Should You Pick Up Mohamed Sanu Off the Waiver Wire After Being Traded to Patriots?
Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Mohamed Sanu
The Patriots made waves early Tuesday morning, trading a second-round pick to the Falcons for wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.
With Rob Gronkowski still retired, Antonio Brown cut and Josh Gordon banged up, Bill Belichick & Co. clearly think they need to beef up their receiving corps.
Sanu is available in more than 50% of ESPN fantasy football leagues, but should you spend some of your FAAB on Sanu now that he’s teamed up with Tom Brady?
Our fantasy football experts Sean Koerner, Chris Raybon and Matthew Freedman detail how they’re approaching Sanu on the waiver wire.
Mohamed Sanu Waiver Wire Approach
I might be in the minority here but I’m viewing this as more of a lateral move for Sanu in terms of fantasy. In his role with the Falcons, Sanu was leading the team’s WRs in snaps and was one of the most underrated high-floor WR4/Flex options in PPR leagues — and I don’t think that changes much.
Regardless, I never blow my budget on potential WR3s like Sanu. I would rather be spending FAAB on Ty Johnson this week, or if Chase Edmonds is still somehow available in your league, that should absolutely be your waiver priority over Sanu.
The Pats traded a second-round pick for Sanu, which tells you they value him accordingly. That said, I’m not willing to spend FAAB on him. With the Falcons, Sanu had a clear-cut role playing 81% of the snaps for a team attempting the most passes per game in the league (41.6). The Patriots are fourth (39.6), but Sanu is entering a crowded WR corps with veterans Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett and rookies Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olzsweski, and first-round pick N’Keal Harry, who is nearing a return.
Even if Sanu is the starter in 2- or 3-wide sets, he will likely rotate with Gordon and Dorsett, if not Meyers or Harry. The Pats also throw a lot to RB James White and RB Rex Burkhead (when healthy), and are working TE Ben Watson back into the mix.
Sanu might pop for a big game here and there, but he’s looking at a target decrease relative to Atlanta and thus will be tough to predict. A versatile player who almost never gets hurt, can play slot or outside, delivers strong blocks in the run game, and can return kicks in a pinch if need be, Sanu will have more value in real life than fantasy unless other dominoes fall.
If Mohamed Sanu is available in your league, you should try to add him, not because he’ll get way more targets now that he’s with the Patriots but because he should’ve already been rostered anyway.
In a best-case scenario, Sanu will get more opportunities in a better offense. In a worst-case scenario, Sanu seems extremely unlikely to see fewer targets than he has with the Falcons since 2016.
The Pats traded a second-round pick for him, and that’s significant draft capital, which speaks to the extent to which they prioritize him. And they reportedly tried to trade for him months ago before the NFL draft, which means they have more than just a passing interest in him.
Regardless of whatever is happening with Josh Gordon (knee), I expect that Sanu will replace rookie Jakobi Meyers and play primarily in the slot in three-wide sets with Julian Edelman and either Gordon or Phillip Dorsett on the outside.
So his role and usage will probably be similar to what they have been. And that means he should be rostered.
But here’s the thing: Sanu is almost always more of a floor play than a ceiling play. So if he’s available on waivers, add him, because he should be on someone’s roster. But don’t add him instead of an upside running back, and don’t spend more than 10% of your FAAB money on him.