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Fantasy Football Today

Marvin Jones' chance for repeat hinges on coaches

By Larry Hartstein | CBSSports.com
Marvin Jones caught 12 of his 14 red-zone targets, nine of those grabs going for touchdowns. (USATSI)

Cincinnati's Marvin Jones came off the waiver wire last year to finish as the No. 21 Fantasy wideout. He did it thanks to a ridiculous touchdown percentage -- one of every five passes he caught went for a score.

Jones was the top red-zone performer among WRs last year, and it wasn't close. He caught 12 of his 14 red-zone targets, producing nine of his 10 touchdowns.

He won't repeat that touchdown percentage. No one can. And with the Bengals expected to run the ball more, there will be fewer targets to go around. But there's good news: Coaches seemed to finally grasp Jones is much better than Mohamed Sanu.

Jones' four-touchdown performance against the Jets in Week 8 woke up Cincy brass. Until that game Sanu dominated snaps as the No. 2 wideout. Then things evened out for a few weeks.

Over the final six games, including the playoff loss, Jones played 226 snaps to Sanu's 196. Jones ran 145 pass routes to Sanu's 123. (All stats per Pro Football Focus).

For the season, Jones (6-2, 195) averaged 14 yards per catch compared to Sanu's 9.7. Jones broke or avoided 13 tackles to Sanu's five. Jones dropped three passes, Sanu six. Jones is faster, more acrobatic, with better hands.

Dave Richard drafted Jones in the 10th round of our most recent mock draft, describing him as a matchup play. Jones is 42nd and rising in Richard's rankings, 43rd in Jamey Eisenberg's and 50th in Nathan Zegura's.

Nearly everyone projects Jones as the No. 2 receiver. He'll line up opposite A.J. Green and feast on single coverage. But right now that's just a projection. There's been no confirmation from coaches.

For Jones to have a chance at repeating his success, Marvin Lewis and new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson must accelerate the trend begun at the end of last season, when Jones clearly usurped Sanu.

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