Somehow the NFC South managed to acquire two of the top wide receivers in the NFL and in fantasy football. Julio Jones and Michael Thomas have finished as two of the top 5 fantasy wide receivers for the last 2 seasons, a trend that is going to continue. However, those of you drafting early in the first round will likely be forced to pick one of these two; and one pick stands out the most to me.
Last season Julio Jones finished as the WR4 in full point PPR with 325.8 points. Consistency was not an issue for Jones as he only had one game below 10 points. The shocking stat is that Julio was able to finish as the WR4 without scoring a touchdown in the first 7 weeks, as he scored all 8 touchdowns in the remaining 9 weeks. With the production Jones receives right now, it may seem like there is little room for improvement, but because the new addition of Dirk Koetter as the offensive coordinator, I don’t agree. Julio will be getting more targets on better routes and more touchdowns. The Falcons finished 5th in total team pass plays and with the addition of Koetter, it will only go up. In the last two seasons, Koetter led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finish 4th and 5th in team pass plays. I am in love with Julio Jones this year; I predict this will be one of his biggest seasons.
With a scorching hot start to the 2018 season, it seemed inevitable that Thomas was going to finish as the WR1 in fantasy. Unfortunately, Thomas finished as WR6 in full point PPR with 315.5 fantasy points. Although a WR6 finish looks great on paper, his per game scoring basis scares me away from drafting him as my WR1. Out of the 315.5 full point PPR points, Thomas scored, 93.8 came in the first 3 weeks. This is a red flag when deciding on who to spend an early pick on. In terms of consistency, Thomas was on the opposite end of things than Jones as he finished with 4 games lower than 10 points. He was able to counter those low scoring games with 5 games over 27, but as an experienced fantasy player, I do not want to risk my season on those big play games every week. The Saints also finished 29th in team pass plays, and I do not see that rank wavering
This decision is a no brainer to me if you couldn’t tell. If I am sitting at the 2.02 overall pick and I am being forced to pick between Julio or Thomas, I will be selecting Julio Jones with no regrets. To me, Julio provides the more consistent point range every week, and he has a better chance to finish as the overall WR1. Dirk Koetter loves to throw the ball all over the field and has never had the chance to work with a guy as talented as Julio Jones.