Is It Safe to Trust Brandon Lloyd?

Dec 20, 2012


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New England Patriots wide receiver Brandon Lloyd came into the season full of promise. Josh McDaniels has been able to  get the most out of him with the likes of Sam Bradford and Kyle Orton. Surely as Tom Brady’s best downfield threat since Randy Moss, Lloyd would have a banner year in New England.
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Up until a couple of weeks ago, this wasn’t the case.
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Lloyd got off to a mediocre start with 69 and 60 yards in the first two weeks. Then next two weeks were solid for Lloyd as he recorded his first 100-yard game of the season in Week 3 against the Baltimore Ravens and scored his first touchdown of the year in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills.
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The next three-game stretch Lloyd had 34, 80, and six yards respectively. With five games with eight or fewer fantasy points, Lloyd wasn’t exactly a strong option. Especially when you consider he had just 10.8 and 11 fantasy points in his two “good games”.
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Week 8 brought an interesting game for Lloyd. He only caught two passes and finished with just 28 yards, but he scored a touchdown on both catches. Sure, the two touchdowns were great, but he still managed to score just 14.8 fantasy points in this one.
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The next five weeks were brutal for Lloyd. He had a bye in Week 9 and totaled just 126 yards in four games. That’s an average of 31.5 yards or 3.15 fantasy points per game.
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Lloyd owners were likely at their wits’ end and his next two games were against the Houston Texans and the San Francisco 49ers.
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Lloyd shrugged off the tough matchups and had 89 yards and a touchdowns against the Texans and a career-high 190 yards against the Niners. Go figure. You may have had Lloyd in your lineup against the Niners following the Texans’ game, but it is hard to imagine that Lloyd going against Houston.
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This week he takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jags rank 24th against the pass, not that Brady couldn’t shred even the top-ranked defense. On paper it seems like Lloyd is a good play.
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The trouble is outside of Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski (when healthy), it is hard to truly trust anyone in the Patriots’ passing attack.
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I feel that he’s a solid WR3 this week, but a lot of uncertainty remains. I would use him if he’s your best option, but I would probably shy away if I had a safer quality play.
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