Julio Jones Signs with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
On the day NFL training camp kicks off around the league one of the few remaining “big name” NFL free agents has finally found a home with Julio Jones reaching an agreement to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this season.
For many, our fantasy football player rankings have been set with the idea that Jones would eventually sign with a team and while the fantasy football player projections for Jones will likely have to be altered given his new landing stop where he now gets to play Tom Brady, there are still plenty of questions that need to be answered when it comes to just how valuable will Julio Jones be this season. As we start to dive into fantasy football draft season, it's time to evaluate his current ADP and determine whether he's worth the likely attention he is going to receive heading into the year.
Julio Jones Stats & Injury History
Listen, few will ever question the production of Julio Jones during his prime years with the Atlanta Falcons. From 2014-to-2019 he averaged 103.8 receptions for 1,564.7 yards and 6.2 touchdowns per season over 15.3 games. Jones twice lead the league in receiving yardage, totaling 1,871 yards in 2015 and 1,677 yards in 2018. He also lead the league in receptions in 2015 with 136 and three times lead the league in receiving yards per game (2015, 2016, 2018).
Unfortunately, at 31 years old, the 2020 season began the spiral of injury woes. Jones played in just nine games in 2020 due to a hamstring injury which he first suffered in Week 2 before twice reinjuring himself in separate comeback attempts that season. Jones finished the season with just 51 receptions for 771 yards and three touchdowns.
In 2021 he found himself traded by the Falcons to the Titans where he once again suffered a hamstring injury, this time in Week 3. Jones appeared in just 10 games for the Titans, suffering injuries to his hamstring in separate comeback efforts. He finished with just 31 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown over those 10 games.
The recent injury track record is something that many fantasy football managers are worried about and will be one of the major topics of discussion when it comes to evaluating him over the next few weeks as we head into the NFL season.
What To Expect From Julio Jones For The 2022 Fantasy Football Season
When it comes to landing spots for Julio Jones this offseason it is hard not to like the idea of him playing with Tom Brady. Sure, there may have been other options where Jones was a bit higher on the target totem pole like Green Bay but Brady has had a knack for getting the most out of players who still may have some juice left in them.
We should presume that Jones is currently healthy, without any hamstring ailments at the present being and if that is the case then the interest in Jones for fantasy football should be heating up.
Of course, how long will Jones stay healthy is the question and one posed by our own Howard Bender.
Currently, for the month of July, based off ADP we see Jones coming off the board around pick 221 where he is currently WR82. That number is for sure going to be on the rise and quick now that he is on a roster and that roster happens to include Tom Brady.
That being said, this is still a team where Mike Evans and Chris Godwin are going to be ahead of him on the depth chart and for those worrying about Godwin and his comeback from his torn ACL, don't be as Godwin was active for the start of training camp today.
With Evans and Godwin firmly planted ahead of Jones, there is still a potential reason for optimism and that example stems from the success Antonio Brown had in this Buccaneers offense while sharing targets with not only Evans and Godwin but Rob Gronkowski as well. For as big of a disaster Antonio Brown was, he was still wildly productive when on the field, finding himself on pace for nearly 100 catches and 1,100 yards over a 17 games season. Tom Brady lead the league in pass attempts and passing yards in 2021 and there is little reason to think he won't be among the league leaders when it comes to throwing the football here in 2022 as well.
If Jones can manage to stay healthy for an entire season the value is certainly going to be there at his current draft spot and for that reason, he is likely going to find his way on the draft boards of many over the next few weeks.
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