WR - TEN
Julio's now in Tennessee after being shipped off from Atlanta and he's walking into a huge opportunity in this offense. The Titans lost some key receiving weapons in free agency this offseason and Julio could be walking into a significant target share. While it might not be as much as it was in Atlanta due to the overall offensive philosophies and state of the teams, it's still going to be plenty enough to view Julio as a mid-range WR2. The injury concerns are still there, but we know that Jones is going to do everything he can to fight through them. He's worth selecting at his current ADP.
The public perception on Jones is that he's towards the end of his career, but that's simply not true. In fact, he averaged a career-high 11.3 yards per target during the 2020 season and was the WR13 in half-PPR points per game while ceding plenty of work to up-and-coming superstar Calvin Ridley. It'll be a similar situation in Tennessee, as Jones will now play alongside what might be the next generation's Julio Jones, and that's A.J. Brown. Similar to Atlanta, Jones and Brown are going to cap each other's truly elite ceiling, but as Jones and Ridley proved last year, it's certainly not out of the realm of possibilities that they're both top-12 wide receivers, especially when you factor in Ryan Tannehill's efficiency. Oh, and stop calling Jones injury prone - he's played at least 14 games in seven of the last nine seasons, and has totaled at least 1,394 yards in six of the last seven seasons. You don't do that if you're injury prone.
It was only a matter of time before Jones was dealt from Atlanta after he declared he wanted to leave, and he'll now play in one of the most efficient offenses in the game in Tennessee. Jones was limited to just nine games because of injury last season, but he still showed he's one of the best of the best, setting a career-high with an 11.3 yards per target mark, and again ranking near the top of the league in yards per route run, as he always does. He'll go from a pass-heavy offense to a run-heavy scheme, but there are a ton of targets available after the departures of Corey Davis, Jonnu Smith, and others. Add to that the improvement and efficiency in Tennessee's offense versus Atlanta's, and Jones should be a strong WR2, even if he plays second fiddle to A.J. Brown.
Jones was a Top-15 fantasy wide receiver when he played in 2020, averaging 13.4 fantasy points per game. The downside, he played only 9 games and he had only 120.6 fantasy points. He now joins a Tennessee team with A.J. Brown and a run-first philosophy. Jones will have some big games, but he is probably more of a WR2 due to durability concerns and offensive scheme.
After playing with one of the most inefficient passers in the league, Matt Ryan (hasn't finished better than 24th in True Throw Value 3 of the last 4 years), Jones now teams up with one of the most efficient passers of the last three seasons, Ryan Tannehill (finished top-2 in TTV l, on a team with the most vacated targets of any squad in the NFL. In two simple words: CHA-CHING.
For those worried about his production while sharing the field with A.J. Brown, Jones has shared the field with the likes of Roddy White, Tony Gonzalez and Calvin Ridley and it hasn't hampered his progress yet. In fact, the plethora of weapons in the passing game (not to mention Derrick Henry in the backfield) should open up even more space for Jones to run free.
Julio's trade to the Titans has some good and some bad. The good- the running of Derrick Henry will force teams to make a decision. Do we load up the box to stop the run or double Julio? If they load up the box Tannehill can call a play action and hit Julio on a post. The bad- the Titans were a run oriented offense. Maybe they open things up a bit with Julio in town. but that's not a given. Despite that potential hurdle, there should be plenty of shootouts in the AFC South. If Julio can stay healthy, I think he has a strong year. His current late 3rd round ADP seems cheap. He's still arguably the most talented WR in the NFL.
Tannehill has been hyper-efficient, but this still projects to be one of the more run-heavier offenses so long as Derrick Henry's around.
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