Julio Jones: Atlanta Falcons WR Is a Must-Start vs. Chargers in Week 3

Patrick Clarke@@_Pat_ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 23, 2012

Sep 9, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) scores a touchdown on a catch against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-US PRESSWIRE

Despite playing with a banged-up thigh, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones will be one of the top fantasy performers in Week 3.

That's why the second-year stud is a must-start against the San Diego Chargers this Sunday afternoon. Jones is listed as probable for Week 3 with a thigh injury, according to the Atlanta Falcons' official team website

Expect Jones to not only suit up this weekend, but also make plays in the passing game. 

Need some reasons? 

Take a look at why the playmaking WR should be starting for your team in Week 3.


San Diego's Iffy Secondary

Although the Chargers have gotten off to a fast, 2-0 start this September, their pass defense hasn't been the sole reason. San Diego currently ranks 22nd in the league in receptions allowed, giving up 47 in two games.

The Chargers also rank just 14th in receiving yards allowed. San Diego has surrendered slightly over 235 receiving yards per game through the season's first two weeks. Kansas City, the team that Jones had more than 100 yards and two touchdowns against in Week 1, ranks right behind the Chargers in 15th. 

Sure, San Diego has been dominant defensively this season, but their success defending the run has not translated to phenomenal play in the secondary. 


Sleeping Giant

After catching just four passes for 14 yards on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos in Week 2, Julio Jones is flying under the radar coming into this weekend, and will no doubt see less attention than fellow wideout Roddy White in Week 3.

Jones hasn't had a game as poor as last week's since last November and still has the benefit of being a highly-targeted player. Jones' 16 targets through the first two weeks this fall are second only to Roddy White on the Falcons team.

Expect the sleeping giant that is Julio Jones to awake on the road this Sunday against the Chargers. After all, he can't have back-to-back no-show weeks.


Scorching Matt Ryan

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan has been playing superb football through the season's first two weeks, and is the biggest reason why the Falcons are 2-0 heading into their Sunday showdown with the Chargers.

Ryan will be the guy responsible for feeding Jones the ball in Week 3, and fantasy owners should feel confident that No. 2 will find his guy early and often in San Diego. Ten of Ryan's 47 completions have gone to Jones, and two of his five touchdowns as well.

Ryan is boasting a passer rating above 117, the best of any quarterback in the league coming into this weekend. 


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