Julio Jones or Odell Beckham Fantasy: Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Debate

Getty Falcons Julio Jones and Browns Odell Beckham Jr.

Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. are no doubt in the conversation for top receivers in the NFL.

The explosive pass-catchers have nine Pro Bowl selections between them and are routinely making highlight reel grabs to get fantasy owners on their feet.

But there are questions around both stars as the season kicks off in full this weekend, with Beckham hindered by a hip issue and Jones leaving some questions about his contract issues.

Here is some advice on both the wide receivers and if who to choose if you have to decide between the two.

Odell Beckham Has Solid Matchup With Titans, But Not ‘Full Speed’ for Browns Debut

Beckham missed the preseason and a good chunk of training camp dealing with a hip injury that he said has kept him from opening up fully.

“Especially with what I’ve had going on, I’ve been kind of afraid to just open up,’’ Beckham told reporters on Thursday. “It’s something that hinders me from fully sprinting as fast as I can. I’d rather get to Sunday and open up than be running around and hinder myself before the game.”

Injuries have hampered Beckham the last few seasons, with him missing a combined 16 games with a quad injury and fractured ankle.

Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said during his Friday press conference that Beckham is “ready to go.” He responded to a question about OBJ being on a pitch count by saying “he’s going.”

Beckham is expected to have a big year catching balls from second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield, who likes to go downfield — something Beckham begged for while he was in New York.

In just 13 starts, Mayfield passed for a rookie record 27 touchdowns last season. He also collected 3,725 passing yards and helped the Browns finish 7-8-1, winning five of their final seven games.

Before being traded to the Browns in March, Beckham hauled in 390 passes for 5,476 yards and 44 touchdowns in 59 games with the New York Giants. He made the Pro Bowl three-times and has said that he wants to catch Jerry Rice on the all-time receiving yards list.

The matchup against the Titans could be an exploitable one. As ESPN notes, the Titans allowed the ninth-most yards and 12th-most yards per catch to wideouts.

Beckham is a firm start for Week 1 and is within the top five options for WR1.

Julio Jones Says He’s Ready to Go for Falcons Against Vikings

Jones has been looking for a lucrative long-term extension from the Falcons, which didn’t come this offseason. There were whispers that he could miss Week 1, but Jones quickly shut that down.

“What I’m trying to do right now is be ready,” Jones said Thursday. “It’s not like if I’m going to play or if I’m not going to play. I’m trying to be out there regardless, coming back from injury, things like that. But the ultimate thing is just being ready when my number is called. Simple.”

Like Beckham, Jones sat out most practices and the entire preseason while recovering from a foot injury. He was limited on Thursday for practice but returned to being a full participant on Friday.

Jones will tangle with two-time Pro Bowl corner Xavier Rhodes. The Vikings defense allowed just 59 yards per game to an opposing team’s top wideout in 2018 but Jones is as close to matchup proof as possible.

He led the NFL in receiving yards with 1,677 yards last season and went over 100 yards 10 times last season. He had just one touchdown through the first seven weeks of the season, but had a TD in each of the final four weeks.

Jones is an obvious start if you have him. However, if you haver to decide between the two, Beckham seems like the safer bet in the Browns downfield offense against a lesser secondary.

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