Some fantasy football owners must have thought Jacoby Jones would be a good prospect this season. With Anquan Blodin leaving the Baltimore Ravens for the San Francisco 49ers, Jones was now the second receiving option for the Ravens. Jones only needed to stay ahead of rookie Marlon Brown and he should see plenty of targets. If your league awards special team yardage toward the individual (punts and/or kick returns) then Jones could have some value. After all, he did return a kickoff 108 yards for a monster touchdown in the Super Bowl.
On opening night, Jones called for a fair catch on a punt return and got bowled over by rookie teammate Brynden Trawick. An MRI shows that Jones is now out four to six weeks with a MCL sprain. Is he worth keeping on your fantasy football roster?
The Ravens figure to be a run first team. With Ray Rice and Bernard Pierce, they have one of the top rushing combinations in the league. Vonte Leech is a great fullback who is very good at opening holes for his running backs. All indications from Baltimore appear to show that their game plan will be to pound the rock, then look for Torrey Smith deep.
Jones had some fantasy value simply due to lack of options in the passing attack. Think of him as the antithesis to Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints. Instead of having one of the top passing quarterbacks of all time in a throw first scheme in Drew Brees, Jones has Joe Flacco. Flacco is certainly capable of hitting targets, but there is a reason he is owned in only 74 percent of Yahoo! leagues. It is because savvy owners recognize better options are out there. Instead of having to deal with a stable of quality receivers in New Orleans, the only competition Jones had for targets was Smith. Tight end Dennis Pitta is on the injured reserve; Ed Dickson and Dallas Clark are borderline tight ends at best.
The fantasy value of Jones is now tied directly to how Brown now performs until Jones returns. Brown had four catches for 65 yards and a touchdown in the opener, where Flacco targeted Brown on a few deep routes. Opposing defenses should be keying in on Smith and stopping Rice, which should leave Brown in single coverage situations. At 6’5” and 215 pounds, Brown has the size and strength to make defenders miss. If he can capitalize, the fantasy value of Jones will diminish. Before the Jones injury, my colleague Dan Abeshouse wrote a good piece on why Brown deserves the number two receiver spot. With Jones out, the job is Brown’s to lose at this point.
If Brown does well, Jones should be dropped down to the number three receiving option and return duties for the Ravens. If you wanted to grab the second option for Baltimore, now is the time to cut bait on Jones, and grab Brown, if he is still available in your league. Currently owned in three percent of Yahoo! leagues, he is worth picking up now. You will look like a fantasy genius when he goes off, and if for some reason he doesn’t, I can guarantee you that Jones will be available on the waiver wire in a month.
Read more from Dustin here.