Like Michael Jordan before him, Julio Jones is about to enter his own 'Last Dance'
Like most sports fans, a fixed part of my quarantine was pleasantly interrupted by The Last Dance. When I grew up in Chicago in the 90s, I indulged in nostalgia and was reminded of the indelible traces that Michael Jordan left in my youth. I knew then that what I saw was something special ... but I didn't fully appreciate the story that was made.
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Which made me think of the present. We are experiencing historical times without question. And we thirst for distraction. If the reviews attached to this year's NFL draft prove anything, Americans miss the sport. The only certainty about the upcoming football season is the passion that has sparked it in people.
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There are a million scenarios that could serve as many agendas and narratives. But an experienced player - one who has already issued a uniform in Canton - is generally exciting and shakes expectations and sets new records for the already explosive next generation.
We're on the edge of #PeakJulio.
Julio Jones is putting together his masterpiece
I know Calvin Ridley's fortune tellers are dampening, but listen to me. The hawks are an offensive powerhouse. This squad has reached the top 5 in passing games in two consecutive seasons. In 2019, Atlanta, led by OC Dirk Koetter, took first place in attempted passing games (684). The year-round exits by Mohamed Sanu, Austin Hooper and Devonta Freeman reveal over 200 looks. While Russell Gage, Hayden Hurst, and Todd Gurley see a good portion of these opportunities, the assumption that they will produce immediately contradicts the continuity argument. If anything, it's another feed for smashing a dynamic duo like Jones and Ridley. Simply put, the A has enough wealth for both recipients to publish the top 20 fantasy numbers.
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But what about Julio's age? He is 31 years old. There are real concerns about durability, right? Yes sure. Except that Julio hasn't missed a significant amount of time in the past six years (since 2013). He has been in the field for 47 competitions in the past three seasons and has only sat for one week in the past three campaigns. During this time, he was over 1,500 meters long on average and was among the top five FF producers in all three seasons. He was the fantasy WR3 in successive efforts.
I am not saying that the change of guard will not take place. We actually saw it happen between Roddy White and Julio in 2012. This year White had a 92-1,351-7 statistic and ended his eighth year in the NFL as WR9 of the imagination overall. In the meantime, Julio broke out, cleared just under 1,200 reception yards and ended his second effort as WR11 from FF. The difference is that Julio is a generation talent who recently signed a $ 66 million extension and is bound to the team by 2023.
We have seen wideouts have made careers in their tenth season. Do you remember Randy Moss' 2007? No, Matt Ryan is not Tom Brady, and there is no chance that Jones will find the end zone more than ten times, but that doesn't mean that he shouldn't deserve a top 4 exam. If there was ever a moment to prioritize Julio's talent and situation over Davante Adams 'theoretical bond or DeAndre Hopkins' physicality, it is NOW.
Jones has been a top 8 fantasy producer since 2014 and has had a season in which he pulled the second deepest targets (31) and an average of 2.82 yards per pass route (WR6). He joins his last dance campaign. History is made ... regardless of whether it's part of you.
Who are your favorite candidates for the last dance? Get involved with Liz on social @LizLoza_FF.
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