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The Rundown: Julio Jones and Rookie Tight Ends

Julio Jones

Julio Jones

Fantasy Douche recently made a great point about Jones: His ADP doesn’t account for his recovery from a significant foot injury. Since that article was written in mid-June, here’s what’s happened to Jones’ ADP:

julio

Alrighty then. His ADP has actually risen. Have we learned anything new about his foot since mid-June? Beat writer Vaughn McClure reports that the Falcons are “certain” he will regain his pre-injury form. That’s interesting, but how accurate is it? Would the team be honest at this point of the offseason if there were doubts? For that matter, things may be fine now, but issues may arise once the pads go on and the hitting starts. Fortunately for fantasy footballers, the Falcons are on “Hard Knocks” this year, so we may1 actually get some more insight than usual into his recovery. But that’s not until training camp. What justifies his rising ADP right now?

If you’re of a mind to look elsewhere, the ADP Arbitrage App has some suggestions.2

NAME SEAS OFF AGE WEIGHT GMS TRGS RECS YDS TDS recFPOP YPT ADP
Alshon Jeffery 2013 CHI 23 216 16 9.31 5.56 88.81 0.44 0.19 9.54 9
Pierre Garcon 2013 WAS 27 210 16 11.38 7.06 84.12 0.31 -0.12 7.4 13
Antonio Brown 2013 PIT 25 186 16 10.38 6.88 90.19 0.5 0.13 8.69 8

Pierre Garcon seems the least interesting, if only because of the new offensive coordinator and questions about DeSean Jackson (how many targets will he take?) and Jordan Reed (is he healthy?), Antonio Brown has been discussed favorably here and here, and of these three, he’s the one I’d take. But even so, he projects to score much less than a healthy Jones. Alshon Jeffery has long been a RotoViz favorite, but has a big question mark himself. On a small sample size, he performed much better without Jay Cutler than with him.

So if Jones has significant risk at his current ADP, and the three best options after him leave much to desire, my conclusion would be that Jones is, at least at the moment, a trap player. What to do? I’m not necessarily suggesting you avoid Jones. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into. If he’s fully healthy, he’s in the discussion for best wide receiver in the league, so getting him after Calvin Johnson, Demaryius Thomas, Dez Bryant, A.J. Green, and Brandon Marshall might actually be a bargain. But even so, there’s little or no room for error at his current ADP. Anything less than a high end WR1 fantasy season will be a disappointment.

If you decide to pass on Jones, the best move would be to acquire one of the aforementioned first round receivers instead. Pat Thorman makes an excellent argument for why you should do this, over at Pro Football Focus. If you’re drafting at the back of the first round and miss out on the big five WRs, it might be tempting to take a running back, but the Snake Draft App has a different suggestion: Take a Queen instead.

Rookie Tight Ends

That dynasty startup ADP information comes from the inestimable Ryan McDowell, whom you should be following if you aren’t already. In July, Eric Ebron is being drafted as the TE7, which seems a little rich, given the other two rookies may have higher long term upside. And in redraft he’s being drafted ahead of the following tight ends:

  • Charles Clay
  • Martellus Bennett
  • Dwayne Allen
  • Delanie Walker
  • Antonio Gates

Clay may be the best receiver in Miami, he is their most efficient, and he’s still cheap to acquire. Allen has looked better than Coby Fleener when healthy. Bennett isn’t a premier TE or anything, but he did play better with Cutler than without, so could have a good year if Cutler stays healthy. Delanie Walker thinks he’ll be a big part of the Titans’ offense, and the ADP free fall of Antonio Gates is rather mystifying.

But isn’t Ebron a great prospect? A lot of people think so. But in the past 24 years, only 19 rookie TEs have managed 40 or more receptions. Only four have managed more than 600 yards receiving, and only 12 have managed five or more touchdowns. One of those is teammate Joseph Fauria, who’s seven rookie season TDs ranks second only to Rob Gronkowski since 1990. In other words, don’t expect big numbers from Ebron this year.

At a position like TE where there is significant depth and streaming possibilities, it doesn’t make sense to invest much in Ebron- or any rookie TE–when a number of quality options exist later in the draft.

———-

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  1. Or may not.  (back)
  2. Alas, one is Josh Gordon, whom I removed from the table.  (back)

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