2012 Recap: Julio Jones is a beast. When I say beast I’m talking the Incredible Hulk on the football field beast – the Edward Norton version not that Eric Bana disaster. The only problem standing in the way of Jones becoming a high WR pick on most draft boards is his counterpart, Roddy White. However, this could be the year Jones surpasses White in average draft position and season stats. In 2012, Jones had a solid fantasy year with 79 receptions totaling 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. His average yards per reception decreased by 2 yards from 2011, but Jones was targeted 33 more times in 2012 – all while the Falcons struggled with the running game.
What’s Changed: Believe it or not the Falcons ranked 29th in average rushing yards per game in the NFL. That’s in stark contrast to their passing attack which ranked 6th in the league. They were simply terrible running the football. This offseason, however, they looked to sure up their rushing attack by signing former St. Louis Rams RB Stephen Jackson. With the addition of Jackson in the backfield, the Falcons receiving core – primarily Jones and Roddy White – should benefit from his signing. Jackson will force opposing defenses to crowd the line, and in turn, open up the middle of the field for Jones to exploit.
Outlook: The reality for fantasy players looking to draft a number one wide receiver is that the Falcons have two of them on their team. Fortunately, QB Matt Ryan throws the ball enough to target each over 100 -105 times. SInce entering the league in 2011, Jones has increased his production on the field each year. I don’t foresee that trend changing in 2013. With an effective running game and another year of experience under his belt, Jones should provide fantasy owners with numbers worthy of a high second round draft pick.
By Scott Levesque follow him on Twitter at @scottlevesque
Juan – has written 5290 posts on this site.
Juan Elway is an enthusiast of Fantasy Football, Movies, and Combat Sports, but don't call him an expert. He once shook Adrian Peterson's hand and AP winced in pain. Follow him on Twitter where you can partake in all sorts of shenanigans.