Julio Jones Fantasy Outlook Week 7: Long live our generation’s GOAT

Julio Jones might not be the dominant WR1 he once was, but he still has fantasy value in Week 7 despite his hamstring injury.

In case you forgot, Julio Jones is not only one of the best wide receivers of his generation, he’s one of the best to ever play the game of football. In his prime, Jones was as dominant as it comes on the football field. He perpetually made highlight-reel catches, putting defenders on posters with the way he would go up and snatch 50/50 balls and rip it away from them. Jones is no longer in that phase of his career, nor is he in a Falcons offense that has thrown the ball as much as any other team in the last decade. He is, however, still very good at football. Can you trust Jones in Week 7 for fantasy football, though, given his latest hamstring injury?

Julio Jones has a great matchup against the Chiefs

If you roster the 32-year-old receiver, you’re probably skeptical of playing him with the hamstring injury that he’s facing. However, injuries are nothing new for Jones.

Although he was listed as questionable, Jones is officially active for today’s game. He’s seemingly played through hamstring injuries every year of his career. If there’s one WR that I trust to play through such injury with no signs of ailment, it’s Jones.

The matchup against the Chiefs is a favorable one, with Kansas City allowing the sixth-most passing yards per game. This looks like a high-scoring affair, and Jones should be a part of that game plan. Yes, it’s risky, but Jones is at minimum a flex play this week during #Byepocalypse.

Julio Jones looked like his vintage self in Week 2

To the crowd that’s calling Jones washed up, we saw a vintage performance in Week 2 against the Seattle Seahawks. He caught 6 passes for a whopping 128 yards. As you can see, he is still capable of posting big stat lines. What we haven’t seen yet this year — in large part, because running back Derrick Henry is doing literally everything — is Jones reach the end zone.

It isn’t surprising, but that needs to change. Heading into this season, Jones was averaging 95.5 receiving yards per game, which is the most of any WR in league history. Furthermore, that’s 9.4 yards per game higher than second-place Calvin Johnson, who was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year.

Despite averaging the most receiving yards per game by a wide margin, Jones has 60 career-receiving touchdowns in 139 games. For context, Antonio Brown has 83 in 144 games.

Jones has thrived on volume and yardage over his career. His top-tier usage and performance in both areas are what led him to be a consistent WR1 in fantasy land. Now that he’s seeing less of both, he’s more of a flex option than anything.

There’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you have those expectations. In what looks to be a high-scoring game against the Chiefs, who are giving up a healthy 1.8 receiving touchdowns per game, Jones has an opportunity to put up a very solid day.

You can do a lot worse than Jones as a flex, or even WR2, option.

Jon Helmkamp is a fantasy football and NFL contributor for Pro Football Network. You can find him on Twitter: @JonHelmkamp and find more of his work here. Don’t forget to listen to the PFN Fantasy Football podcast and check out our free fantasy newsletter.