This series examines the fantasy football status of key players returning from injuries… See the entire series HERE.

By: Glen Levy, FFSpin.com and FantasyFootballCrystalBall.com Contributor.

The Injury

Amendola had triceps surgery and was placed on injured reserve in October, ending his season. He also battled a dislocated elbow and didn’t get a reception after week 1.

The former star of the Dallas Cowboys training camp burst onto the scene (at least in PPR leagues) in 2010 hauling in 85 catches for 689 yards with 3 TDs.

The 26 year old Texas Tech alum will be playing on a 1-year $2 million contract so he should be ultra motivated to prove that 2010 was not a fluke but we have our doubts. He’ll remain a slot WR in a subpar Rams passing game that will have multiple mediocre mouths to feed. The Rams drafted Brian Quick and Chris Givens in hopes that they’ll emerge as their starting WRs. They also added veteran Steve Smith (formerly of the Eagles/ Giants) to a WR corps that includes Danario Alexander, Austin Pettis and Greg Salas. Outside of deeper PPR leagues, we are not even sure that Amendola is worth drafting as he’ll be fighting for targets in the Rams run heavy offenses under first year coach Jeff Fisher.

Career Stats: Final column is Fantasy Points Per Game (FPG) based on standard scoring.

YearTeamGRECYardsYPGYPC100+TDFPG
AVG. (2009/2010)64508337.9024.1
2009STL1443326237.6012.8
2010STL1685689438.1035.4
2011STL1545459.0004.5

Other Expert Opinions

Antony Blake of Rant Sports is very optimistic when it comes to Amendola.  He points to rapport between the receiver and his QB as the main reason why Amendola is a great value right now and a flex option for 2012.

FFToolbox.com is much less optimistic. They have Amendola ranked at #61 on their 2012 WR rankings.

The guys at FFToday think Amendola returns as a solid PPR option and they project 75/765/3 for him in 2012.

 

FANTASY FOOTBALL SPIN

Amendola is entering his fourth year as a member of the Rams but his seventh year in the NFL.  During his first three years; two with the Cowboys and one with the Eagles, he failed to register a single catch.  He soon made up for those three seasons without a reception by becoming a safety blanket for young QB Sam Bradford.

In his second season in St. Louis Amendola tallied 85 receptions, almost doubling his previous year’s total haul (Hello, Sam Bradford!). Unfortunately, for both players, the chemistry they seemed to have was not given the chance to develop further.  Now Amendola  is all systems go.  He had to wait a year to continue his chemistry with Bradford……but is Bradford the same quarterback?

Bradford was supposed to be the breakout in his sophomore NFL season, or at the very least progress.  We will leave it at this – it was an ugly year and it planted the seed of doubt for many regarding Bradford’s long term potential.  Last training camp and preseason, by all accounts, Danny Amendola was showing that he had what it took to be a solid NFL player (and a PPR monster) and drawing comparisons to Wes Welker. Some were predicting a magical 100 catch season.  Where do we stand now?

Bradford is returning healthy and he will have his safety blanket back in Amendola and an improved receiving corp, but one that is not without questions.  Amendola should lock down the starting slot position without much of a challenge but he will no longer be Bradford’s only outlet. The Rams drafting Brian Quick in the second round and the signing of a healthy Steve Smith will give Bradford more options. The Rams also have the talented but oft-injured Donario Alexander who has shown flashes of fantastic athleticism, but simply cannot stay on the field.

In 2010, when Bradford was a rookie, just feeling it all out, Danny Amendola had a line of 85-689-3. That was in a pass happy offense. This season with Jeff Fisher and a run-first offense the 85 catch total might be unreachable and 100 catches is almost unthinkable. The Rams want to control the clock with the running game, to take pressure off of Bradford as Fisher does what he was brought in to do – get Sam Bradford back on track. Throw in more options (better options?) and a more realistic stat line for the 26 year old, Texas Tech alum is 55-500-3.  If you’re an optimist you can add 10 receptions, a pessimist can subtract 10, we’ll need to see more in the preseason.  So far most of the positive news from camp is in regard to Steve Smith who reportedly looks like the pre-injury receiver from his Giants days.

Amendola’s current ADP is 145 and he’s the 56th receiver selected on average.  He’s worth having on your roster as a 5th  receiver in PPR leagues and in standard scoring leagues he’s a guy you might be able to get with a waiver wire transaction.   He has good upside.  We are not ready to completely rule out a 75 catch season, as predicted by FFToday.com, but there is no way we would rely on him as one our top 3 receivers heading into the season.  He’s a good buy-low player who you can stash on your PPR roster and hope for the best.

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