Was Julio Jones Worth The 4th Pick?

Was Julio Jones Worth The 4th Pick?

Julio Jones was typically taken 4th in Fantasy Football drafts. Jones is on an Atlanta Falcons team that is currently preparing for a Super Bowl face off with the New England Patriots. The Falcons had an electrifying offense this season and took the league by storm. Many experts anticipated an implosion which never came, the Falcons are for real. Julio Jones is Matt Ryan’s favorite target, did he reward Fantasy Football GM’s who drafted him with the 4th pick?

2015 Performance

Julio Jones’ stock was high coming into the 2016 season due to a very strong 2015 season. The Atlanta wideout was the 3rd  non QB in terms of fantasy points in 2015. Jones was the 2nd ranked WR, putting up an impressive 237 fantasy points. Jones ranked 1st in yards and tied for 1st in catches.  Julio played all sixteen games was one of the truly elite fantasy talents of 2015. Jones is a bona fide number one receiver and has amazing chemistry with Matt Ryan. Julio’s amazing 2015 season set him as one of the highly coveted players going into 2016.

Jan 22, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) makes a catch against Green Bay Packers inside linebacker <a rel=

2016 Performance

So how did Julio fare in 2016? Julio was a very productive wide receiver but did not live up to the extremely high expectations fantasy owners placed on him this season.  Did Julio have a good year in terms of production at WR? He certainly did as he finished 6th in terms of WR fantasy points with 179 fantasy points. Julio did this even though he only played in 14 games. Julio finished with 83 catches, 1409 yards and 6 touchdowns.  In terms of regular football Julio was a beast, he finished 2nd in yardage in the entire NFL. The problem with his performance is how it actually measured up against his ADP.

EXPECTATIONS

Julio  was the 6th ranked WR and the 17th ranked Non QB based on fantasy points. If you drafted Julio with the 4th pick you were drafting him hoping he would repeat his 237 point performance. The 2016 season saw him produce 58 less fantasy points, 53 less catches, 470 less yards, and 2 less touchdowns.  Julio missed weeks 14 and 15 this season which was a hindrance to fantasy GM’s. Julio missed two out of three possible playoff games in an 8 team playoff format.

People who drafted Julio were hoping that he would have a monstrous season as he did in 2015. 2016 saw RB’s return to prominence with 8 RB’s outperforming the Top WR on the season. Julio did deliver in some ways as he did not have a completely terrible season, but he did not output anywhere near where the 4th pick should have performed.

Outlook

Hindsight is always 20/20 but I feel that a WR like Julio should be drafted more towards  the end of the first round. Julio has a huge upside and the potential to have a huge 2017 campaign. The reason I would drop him more towards the end of the first round is I believe there are running backs who pose a more sure thing in terms of point production. Julio Jones is a great player and his basement is very high, the only thing that could derail Julio from a solid season is injury.

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