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TAKE THE JULIO JONES DISCOUNT IN DYNASTY

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TAKE THE JULIO JONES DISCOUNT IN DYNASTY

By Robert Beau (Twitter: @Robbiebeans919 Member of: @hardknock_ff )

Date: 7/11/18

According to DLF’s July ADP, Julio Jones is going 2.03(WR7) in 12 team dynasty startups. Today I’ll explain why I’m buying at that price and why you should as well.

SUSTAINED PRODUCTION: Since coming into the league in 2011, Jones has had yardage outputs of 959(rookie), 1198, 580(season ending injury week 6), 1593, 1871, 1409 and 1444! If you take out the rookie and injury shorted seasons, Jones is AVERAGING 1503 yards per season. Receivers going before him such as Mike Evans, Keenan Allen, Michael Thomas, and even Odell Beckham have NEVER hit 1503 yards in a season. Think about that, Jones is averaging more yardage than many of the receivers going above him have EVER achieved in a season. When looking at this, it makes it hard to understand why Jones has slipped behind his younger counterparts. I understand the value of being young, but points are what win our leagues, not who has the most talented young pieces. Julio Jones scores points. Even last year, when Jones struggled to find the end zone with only 3 TD, he still gave us another WR1 season behind his 88 receptions and 1444 yards. According to Mike Clay’s Opportunity Adjusted Touchdown metric, Jones should have scored 8.4 TD in 2017, and should be in line for positive TD regression in 2018. There is no reason to believe his reception/yardage line will be much different than it has been over the last four years, and if he indeed gets that positive TD regression, he could be in line for a monster campaign in 2018. His role in Atlanta will be the same and Matt Ryan will feel much more comfortable in year two of Steve Sarkisian’s offense. For example, Ryan’s 2016 MVP campaign came in year two of Kyle Shanahan as OC. Everything seems to be lining up for Jones to have one of his best seasons yet.

 

INJURY PRONE NARRATIVE IS FALSE: You may hear your league mates say things like, “Julio is always hurt.” or “I never know if Julio is going to be out there.” This is nonsense. Since being selected at sixth overall in the NFL draft in 2011, Jones has played 13,16,5,15,16,14 and 16 games throughout his career. The only season in which Jones has missed significant time is 2013 when he suffered a broken foot. Since returning from that injury in 2014, Jones has played in 61 of 64 possible games . During that stretch (2014-2017), Jones has averaged 6.74 receptions and 103.6 yards per game. That type of floor is elite in fantasy leagues and definitely the security I value in my WR1, especially in PPR formats. Jones has also demonstrated league winning upside over that span, finishing as the WR2 in 2015 with a 136/1871/8 line that was good for 23.1 PPR points per game. This combination of elite floor, upside, and availability cannot be found outside of Antonio Brown over the last four seasons. Antonio Brown is still holding off these younger, less productive counterparts outside of Odell Beckham and DeAndre Hopkins in ADP as the WR3 in startup drafts while Michael Thomas, Mike Evans and Keenan Allen have all jumped Jones (WR7) in ADP. Jones is 29 and Brown is 30. Matt Ryan feels like more of a sure thing than Ben Roethlisberger over the next several years. When was the last time you heard someone say that Antonio Brown is injury prone? You probably haven’t. What if I told you that Jones has only missed one more game (14) than Brown (13) over their respective careers? Over their entire careers, Brown averages 86.1 yards per game, while Jones averages 95.3. I am certainly not advocating for taking Jones over Brown, but I am enjoying picking up similar production and consistency 6-8 spots later in drafts. So if others want to continue to avoid Jones because of “injury concerns”, I’ll gladly be the beneficiary. The narrative that Julio Jones is injury prone is disingenuous, and simply not true.

 

RESULTS OVER POTENTIAL: I mentioned once earlier that points win fantasy leagues rather than potential, and that’s a philosophy I will implement in the way I manage my dynasty teams. In dynasty, I believe you want to own guys at their absolute peak, and ride it as long as possible. While I want to remain balanced throughout my roster with veterans and youth, I won’t shy away from elite producers as they approach their 30th birthday. Jones is a perfect example of a guy I want to own in any fantasy format, including dynasty. He typically scores more points than nearly everyone else at his position. Let’s compare Julio’s production over the last four seasons compared with some of his younger counterparts who are going near or ahead of him, mostly due to youth and potential.

Julio Jones:

2014- 104/1593/6, 299.3 PPR points (195.3 non)

2015- 136/1871/8, 371.1 PPR points (235.1 non)

2016- 83/1409/6, 259.9 PPR points (176.9 non)

2017- 88/1444/3, 250.4 PPR points (162.4 non)

Keenan Allen:

2014- 77/783/4, 179.3 PPR points (102.3 non)

2015- 67/725/4, 163.5 PPR points (96.5 non)

2016- 6/63/0, 12.3 PPR points (6.3 non)

2017- 102/1393/6, 277.3 PPR points (175.3 non)

Mike Evans:

2014- 68/1051/12, 245.1 PPR points (177.1 non)

2015- 74/1206/3, 212 PPR points (138.6 non)

2016- 96/1321/12, 300.1 PPR points (204.1 non)

2017- 71/1001/5, 201.1 PPR points (130.1 non)

Devante Adams:

2014- 38/446/3, 100.6 PPR points (62.6 non)

2015- 50/483/1, 104.3 PPR points (54.3 non)

2016- 75/997/12, 246.7 PPR points (171.7 non)

2017- 74/885/10, 222.5 PPR points (148.5 non)

 

As you can see, Allen and Evans have had one PPR season each better than Julio’s WORST PPR season over that timeframe. Adams has had ZERO. These are the three WR directly surrounding Jones in ADP. Evans is 1.11, Allen 2.01, Jones 2.03, and Adams 2.05. The production is not even close. Julio is clearly the superior WR. Dynasty owners are passing on a proven, huge production profile when they select Allen and Evans before Jones. I know Adams is going directly after on average, but I hear and read guys saying they have Adams over Jones. Frankly, Adams shouldn’t be anywhere close to Jones. He’s never even had 1000 yards or more than 75 catches. You have to ask yourself, is being 3-4 years younger (Evans turns 25 8/21/18) worth passing on such elite production? To me the answer is no. I like to look at dynasty thru no more than a three year window, and I have no reason to believe Julio will not be a perennial top-five contender over that time period. I’m now looking at Julio as the WR5 in dynasty, behind only OBJ, Hopkins, AB, and Michael Thomas. If you get a chance to buy at the current WR7 price I would encourage you to draft him. If the Julio owner in your league has concerns about his age or injury history, make them a trade offer today. You won’t regret it.

 

Dynasty ADP courtesy of DLF (Dynasty League Football) via @RyanMcDowell on Twitter

All NFL stats courtesy of ProFootballReference.com

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