Put him IN THE GAME or Sit him ON THE BENCH (NFL week one)

This NFL season, I have teamed up with FantasyPros.com to continue giving you unique injury analysis that will give your fantasy team and edge on the competition.

Now that the NFL injury report has eliminated the designation of “probable”, the questionable tag will include players who are anywhere from 50 to 99-percent likely to play. With this new development you will definitely need to check here every week before locking your lineups to make sure that you don’t get burned by a player whose injury status you miscalculated. I will use a combination of Injury Science and my experience as a Doctor of Physical Therapy to give you a more precise prediction of whether you can trust these players on game day. My recommendations are primarily based on the injury facts as compared to the production projections. You will have to take it from there, with your decision to put him in the game or sit him on the bench.

To get my analysis on players like Andrew Luck, Julio Jones, Jordy Neslson, and more; click here


Last season I wrote a piece called Trade Julio Jones. I wrote it a day before the Atlanta Falcons took on the Washington Redskins in their 5th game of the season. From the time of that post through the end of the season (12 more games), Julio Jones on scored four touchdowns and only eclipsed the 100-yard mark in receiving six times. 

Considering that most people drafted Julio Jones in the first round last year, this is far from what you expect from your star fantasy wide receiver. Many of you who did not listen to my advice, likely loss your league solely because week after week Julio Jones gave you pedestrian statistics.

Now that I have taken two short paragraphs to say “I told you so”, I will double down by saying that you can’t trust Julio Jones on your fantasy team! If the world were to right itself and somehow he became a second or third round pick, then I would consider Jones as my receiver. Even with Jones limping into the season, most ranking still put him in the top three for wide receivers and nearly everyone who drafts him will draft him as their number one pick. I think this is insane for a player who I think is a lock to be hampered by injuries all season long. Some may be encouraged that Jones started every game last year, but I would contend that his health was at less than average for his position for about 75 percent of the season.

Injury Science continues to lead me to the belief that Julio Jones simply has too much Freaky Talent and has yet to find a way to harness his abilities so that they do not tear up his body. Julio Jones has a history of missing games with multiple hamstring injuries, bone fractures, hip pointers, and a number of minor lower extremity conditions that he has played through. The things that I have mentioned are only the main stream injuries that the public has access to, but who knows what other injuries he has that we don’t hear about. I am betting on an abbreviated season for Jones during which the Atlanta Falcons learn to diversify their targets to other wide receivers now that Roddy White has moved on and Mohamed Sanu has and Aldrick Robinson have moved in.

I am even more sure than I was last season when I said to trade Julio Jones despite him coming into the season with 478 yards and 4 touchdowns in his first four games. I don’t know if it will be the ankle, if it will be a hamstring or groin, or if he steps his injury game up to a more serious level this year; but I think it’s coming early this season and many Julio Jones owners will see their seasons flushed down the toilet.

Let me know what you think @DrPettyIRD

Trade Julio Jones!


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.