The exact details are still a bit murky and the team is seeking a second opinion, but it appears that the best case scenario still includes missed time for the Dirty Birds’ top pass catcher, putting the struggling Falcons in a tough spot and your fantasy team in an equally difficult position. Atlanta’s passing game will likely become very dependent on Roddy White, who didn’t look extremely healthy last night against the Jets, with an increased focus on the running game once Steven Jackson returns to action. If you’re looking for a direct player to step into Jones’ spot, Harry Douglas (under 5 percent owned in ESPN and Yahoo! fantasy leagues) should see the greatest jump in value. He is averaging over five targets per game this season, putting him well on pace for a career best season, even before this injury.
If you’re looking to jump ship on the Falcons’ sinking season, you’re probably not looking to replace Jones with another member of this pass game. If that’s the case, here are a handful of players owned in less than 50 percent of ESPN and Yahoo! leagues that are worth a look if this Jones injury does, in fact, cost him the rest of the 2013 season.
Jeremy Kerley, New York Jets (3.6 percent owned in ESPN leagues, 10 percent in Yahoo!): With Santonio Holmes out for the foreseeable future, Kerley could very well be the Jets’ top receiver for the remainder of the season. His targets have increased each week, and will only gain fantasy value as Geno Smith gains comfort.
Cordarrelle Patterson, Minnesota Vikings (5.0 percent owned in ESPN leagues, 17 percent in Yahoo!): The probable quarterback change in Minnesota simply cannot hurt the value of any Viking pass catcher. Assuming (and financially, this is going to happen) Josh Freeman takes over, the upside is even greater for the rookie WR. Freeman played a big role in the breakout of another 6-foot-2, 210-plus pound young receiver in Mike Williams, and with the Minnesota run game, he should have single coverage to work with.
Robert Woods, Buffalo Bills (10.3 percent owned in ESPN leagues, 31 percebt in Yahoo!): I wrote about my love for the Bills rookie earlier this week, and he has the upside you’re looking for if you want to replace your fantasy WR1. He has a very favorable schedule when the fantasy playoffs come around, so if you can piece it together until then, Woods could help soften the long term impact of losing Jones.
Kyle Soppe is always happy to provide fantasy answers @unSOPable23