it was reasonable to question if Meyers would have the same presence in a Bailey Zappe-led offense. Those concerns were quickly put to bed as Meyers held a 38% target share on Sunday against the Lions, finishing the game with seven catches on eight targets for 111 yards and a 24-yard TD reception for a 24.1 PPR performance.
Backfield injuries combined with Nelson Agholor‘s array of issues and Kendrick Bourne‘s seemingly permanent home in Matt Patricia’s doghouse will leave Meyers with a consistent role in New England’s offense moving forward, regardless of who suits up at quarterback that week.
PLUS MATCHUPS ON THE HORIZON
With the Patriots’ offense seemingly starting to find its groove, its upcoming schedule gives Meyers plenty of opportunity for big fantasy outputs. Week 6 brings with it a trip to Cleveland to face the Browns, whose secondary issues have been well-documented so far in 2022, and who just got toasted by Mike Williams to the tune of 10 catches for 134 yards.
After Cleveland, New England has matchups looming against the Bears, Jets, Colts, Jets again, and Vikings — not exactly a murderer’s row of secondaries. Meyers will continue to garner the lion’s share of the targets and should be a strong WR3/FLEX option moving forward.
The security blanket checks in at WR36 (+4 vs ECR) on The Wolf’s 2022 Rest of Season Rankings.