On paper, Julio Jones landing via trade with the Titans may seem like a bad fit for his Fantasy value, but ultimately the opposite could be true. For starters, Ryan Tannehill has been a more efficient deep-ball thrower and overall QB than Matt Ryan since he landed with the Titans. The Titans are also an excellent system fit for Jones, who should be able to eat up the intermediate areas of the field on in-breaking routes with second level defenders forced to account for Derrick Henry. Speaking of Henry, that's one more skill player defenses will have to account for other than Jones than they did in Atlanta. Of course, quelling some of that optimism is the fact that WRs changing teams do at times struggle to acclimate immediately, and he'll have to start a rapport with Tannehill from scratch -- replacing a 10-year connection he developed with Ryan. Jones is a high-floor No. 2 receiver worth a pick between 30th and 40th overall in 2021 drafts.
You know about Jones’ injury issues. And those aren’t likely to go away now that he’s 32.
But Jones has also remained dominant when on the field, performing as a top-5 WR in terms of efficiency and fantasy production over the past 2 seasons.
The concern in Tennessee is volume. The Titans ranked 3rd-to-last in both pass rate and pass attempts last season. We’re expecting them to throw it more in 2021 -- but not nearly as much as Jones’ old team did. And with A.J. Brown on the other side of the field, Jones won’t dominate targets.
It leaves him as a lower-end WR2 -- albeit one with a lofty weekly ceiling.
Jones was traded to the Titans after spending his first 10 seasons with the Falcons. The trade comes after Jones' streak of six consecutive top-seven fantasy seasons came to an end in 2020. Injuries were, of course, the culprit, as Jones missed seven full games and the better part of two others (he missed a total of four the prior six seasons). The good news is that Jones was still dominant when healthy. In seven games he played in full, Jones posted a 45-700-3 receiving line and was fantasy's No. 3 WR. He posted a career-high 11.2 YPT, and he has now finished top-5 in YPRR in eight consecutive seasons. There are concerns, though, as Jones is 32 years old and likely to play second fiddle to A.J. Brown in Tennessee's run-first offense. Perhaps Jones has another elite season in the tank, but he's best valued as a mid-range WR2.
Jones was traded to Tennessee before the start of training camp. Now 32 years old, Julio Jones missed a significant number of games in 2020 for the first time since 2013. Jones was one of the most efficient receivers in the NFL last year on a per-target basis, well above the NFL average. Touchdown rate has been the lone roadblock to Jones posting even stronger production and last season was more the case with a 5.9% touchdown rate, one of the lowest of his career. Veteran maintenance days, iffy game statuses, and being managed in-game have become the norm for Jones in recent seasons. However, the ability to take over games remains present for Jones with 3-of-9 games last season of 135 or more yards. Availability, more than ability, is the watchword with Julio Jones for 2021. Also of concern is that Jones enters a low-volume passing offense that already has an alpha receiver in A.J. Brown. While Jones may still be impactful in an NFL sense, his fantasy viability is fading.