Julio Jones: Breaking Down the Falcons WR's Remaining Fantasy Matchups
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has been a fantasy football enigma in 2012—performing poorly at home and going bonkers on the road. Will that trend hold, or will Jones start playing up to his potential at home the rest of the way?
Jones and the Falcons have some enticing matchups coming up against some of lesser pass defenses in the NFL, so it's not inconceivable that Jones could finish the season on a monster run.
Follow along as we take a look at each of his remaining matchups and determine what to expect.
Week 13: New Orleans Saints
The last time Jones faced the New Orleans Saints, he was dealing with a sore hamstring and struggled for four catches, 75 yards and zero touchdowns.
Matt Ryan only targeted him six times in that game, and it was clear he was far from 100 percent.
The Saints are atrocious on defense, however, and Jones is healthier now than he's been in weeks, missing the team's injury report altogether.
Prediction: Jones will catch five-plus passes for 100-plus yards and at least one touchdown.
Week 14: @ Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers have tightened up what was at one time early this season one of the NFL's worst secondaries to become a competent pass-defending unit.
That said, the Panthers have allowed a couple of big games to big receivers lately—namely Demaryius Thomas in Week 10 and Vincent Jackson in Week 11.
And given the way Julio Jones has performed on the road this season, we should expect a huge performance from him in Week 14, even though the Panthers shut him down back in Week 4. After all, Jones' hand is just fine now, thank you.
Prediction: Jones will catch five passes for 100-plus yards and one touchdown.
Week 15: New York Giants
The New York Giants are as enigmatic as Julio Jones. One week the team is on fire at every position, and other weeks the players don't show up.
Recently, the Giants allowed Miles Austin to have a monster game in Week 8, and A.J. Green had a strong performance against them in Week 10. After a much-needed bye week, though, the Giants shut down Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers' potent passing attack.
Depending on which team shows up, Jones could be in for a big game or he could be shut down.
Prediction: Jones catches three passes for 75 yards and zero touchdowns.
Week 16: @ Detroit Lions
If Ndamukong Suh, Nick Fairley and Cliff Avril can continue playing at the same high level they've been playing the past weeks, Matt Ryan could be in for a long day in Week 16.
If Ryan gets protection, though, he will shred the sub-par Lions secondary, much like Matt Schaub did in Week 12. Andre Johnson went off for 188 yards in that game, and given the diversity and skill the Falcons have on the perimeter, Jones will find himself open on numerous occasions.
Prediction: Jones will catch eight passes for 120-plus yards and one touchdown.
Week 17: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Julio Jones just shredded the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12 to the tune of six catches for 147 yards (including one 80-yard touchdown bomb).
The Bucs feature the worst secondary in the NFL, giving up an average of 316 yards per game.
The only way Jones doesn't go off for another 150 and one touchdown is if the Falcons don't play their stars in preparation for the playoffs.
Prediction: Jones catches six passes for 120-plus yards and one or more touchdowns.