Fantasy Implications: Julio Jones Done for the Year

Jones OutWe all knew it was bad. When the early reports came out there weren’t too many fantasy owners that thought Julio Jones was just going to “walk it off”. The Atlanta Falcons placed Julio Jones on injured reserve today, ending his season and breaking the hearts of fantasy owners everywhere. Jones’ fracture to his foot is in the same spot in which he broke a bone back in 2011. He will be put on the shelf, and will now have to watch the team move on without him for the rest of this season.

Julio Jones is currently the leader in all receiving yards in 2013. The elite wide receiver was also second in the NFL with targets and had two scores in five games. I guess the irony comes with the fact that Jones is the youngster on the team, and if you were to expect a season ending injury to the Falcons, you would think it would be Steven Jackson (30), Roddy White (31) or Tony Gonzalez (37). Nevertheless the 1-4 Atlanta Falcons need to move on and find a way to fill the production lost from their most skilled offensive talent.

Who Will Step Up?

Realistically, I don’t see an increased role from Jackson, White or Gonzalez. The 3 old timers will get a few more targets thrown their way but to replace the role of the deep threat, the team will more than likely call upon the skills of Harry Douglas. Douglas has been targeted in the end zone three times and at the 1-yard line twice so far this season. He has decent speed and has been apart of the Matty Ice era since the beginning.

Harry Douglas Stats

Wk Target Rec Yard Avg TD
1 6 4 93 23.3 0
2 5 4 43 10.8 0
3 6 1 9 9 0
4 6 5 68 13.6 0
5 4 2 6 3 0

With the Waiver Wire a major obsession in fantasy owners routine, I should point out that Harry Douglas is just getting an opportunity to step up, and there’s no guarantee he succeeds. It’s extremely unlikely that the team targets him 10 times a game in a replacement role for Jones. If anything he will see a slight boost in targets per game and could fill the role of a Flex player for your fantasy squad at best moving forward.

Truthfully, I think the team’s best chances to rebound from their dreadful 1-4 start is to lean on the talents of Steven Jackson when he returns. Clearly that goal line experience right before the half against the New York Jets on MNF would have gone differently if they had a little power in their run game. The Falcons have leaned heavily on their passing game lately to compensate for the lack of a rushing attack. Jacquizz Rodgers has benefited from this, as opponents haven’t respected the run. The draw play has been a lifesaver at times, but with the season slipping away from the dirty birds, watch for the Falcons to become a little more balanced in the coming weeks. I would suggest adding a buy low tag to Steven Jackson for those of you looking to make a deal.

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About author View all posts

Mike Rigz

Mike is the founding member at Gridiron Experts with over 1000+ articles credited to his name. With over 20 years of fantasy experience, Mike has a very unique style when picking sleepers and gems. He has always had a outside the box look on the NFL and rarely gets sucked into the hype over players or buzzing offenses. Mike looks at the game as a whole and doesn't focus solely on individual stats. Football is not Baseball, and you need to factor in more when researching players to draft. Mike has one year old son and is expecting a daughter in late July (2015).

Mike lives on the West Coast and is happily married to a beautiful woman who also loves sports. Sundays are spent with friends and family watching games from opening kickoff to well into the evenings.