The Atlanta Falcons just can’t seem to catch a break at wide receiver. Roddy White has been dealing with a high ankle sprain all season and he left last night’s game with a hamstring issue. Then came today’s extremely unfortunate news that Julio Jones could be lost for the rest of the season with a foot injury.
From a fantasy perspective, Jones’ injury is a crushing blow to many teams. Jones has been one of the top receivers in football this season, catching 41 passes for 580 yards and 2 TDs. Even if Jones doesn’t miss the rest of the season, it appears he will at least miss a few weeks. It will be difficult for the Falcons and fantasy owners alike to replace Jones, but they might have some luck with his backup.
Harry Douglas has been the Falcons’ third receiver for a few years now, and the fifth year man has 16 receptions for 219 yards in the first five games. Douglas has only received 5.4 targets per game, but with White still banged up and Jones potentially out, that number will increase dramatically.
The Falcons only have the NFL’s 25th ranked rushing offense, and even Steven Jackson’s return won’t change the fact that this team’s highest priority is throwing the ball. They currently rank 3rd in the league in passing, and they know their best chance to win is by airing it out. Teams will know that Tony Gonzalez is Matt Ryan’s favorite target, and they will try to force him to go elsewhere. With the injuries to White and Jones that second option will be Douglas, and that alone gives him flex value.
The Falcons are on their bye this week, so it remains to be seen if White can get healthier and if Jones’ injury is not as severe at it appears. However, it is unlikely that either will be at full strength in the near future, and Ryan needs someone to throw the ball to in the meantime. Douglas is worth a speculative add for anyone that could use some receiver depth, and Jones owners in particular should make the move.
There are not a lot of great options at wide receiver on the waiver wire, so make you sure take advantage of the opportunity to grab Douglas, because his value is about to increase dramatically.