Let the wide receiver drama continue! As if the Antonio Brown debacle in Oakland wasn’t enough, Julio Jones has thrown his hat in the ring amongst disgruntled superstar wideouts.
No need to panic Falcons fans, as Jones has quickly backtracked on his previous statement.
While it is clear Julio Jones is looking to be paid what he believes he’s worth, it seems as if he’s taking the high road for now. What might be more concerning for fantasy owners is the “soreness” he may, or may not actually be having. Obviously all NFL players deal with injuries, but one has to question whether or not Jones is voicing this as an “out” if his contract woes continue.
If Jones does miss time, whether a holdout or injury, the Falcons would lose a top three wide receiver in football. While fantasy owners will be losing their first to second round pick. How must you go about replacing him?
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Falcons Fantasy Fallout
Matt Ryan takes a massive dip if Jones misses any time. Jones, who led the NFL in 2018 with 1,677 receiving yards has single-handedly made Ryan a viable option in fantasy over the years. Yet even with Jones in the lineup, Ryan’s statistical output will likely take a dip this season. Ryan coming off of a 35 passing TD campaign in 2018, has never followed up a 30+ season with more than 26 touchdowns.
Calvin Ridley, who has an ADP in the 5th round, should not be available in any fantasy league. If for some reason you are in a league with a bunch of out of touch cohorts, do everyone a favor and snag him up now.
Ridley led all rookies and all Falcons wideouts in receiving touchdowns a season ago, finishing tied for 5th in the NFL with ten. Ridley may not reach double-digit touchdowns this season, but he is destined to grow as a complete wideout. Ridley’s ability to line up out wide or in the slot matched with his elite route-running skills will allow him to be a team’s go-to option in the passing game. If Jones misses any time Ridley will work himself into low-end WR1 range.
While Ridley is owned in majority of leagues, chances are Sanu is hanging around the free agency pool. Sanu is what he is, he will never get you 1,000 yards reciving, nor double-digit touchdowns, but he’s as reliable as they come. Despite the addition of Ridley last season, Sanu accumulated the most receiving yards of his seven year career.
Out of all the players listed above, Hooper has the most to gain in fantasy circles. A lot of this has to do with the tight end position as a whole in the realm of fantasy. The other part of it is that Hooper had one of the quietest 70+ reception seasons I could think of. Hooper is a forgotten man to the masses, but has the ability to become a shoo-in TE1 this season.
Waiver Wire Adds
Anthony Miller, WR, Chicago Bears
This is a move you will have to make pronto, as Miller plays on Thursday night. Anthony Miller was many experts’ fantasy crush this season, and rightfully so. Miller who drew comparisons to Antonio Brown (for all the right reasons) coming out of college, is in line to be Chicago’s go-to guy in the passing game.
DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Denver Broncos
In 2018, from week 13 on, DeSean Hamilton became everything the Broncos thought Courtland Sutton would be when they traded away franchise mainstay Demaryius Thomas. Hamilton averaged over six receptions per game down the stretch for Denver. Hamilton has the makings of being a PPR stud.
DeeBo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers
Sign DeeBo now and reap the benefits later. DeeBo is not currently listed with the 49ers’ starters, but expect that to quickly change. Samuels is a menace with the ball in his hands and will quickly become Jimmy G’s best friend in San Fran.
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