Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has been one of the leagues most dominant players for nearly a decade now and he doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Year after year, Jones shows up as quarterback Matt Ryan‘s number one target in what is usually one of the league’s best offenses. Whether he’s lined up outside or in the slot, there is no easy way to defend a 6’3″ 220 lb wide receiver who runs a sub 4.40. Coming into 2019, Jones will look to continue to dominate cornerbacks and safeties alike, no one is safe with Julio on the field.
Julio Jones Fantasy Preview
Jones finished the 2018 season with some insane numbers. He totaled 113 catches for 1,677 yards and eight touchdowns. Even as Julio ages he still manages to put up elite numbers in all phases of the game. His 113 catches are second-most in his career, the same goes for the yardage and touchdowns, he simply can’t be stopped.
What makes Jones such a safe and appealing fantasy option every year is his consistent target share and ridiculous yardage. Julio has exceeded 1,400 receiving yards in five straight seasons, that’s an NFL record that I don’t see being broken. Regardless of how the team does as a whole, Jones is a constant force in this offense and that should not be changing in 2019.
Looking ahead to the 2019 season, Jones should be in an even better spot than he’s been in in the past. Some may look at the progression of second-year wideout Calvin Ridley as a bad thing but I disagree. He should only help Jones avoid the constant double-teams he’s seen ever since the departure of Roddy White.
Last year, Jones led the team with 170 targets. The next closest was Mohamed Sanu with 94 and then Ridley with 92. Jones nearly doubled the next closest player on the team and I expect that to be the case for 2019 as well. Ridley should take on a bigger role, but everyone knows this offense runs through Julio.
One of the things that excite me most for Jones is his weak strength of schedule. The Falcons come in at fourth for leagues easiest schedules for wide receivers.
Just looking at their division alone you see a ton of upside for Jones. He’ll be playing the Saints twice (29th against the pass), the Buccaneers twice (26th against the pass) and the Panthers (18th against the pass). In those six games alone, Jones should be putting up monster numbers.
Something I found extremely interesting about the Falcons schedule this year is the number of games they’ll be playing inside a dome. The Falcons play 13 of their 16 games in a dome! They won’t be playing an outdoor game until the middle of November! How is this even possible? It really doesn’t matter, all that matters is that Julio and the rest of the Falcons are going to be in a ton of indoor shootouts this year.
Julio Jones Average Draft Position
According to FantasyPros.com, Julio Jones is currently being drafted at 11th overall as the fifth wide receiver off the board. He comes in right behind Michael Thomas and Odell Beckham who I think should both be drafted behind Julio.
Outside of Antonio Brown, I don’t think there has been a more consistently dominant wide receiver in the league than Julio Jones. Some people like to say “but he doesn’t score touchdowns”, well he proved you all wrong last year with eight scores. While you may be looking for double-digit touchdowns from your first-round guy, touchdowns are always the most difficult stat to predict and that shouldn’t be why you do or don’t pick someone. Stats like targets and yards are a lot easier to forecast and we know that Julio is going to be tops in the league in both of those categories.
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