Julio Jones fantasy have been waiting patiently for the return of the star wide receiver. After his nine-catch, 157-yard game in Week 1, he was obviously limited in Week 2 against the Cowboys. After Jones returned from injury, Week 4 was poised to have a big game on Monday night, against a Green Bay defense that, up to this point, was 15th in points given up to wide receivers.
Julio Jones Injury
The Packers have a true shutdown cornerback in Jaire Alexander, ranking second among all corners by PFF going into the game. However, Julio found himself matched up more with Kevin King, an exploitable opponent.
Fantasy owners that were holding out hope of a vintage Julio performance were sorely disappointed, since there was yet another Julio Jones injury. Seen limping at the end of the second quarter, Julio was kept out in the second half for precautionary measures, after tweaking his hamstring. He wasn’t able to get open on deep passes downfield, lacking explosiveness. His main usage was on short routes, without much diversity in his usage.
Julio Jones Fantasy Performance
Going into Week 4, Julio was WR53 in PPR leagues. After his lackluster performance of 7.2 PPR points against the Packers, catching four passes for 32 yards on just four targets, that ranking will likely drop more. For a guy likely drafted in the first or second round, these stats are extremely underwhelming.
The Julio Jones injury is concerning, because his health has always been a problem. Add in his continued inability to find the end zone, along with a spectacular season from Calvin Ridley, and the alarm bells just might be going off for some Julio fantasy owners.
The main thing when it comes to Julio is going to be him getting healthy. He wasn’t the same receiver fans are used to seeing. With this atrocious Atlanta defense, which continues to keep losing players to injuries, game script will certainly benefit him as the season progresses. It’s also likely Atlanta will have a new coach sooner rather than later, so that could benefit his usage as well.
There is a long way to go in rewarding Julio fantasy owners for their early round selection, but he has plenty of time to do it. However, if he doesn’t get fully healthy soon, panic time could be sooner than people think, with Ridley stepping up.