James Jones' Fantasy Trade Value, Outlook Heading into Week 2

Kyle NewportFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2013

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JANUARY 12:  Wide receiver James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers catches a touchdown pass thrown by quarterback Aaron Rodgers #12 in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers during the NFC Divisional Playoff Game at Candlestick Park on January 12, 2013 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones is due for a strong showing in Week 2 after getting blanked in the 2013 season opener, so fantasy football owners shouldn't overreact and trade him away.

Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns, but he did not deliver the ball to Jones at all against the San Francisco 49ers.

Week 1 is always a time for fantasy owners to overreact. They tend to grab players who had breakout games and drop those who had disappointing performances. Receiver production is always especially tough to predict, so don't overreact based on the first week.

Greg Jennings is no longer in Green Bay, so Rodgers is going to be looking for Jones to be a crucial piece of the receiving corps this season. The quarterback has always involved each of his receivers in the offense, and one game won't define Jones' season.

For starters, the 29-year-old led the league in touchdowns last season with a whopping 14. While he only had 784 receiving yards on 64 catches last year and had two games without positive yardage, he still put up productive numbers at the end of the season.

Jones had nine games with at least 50 receiving yards last season. He also had nine games with at least one touchdown and four games with multiple scores. The receiver is capable of going off in any given week, and Rodgers has the arm to get him the ball.

Last season Jones went back-to-back games with fewer than 40 yards only once. He is going to bounce back with a good game against Washington, so give him some time to be productive before selling.

Rodgers was busy throwing to Randall Cobb (12 targets) and Jordy Nelson (10 targets) in the opener, as Jones finished with just two targets. But look for him to spread the ball around even more in Week 2.

Green Bay's opponent this week, the Washington Redskins, were torched through the air against the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night. The Eagles went up 33-7 shortly after halftime but took their foot off the gas. Michael Vick completed only one pass in the final 28 minutes of the game as Philadelphia tried to run out the clock.

Vick's overall passing numbers don't look great, as he had 203 yards (most of which came before halftime) and two touchdowns through the air. If Vick and the Eagles were able to exploit Washington's defense, Rodgers will have a great day.

Washington is coming off a game in which it was exposed on defense, so look for the Packers to throw the ball at will, and with Green Bay at home, the Packers are sure to put up points. They went 8-1, including the playoffs, at Lambeau Field last year and won eight straight after losing to the 49ers in the opener. The Packers averaged 26 points per game at home last season.

Jones averaged 54.7 yards per game at home and had six touchdowns in those nine games.

With many more targets in Week 2, Jones will have at least five catches for 65 yards and a touchdown against Washington. Green Bay will be looking to get back on track after losing its opener, and it hasn't lost in consecutive weeks since 2010. Instilling confidence in James will be a big part in them bouncing back.

If you're an owner, hang tight. There's no need to sell low on a player with a lot of potential.

On the other hand, Jones' trade value has taken a slight hit, but he can still offer a great return as a trade target. Impatient owners who are ready to jump ship early might be willing to part with him on the cheap, so take advantage. Savvy owners will target James as a strong buy-low candidate and reap the benefits throughout the year.

As a valuable red-zone target with 21 touchdowns in the last two seasons, it's crazy to give up on him this early in the season.

If you decide to see what you can get for him, don't settle for an unproven receiver in return. Jones is going to put up big fantasy numbers this season, and he is worth keeping in the lineup, especially this week. 


*All stats are courtesy of NFL.com