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They're all football players.
They all scored a touchdown on Sunday.
They all scored more Fantasy points than Julio Jones on Sunday. Actually, they all had at least twice as many Fantasy points as Jones in non-PPR leagues.
On every Sunday there's a star receiver who will get shown up by under-the-radar receivers. Just the way things go in Fantasy. But Jones has been that receiver a lot — three times this season, to be exact. Sammy Watkins has outperformed Jones over three of the last four weeks. That's kinda weird.
The first thing you notice, obviously, is the lack of touchdowns. This is something we saw last year and figured it couldn't happen again. So far, we've figured wrong — Jones is 0-fer the end zone this season and has one score in his last 11 games if you include the postseason.
That makes him completely dependent on targets, catches and yardage, which is the second thing you'll note. There's no room to complain about the attention he gets — the 55 targets and 16.6 yards per catch is way ahead of where he was at after five games last year (37 targets, 14.7 yards per catch). However, his catch rate is down year-over-year from 68 percent to 62 percent. And, just like last year, zero touchdowns.
The deep ball is salvaging his stats because in five games he's caught 5 of 13 deep ball passes from Matt Ryan for 192 yards. That's nearly 35 percent of his entire 564-yard total on the season.
But the real crusher for Jones is hidden within his targets. Through five games, Jones has THREE red-zone targets and only TWO end-zone targets ... and they ALL came in Week 1.
Against the Steelers on Sunday, Jones had no deep targets to go along with no red-zone or end-zone targets. He didn't make his first catch until the fourth quarter.
"Definitely not by design," coach Dan Quinn said after the game. "[We want] to make sure he gets as many touches as we can in the game. He's one of our best and most explosive players so every game, we want him involved."
Meanwhile, the Falcons are averaging four red-zone drives per week.
Not giving Jones chances to make plays in the end zone is downright criminal. He's a giant at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, with quick feet and very good hands. Scheming up ways to get him in single coverage should be a weekly part of the Falcons game preparation! Meanwhile, Calvin Ridley has six touchdowns and Mohamed Sanu has two.
The law of averages would suggest that Jones, someday, will catch a football in the end zone. He might even experience some regression in his favor and come up with several of these seemingly foreign circumstances in continuous weeks. That would be nice. If only he could break his slump against a team that is known for allowing a bunch of numbers.
Lucky for Julio, that opponent is coming next week.
The last time he scored in the regular season came in a 12-catch, 253-yard, two-score game in a home showdown against the Buccaneers. In Week 6, he takes on the Bucs at home. Tampa Bay has allowed 13 passing touchdowns on the year, nine to receivers, and three to No. 1 types like Jones. If he can't make it happen next week ... well, that'll stink, but you're not going to trade him or bench him if you have him on your team.
After the Bucs, Jones takes on the Giants, Redskins, Browns, Cowboys and Saints, with a bye mixed in. You'll never sit Jones specifically, but most of those matchups seem good for Ryan. If he's not playing well, Jones' numbers are in the ol' commode.
Now is the time to try and get him on your team. That's right, the buy-low window on Jones is officially open. You've got the week — hound the person who has Jones in your league and make him an offer he can't refuse. It will probably take two solid starters to get attention in a deal, but it shouldn't take two superstars.
Remember when everyone freaked out over David Johnson being bad?
Hopefully the worst of Jones is over and the best is on the horizon.
Three big questions from Week 5
- Who are the best running backs in Green Bay and Seattle? Sadly, the coaches involved here don't have to pick a best back. Aaron Jones is the most talented one for the Packers, but Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery played more snaps against the Lions. Game flow was a factor ... The Seahawks fielded a running back with over 100 rush yards for the third week in a row, which is incredible given all the struggles they have had, but the one who hit the century mark (Chris Carson) didn't score -- but Mike Davis did. They'll go for four-in-a-row against the Raiders in London in Week 6 — they've allowed a 100-yard rusher in three games this season. Carson, who had an edge in playing time on Sunday, is the best bet here.
- Why is the only thing Amari Cooper and Corey Davis ever do consistently is break our hearts? These guys should be dominant No. 1 receivers. Instead, their targets fluctuate from week to week and they never quite earn our collective confidence. Marcus Mariota has been very flighty from week to week, while Derek Carr has plenty of targets to lean on. We often speak of boom-or-bust players — Cooper and Davis are two of them. Neither should be anything more than flex options next week, especially Davis since he's got a tough matchup against the Ravens.
- Seriously: Isaiah Crowell?!?!?! It never hurts to start a running back against a defense that got run on soundly (and was on the field for 70-plus plays) on Monday night and was on the road the following Sunday. The Jets were smart enough to take advantage of the situation, and Crowell had a career-high in rushing yards. Want the best news of all? Crowell and the Jets host the injury-plagued Colts next week. We could see another good game from him.
Three big waiver pickups for Week 6
- Alfred Morris (50 percent owned): Matt Breida figures to miss some time with an ankle sprain that forced him out Sunday. That means Morris should be the 49ers workhorse for the next few games. The Niners play at the Packers in Week 6 then host the Rams in Week 7 — two fairly tough, touchdown-dependent matchups. Doesn't matter — running backs with a workload like the one Morris is set to have are gold off waivers.
- Jameis Winston (48 percent owned): Two people in every league will need a quarterback next week when Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees go on bye. A few others might not have the stomach to start Andy Dalton or Joe Flacco. Winston will take on the Falcons, who have given up 27-plus Fantasy points in each of their last four games to the opposing QB. Winston would have to be a complete disaster to falter.
- Robby Anderson (38 percent owned): Anderson broke out with two deep scores and could get more in a Week 6 showdown against Indy's beat-up defense. He shapes up, for now, as plug-and-play flex starter with high upside, particularly in a week where we won't have any Lions or Saints receivers (and potentially no Brandin Cooks or Cooper Kupp, who both suffered concussions Sunday) available to start.