Draft Zone: 4th Ranked Wide Receiver – Falcons Julio Jones

Atlanta Falcons Julio Jones is the 4th ranked wide receiver in this year’s 2013 fantasy draft standings. With an Average Draft Position (ADP) of 18, he’s likely to be taken sometime in the second round of most fantasy drafts.

Last season was Jones’ best so far, as he recorded 79 receptions for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was known in the football world as a monster deep threat, often making highlight reels for amazing acrobatic catches downfield. Throughout the season, he recorded 17 receptions for 20 or more yards and 5 receptions for 40 or more yards.

What went under the radar was Jones’ success in the short passing game. Among wide receivers, Jones ranked 7th in the NFL in receptions behind the line of scrimmage. He also placed 11th in the league with a total of 497 yards after the catch.

Surprisingly, the electric Jones was only the second most targeted receiver on the team with 129 targets. He trailed the team’s leading receiver Roddy White who was targeted 143 times. As Jones is much younger, faster, and more explosive, the presumption is that he will eventually become the team’s true “number one” target.

Don’t be surprised to see that happen this season, as White has recently suffered an ankle injury that will keep him out for the rest of the preseason. If this impacts his regular season play, Jones can expect get an even greater share of team targets. This could very likely launch Jones to that 1,300+ yard mark that White has achieved multiple times in previous years.

Whether White is injured or not, Jones is looking at another great season. He should record in the neighborhood of 1,200-plus receiving yards and 8-plus touchdowns. Don’t be afraid to draft him, you’ll be pleased with Jones as your number one receiver.

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