Ask anyone on the street who led the NFL in touchdowns catches last season. Very few will know that It was the NFL’s embodiment Rodney Dangerfield, James Jones of the Green Bay Packers. He gets no respect, even after scoring nine more TDs than Calvin Johnson in 2012. That is likely to change in 2013.
Jones scored 14 times and is somehow still under the radar. In most mock draft he’s picked behind wide receiver teammates Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. It seems the NFL’s reigning TD catch champ is the third best receiver on his team. Can that be right?
It’s no secret that Aaron Rodgers and the Packers love to pass. Greg Jennings is now a Viking. This seems to be good news for Jones, but even with Jennings on the field he did a lot of damage. That damage includes his 3 TD performance in Chicago.
While Jones was the top TD scoring receiver in 2012 the rest of his stats were not nearly as good. He had 784 receiving yards which ranked him 44th in the NFL. His 64 receptions tied Jones for 34th overall. At the end of the season he finished around 17th among receivers in most fantasy leagues. Those stats are not exactly what owners want to see from a top draft pick, even with the fantastic TD total.
Nelson, Cobb and Jermichael Finley all had stats in the same range. This is proof that Rodgers spreads the wealth around in Green Bay. However, when it comes to putting it up in the end zone, Rodgers appears to trusts Jones the most.
James Jones Drop Stats
Stats Provided by: Sporting Charts
So why is Jones often taken at, or after the midway point in drafts? It’s not injury issues. Jones has played in ever Packers game in the last four years. It’s not a lack of athleticism. Jones has the build and speed you want in a receiver. Is it his hands? That may have been the case in the past, but last year Jones cut his drops dramatically.
Owners might also be weary of Jones since he seems prone to having a few quite games each year. In 2012 he score fewer than 5 fantasy points four times.
The true value of Jones in 2013 is likely that of a nice WR2, or a great flex. The thing is, he never seems to get drafted that high. It’s very tempting to wait for him to slip to you. It’s a fairly safe bet that you can draft him as your flex player. If you want to roll the dice, wait till around pick 100 to draft him. Our own Jody Smith recently took Jones with the 107th pick in a PPR IDP mock draft.
My James Jones’ 2013 Forecast calls for: 73 receptions, 873 yards and 11 TDs. He should once again be a top 20 WR. Check back to see where Gridiron Experts ranks his overall in our 2013 Wide Receiver Rankings