The most disappointing performance among fantasy football wideouts last season was easily from Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones. He was pegged by many to have a breakout season, but he eventually was forced to sit out the year following a foot injury. Regardless, though, expect him to still come off the board very early this summer.
Jones has quickly become QB Matt Ryan’s favorite downfield threat. The wideout has caught 20 touchdowns in 35 career games and has averaged 80.5 receiving yards per game. He has proven to be a legitimate WR1 in all formats and will certainly be drafted as such again this year.
Veteran WR Roddy White will also be returning to Atlanta’s offense after an injury-plagued 2013 campaign. White’s mere presence on the other side will give Jones more room to operate, and as a result, Jones will hardly ever see a true double-team.
Despite all the attention, Jones has never had a true breakout fantasy season. He has never caught more than 10 touchdowns in single season and he hasn’t eclipsed the 1,200-yard mark either. He may be ranked within the top-10 wideout each fantasy season, but he has yet to actually finish the year as a top-10 WR.
Jones missed almost the entire season with two broken bones in his foot. He was injured during a MNF game and was eventually forced to miss the rest of the year. The injury will cause his draft stock to take a slight hit and the former Pro Bowler could easily wind up falling into the third round.
Even worse, foot injuries tend to linger for years. The injury could very well impact his numbers throughout the 2014 season and cause the wideout to struggle early on during the upcoming season.
Jones will be an elite fantasy wideout once again this season and will anchor many fantasy lineups in the process. Look for him to easily finish with over 1,200 yards and 10-plus touchdowns in a true bounce back season.
Bye Week: 9
Projected Round: 2
Auction Value: $38