Julio Jones Likely Out For Season– Second opinion tomorrow

Posted: 10/08/2013 by levcohen in Football

In shocking news, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones is likely out for the season with a foot injury that he suffered or aggravated on Monday Night Football. Jones will get a second opinion tomorrow, but right now it seems probable that he will not be a part of the Falcons active roster for the rest of the 2013-14 season. This is huge and shocking, as Jones was cementing himself as one of the five best wide receivers in the NFL, even as he was seemingly continuously banged up this season. Now, he’s likely done, and more than likely with this news so are the Falcons playoffs hopes (they lost heart-breakingly last night). Atlanta is 1-4, and they were leaning so heavily on Jones that they really don’t have much to fall back on. Their passing game is the only thing working for them right now (all the draft picks they traded in the Julio deal are really taking a toll) and now Tony Gonzalez is really the last healthy weapon Matt Ryan has left, a stark departure from last season, when the Falcons were 13-3 and lit up many-a-defense. They are left with a few burning questions, none bigger than this: Will Roddy White Bounce Back? Over the past six or seven years, Roddy White has been the best and most consistent wide receiver in the NFL, consistently being among the league leaders in catches, targets, and yards. In fact, last year he caught more balls and was targeted more than the aforementioned Jones. This year, though, he has been banged up and has just fourteen catches in the first five games of the season for a total of 129 yards. He needs to bounce back for the Falcons to even approach a respectable record.

For fantasy owners of the top-5 receiver, this is obviously terrible news. Who and where can they turn to now? Let’s look at a variety of readily available options..

For normal 10 team leagues:
Alshon Jeffery (85.6% ESPN Ownership): It’s doubtful that Jeffery is available in your league, but if he is, go and place a waiver claim on him now and thank me later. He just had a 200 yard game with a touchdown, so everybody else wants him to, but he should not be available after tomorrow in any league.

Kendall Wright (39.5%): Wright is consistent, with between five and seven catches and at least fifty yards in five straight weeks. You could do worse, especially in a PPR.

Justin Blackmon (20.5%): Blackmon had a huge game in his first game back from a four game suspension, with 136 yards and a touchdown. He will be among the most added this week, and he should be available, so go get him, as he has huge upside.

Percy Harvin (9.4%): This is a shot in the dark, but Harvin might be back in the next two or three weeks and he has top 10 upside when he does get back. If you have Jones and are in a pretty good situation (5-0 or 4-1), you can afford to take a long term flyer like Harvin who has really big upside in the long term.

An added guy for PPR leagues in Julian Edelman (66.8%): Edelman will get dropped in a bunch of leagues after he didn’t perform well against the Bengals, but he does have 36 catches on the season and will be a pretty consistent option.

For Deeper Leagues:
Harry Douglass (2.1%): Douglass is Jones’s replacement on the Falcons, so he is an obvious add, but he doesn’t have a lot of upside, so I would avoid him unless you are desperate or in a deep league.

Terrence Williams (1.3%): Williams broke out last week, and Miles Austin is still hurt, so Williams could well be a good play for an extended period of time. The Cowboys have a high-octane offense (they just put up 48 points), and Williams should be solid.

Austin Pettis (1.2%): Pettis has been surprisingly good for someone owned so sparsely. He already has four touchdown catches on the season, which is among the league leaders. In a deep league, you can do a lot worse.

Mario Manningham (.4%): In the same vein as Harvin, Manningham should be back in two or three weeks. He has great upside for a deep league free agent, and I’d jump on him.

For PPR leagues: Reliable Davone Bess (1.2%) has 21 catches on the season.

 

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