Marvin Jones' Updated 2013 Fantasy Outlook Heading into Week 9

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 28, 2013

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 27:  Marvin Jones #82 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the New York Jets at Paul Brown Stadium on October 27, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Fantasy owners, meet Marvin Jones. Marvin Jones, say hello to America's fantasy owners.

In the past three weeks, only Calvin Johnson has scored more fantasy points than Jones at wide receiver, and not by much, with Megatron coming in at 65 points and Jones registering 63. While Johnson was busy posting 329 receiving yards this past weekend, Jones scored a whopping four touchdowns against the New York Jets

It was the cherry on top of a brilliant three-week stretch that has seen Jones catch 15 passes for 250 yards and six touchdowns. The question is, can the breakthrough wideout for the Cincinnati Bengals keep the good times rolling?

Well, no. OK, maybe. Let me explain...

Outside of the fact that it would be unrealistic for any wide receiver to average more than 20 fantasy points per game in standard-scoring leagues, Jones also isn't targeted as often as Andy Dalton's favorite weapon, A.J. Green

In the past three weeks, Dalton has looked Jones' way 19 times, while Green has been targeted 26 times. In total, Green has been targeted 85 times this season, a healthy 10.6 targets per game.

For as good as Jones has been the past three weeks, he'll never be more than a second option in this offense. That's important to remember. 

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And he may not even be a true No. 2 receiver. According to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), via Rotoworld, Jones played on just 19 snaps against the Jets and has played on only 33.4 percent of the Bengals' offensive snaps in the past three weeks.

Another thing—Andrew Hawkins returned to practice last week and will be taken off injured reserve this week. While he may not be back this week, he'll add another target at wideout for Dalton alongside Green, Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

Finally, touchdown production is often an unsustainable source of fantasy scoring for receivers or tight ends, as anyone who jumped on the Eddie Royal or Joseph Fauria bandwagon knows. Jones' six touchdowns in the past three weeks represent 57 percent of his fantasy value in that time, a huge number. 

To put that into perspective, not even players near the top of the wide-receiver rankings such as Dez Bryant (44 percent) and Wes Welker (43 percent) come anywhere close to that percentage of fantasy production from touchdowns.

Even touchdown machines at tight end such as Julius Thomas (53 percent), Vernon Davis (46 percent) and Jimmy Graham (44 percent) still get a healthy portion of their fantasy value from yardage accrued. 

Plus, Jones has been targeted in the red zone six times this season, according to Rotoworld. It's hard to imagine him maintaining a touchdown-per-target ratio inside the 20.

So, I think it is safe to say that Jones probably won't be an elite fantasy option for owners down the stretch. But that doesn't mean he won't be a pretty solid one, especially amid the bye weeks.

It doesn't seem like a fluke that Dalton's recent explosion of fantasy points coincides with Jones' arrival on the scene. Dalton has been epic for fantasy owners the past three weeks, scoring a total of 81 fantasy points with 11 touchdowns and just two interceptions. 

It's clear his connection with Jones has given him another weapon he trusts in the passing game, providing him with an alternative when defenses inevitably roll coverage toward Green. And when a player takes advantage of his opportunities in the red zone, he'll get more of them. 

And considering his recent production, you would expect Jones to earn more reps for the Bengals. 

In that regard, I don't think we have a Royal situation on our hands, in which a player has burst onto the scene and will soon fade into obscurity. But I also don't think Jones will be as productive as, say, Terrance Williams of the Dallas Cowboys, who erupted for 23 points in Week 5 and has averaged 11 points per week since. 

Jones seems more like a Rueben Randle from the New York Giants, a player who should have some big weeks ahead of him but won't be trustworthy on a weekly basis. He absolutely should be added in all formats, but under the expectation that he'll be a flex option, not a WR1 or WR2. 


Hit me up on Twitter—I'll answer your fantasy lineup questions and commiserate with you over underachieving players. It's all the fun of the NFL, but without the concussions. 

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