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Julio Jones, Tom Brady's Updated Fantasy Outlook After Reported Buccaneers Contract

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVJuly 26, 2022

Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

When you're an aging wide receiver coming off a disappointing season, aligning with Tom Brady might be just the recipe for a rebound.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Tuesday that Julio Jones agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

For a team in win-now mode, adding a wideout with Jones' pedigree is a no-brainer. A title contender can never have too much depth, especially at an offensive skill position.

From a fantasy football perspective, this may not move the needle much. Tom Brady was solidly in QB1 territory already, and Jones joins a crowded receiving corps that added Russell Gage earlier in the offseason.

Entering the 2021 season, it was a lot easier to talk yourself into the idea of Jones returning to form. He joined a contender that already had A.J. Brown, who could help divert some of the defense's attention away from him.

The result was the 33-year-old catching 31 passes for 434 yards and one touchdown. He also battled a hamstring injury, which had dogged him in 2020, and missed seven games.

Antonio Brown set an impressive pace in his limited time on the field for the Bucs in 2021. He had 42 receptions for 545 yards and four touchdowns in seven appearances. His 77.9 yards per game were second on the team behind Chris Godwin's 78.8.

If Jones can replicate that kind of role, then he'll be a major player in standard fantasy leagues.

Luke Sawhook 🪚🪝 @lukesawhook

Antonio Brown was the WR 6 in fantasy PPG last season. <br><br>Julio Jones is gonna EAT

But there are still too many variables at play to say with any confidence he's going to make an impact.

Gage eclipsed 700-plus yards receiving with the Atlanta Falcons in 2020 and 2021. He's not a prolific pass-catcher but could take targets from Jones.

Counting on the future Hall of Famer to stay healthy is a big if, too, when he hasn't done that in the past two years.

Not to mention, Godwin re-signed, and after suffering a torn ACL, he might be playing himself back into form right around the time the fantasy playoffs roll around.

JennaLaineESPN @JennaLaineESPN

Regarding Chris Godwin: I’m told that there is no rush and that the Bucs are taking their time with him. Signing Julio Jones affords them the ability to do that.

Rather than Brown, Odell Beckham Jr. might be the better parallel to Jones.

Beckham caught 27 passes for 305 yards and five touchdowns in the second half after signing with the Los Angeles Rams. His presence certainly benefited the Rams, but OBJ clearly wasn't his old self.

Between his nagging hamstring and the depth of Tampa Bay's aerial attack, banking on Jones is a risky bet.

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