Lawrence Brooks

Smart Fan: The Julio Jones Effect


juliojones3Smart Fan

Welcome to Smart Fan where it’s more than yelling blank statements at players and screaming at front office management.

For many years football has been about having a strong running game, and it has also translated into the fantasy football world.  If you take a peek around the corner things might be starting to slowly change.  Looking into the operations of the Atlanta Falcons in a way of what I would like to label “The Julio Jones Effect.”  The Falcons have been a “run first” football team led by their dynamic bruiser of a running back Michael Turner.  In 2008, Turner’s first year with the Falcon he had 1,699 yards rushing to go along with 376 carries.  His support was much needed to help bring along a young rookie QB Matt Ryan.  As Matt has matured on the field, and garnered more weapons, the reliance on Michael Turner and the running game has steadily declined. An injury riddled 2009 campaign doesn’t fully justify his decline.  However in 2010 Turner’s carries dropped by 40 from his 2008 year, and his touchdowns took a dip as well.   Having a stud receiver in Roddy White, and a legend of a tight end in Tony Gonzalez, the Falcons have been wanting there aerial attack to get a little more potent. 

That is where the drafting of Julio Jones comes into play.  The Falcons have wanted to get another dangerous weapon in the passing game to take pressure off Roddy White and Michael Turner.  Julio Jones is a physically imposing and explosive wideout standing at 6’3 220lbs., ready to pop the top off any defense in the NFL. He is a gifted receiver with tremendous hands, breakaway speed, and the ability to break tackles.   His outstanding physical gifts were on display at the draft combine by running a 4.39 in the 40yd dash to go along with 38.5in vertical.  His Broad jump was tops at the combine at 135.0 which shows his physical superiority.  The Falcons pulled off the shocker of the draft by moving up from the #27th pick in the draft to select him with the #6 pick. (clearly wanting more weapons for Matt Ryan’s arsenal)

The alterations the Falcons have made this offseason makes one thing clear (MORE PASSING)!  As a result this will mean less carries for Michael Turner, but at the same time may make him more efficient and possibly raise his per carry average (which took a drop as well).  Fantasy football has relied heavily upon running backs but with the league becoming more adept to passing it is essential to choose your running backs wisely. Receivers are quickly becoming a hot commodity in the NFL as well as the Fantasy Football world.  Fantasy Football Owners beware, “ The Julio Jones Effect” isn’t only happening in Atlanta.

Comments: