My objectives are to analyze players injuries and injury probability and keeping you informed. This season seems to have started with a lot of big names on the sideline and when I look back at my SEP Reliability ratings, many of the injuries that have occurred are not that surprising. Although I am currently attempting to find better ways to analyze these players, there is one player that is making headlines that I feel is about to fall of a cliff. Obviously by the title of this post you know that the player is Julio Jones.
Julio Jones earned a SEP Rating of 87 which put him in the bottom half of my “Most Reliable Receivers in Fantasy Football”. I have labeled Julio “Freaky Talented” for years and the only bad thing about most of the “Freaky Talented” athletes is that their bodies usually can not withstand their talent level for long. Julio has the dreaded hamstring injury that I think we all hate hearing about a player that we are invested in. Reports also state that he has a toe injury but it is unclear what exactly the toe injury is as the details only state that it is not turf toe, and that the injury is on the top of his toe. Neither of these seem to be season threatening injuries as a hamstring injury should generally heal in 3 weeks if managed well. As for the toe injury, I am speculating, but knowing it is not involving any of the flexors on the bottom of the foot/toe which have to be stretched for any push-off activity would let me breathe easier, as many of the injuries that occurs on the top would likely be more of a pain issue rather than performance limiter. Even though these may not be serious injuries, I can guarantee you that the rehab protocol for either of the injuries does not include 20 targets per game for the next 12 plus games.
When I assessed the wide receivers, I estimated that Julio would miss about 4 games. However, now that I see how Kyle Shanahan and the Atlanta Falcons are using Julio Jones; I would probably bump that estimate up by a game or so. I do not believe Julio’s body could have tolerated a normal volume of usage, but now he is the 2014 DeMarco Murray of wide receivers. Murray did prove me wrong last year despite breaking his hand, but I doubt Julio Jones will do the same. As crazy as it sounds, I would start looking for trade partners now for Julio Jones. At this very moment you can probably get anyone in return for Julio, but in the next week or two when he shows the world that his body will not withstand the combination of too much talent and too many targets; you may be stuck with a receiver who will win big for you when he plays but keep you on the waiver wire every week. At the very best I see Julio Jones either being on the injury report every week for the rest of the season, taking a few games off to heal his injuries, or seeing a significant dip in his production. None of these scenarios are good for fantasy owners who likely spent a first round pick for a player that may not be able to help do more than get off to a fast start.
So my advice is trade Julio Jones now! Make sure you get at least 2 starters in return and watch your league marvel at your timing when he falls off the cliff.