Make it stop. Just… please make it stop.
Injuries continue to madden fantasy owners this season, but especially the Atlanta Falcons. First it was running back Steven Jackson, but he will likely be back in Week 7. However, now, the Falcons may have suffered the biggest blow of the 2013 NFL season.
Jay Glazer of Fox Sports just recently reported that wide receiver Julio Jones (foot) is likely out for the rest of the season. He stated that Atlanta will look for a second opinion, but it is not an optimistic situation for the Falcons.
Initial diagnosis is that Julio Jones season is over. Falcons sending him for 2nd opinion but they are pessimistic
— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) October 8, 2013
This is a massive blow to a 1-4 Falcons team that had already been struggling immensely. Of course, fantasy owners are crying themselves to sleep too, as they lose the number two wide receiver in all of fantasy football through the first five weeks. So, while this news obviously hurts Jones’ owners, what does it do for the other Atlanta players?
As for quarterback Matt Ryan. this definitely hurts his value. Prior to this injury, Jones was the only Falcons receiver that could consistently create separation, but it would be difficult for Ryan to find him at times because of the struggles with the offensive line. With Roddy White still ailing, it will be a few more weeks until he is 100 percent, so don’t expect him to get open as easily as Julio had been doing. Of course, the offensive line struggles were the main concern, but now that Julio is sidelined, Ryan is barely a top-10 fantasy signal caller for the rest of the season. What is keeping him in the top-10 is the fact that Atlanta’s defense is looking so atrocious, that Ryan should still see a significant amount of volume, and he does still have mister reliable, Tony Gonzalez. Don’t expect last year’s numbers, folks. This is just adding injury to insult.
And what about Roddy? Assuming he stays on the field, he will clearly be the number one receiver in the passing game. I think owners should quickly try to buy him low. Perhaps White owners are worried that he won’t ever be 100 percent healthy, so I would advantage of that. He is still one of the more talented wideouts in the game, and considering the Falcons are going to be throwing the ball quite a bit, there is still upside here. Harry Douglas will also see a bump in usage. He’s shown some signs, but will likely be heavily utilized in the intermediate passing game. Offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter loves to dial up different variations of screen passes, and I’d be shocked if Douglas didn’t see some of those looks. He is definitely worth a roster add. And, of course, Gonzalez is still Gonzalez, but will likely even see more of an uptick in targets.
This truly is horrible news, not only for fantasy, but for football in general. Jones was really hitting his stride this season, and could easily be one of the best receivers in football.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.