Even though he is the best receiver for his new team, is James Jones worth drafting in your 2014 fantasy football league?
He is fully healthy after a leg injury from last season, but Jones will not find himself receiving passes from one of the best quarterbacks in the league anymore. Instead, the 30-year-old receiver will catch passes from turbulent Matt Schaub. He will be the best receiver on the team, but he will be playing with a slapped-together offense of former relevant players.
While Jones has been in the NFL since 2007, he has not been very fantasy relevant throughout his career. He has never recorded more than 817 receiving yards, and he only has four seasons with five or more touchdown catches. His biggest year came in 2012, when he was the recipient of 14 touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers. While he has been a steady option for the Packers’ offense, he does not have the speed to burn past defenders, nor does he have the size at 6-foot-1, 200 pounds, to be considered a large end zone target.
The biggest obstacle Jones faces in having a fantasy relevant season is how his quarterbacks will play. Schaub was unable to lead the Houston Texans on his own after Arian Foster was sidelined for the season last year, and if Schaub falters, rookie Derek Carr will be forced to lead the team. Jones could easily become the security blanket for either quarterback, but that isn’t saying much.
The second obstacle Jones will face is how often the Oakland Raiders plan to run the ball. If Maurice Jones-Drew can revive his career, the Raiders will rely heavily on their new running back, and Darren McFadden could work his way into the mix.
With a shaky quarterback situation and a history of play that has never resulted in many significant fantasy seasons, I am passing on Jones. As a a last-round pick or a bye-week filler, Jones could be useful. He won’t do much for your roster, however, and he has little upside to earn a roster spot.