Rank's 11 Sleepers: Should you bench Julio Jones?

Print

Should I bench Julio Jones?

That's the question that many of you are asking this week or hell, you've probably asked once you saw Lake Norman on the fantasy playoff schedule. Twice, no less. So here is my advice for you in this situation.

Bench Julio Jones.

If you want to throw away your entire fantasy football season.

I don't know why there has been a war on No. 1 wide receivers with bad matchups in recent weeks, but it needs to stop. I understand it, too. Julio hasn't scored a touchdown in a month (mostly because Matt Ryan isn't that great) and of course the matchup, but just stop it. If you really think that you can do better with Curtain Jerker McGee on your waiver wire, then be my guest.

But there are some encouraging signs. For starters, Brandin Cooks got into the end zone against the Panthers last week. Cooks was largely avoided by most fantasy enthusiasts in Week 13 because of the matchup.

And more importantly, Julio has started to complain about his role in the end zone (finally)! The Falcons have literally gone to the "That Helps No One" all-stars twice in a row. Seriously, Nick Williams has scored touchdowns in back-to-back games. Julio hasn't scored in a month.

Thankfully, Julio has gone and complained to the head coach, which is great news. Because once a receiver goes to his coach, the over-correction comes the following week. Not buying it? Maybe you haven't seen what Sammy Watkins has done for the last couple of weeks.

So look for the Falcons to target Julio a bunch in the red zone. Expect one of those targets to be interceptions because Matt Ryan. But I'd also expect the Falcons to take a few deep shots to him this week. They just have to.

All this means that you need to start Julio. I wouldn't touch him in daily fantasy leagues, but he's starting in your traditional leagues. And just to show that I'm serious, I'm going to offer just a few receiver options for this week, lest you be tempted to bench Julio for one of those guys.

Castrol EDGE Clutch Performers:

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills Raise your hands if you also benched Taylor this week. That's nice of you to do that, but you realize I can't see you, right? In any event, he's a solid start this week after back-to-back weeks of at least 26 points in the weird NFL.com scoring system. The Eagles have allowed the third-most fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers He had close to 20 fantasy points in his only game against the Saints. But that was on the road. Now with the Bucs playing host to the New Orleans, I feel really good about this. The Saints have allowed the most fantasy points to quarterbacks this year. And anecdotally, the Saints aren't as good on the road.

Shaun Draughn, RB, San Francisco 49ers My great lament is leagues where the waiver wire resets every week. I hate that. Because bad teams are always rewarded. And you know you have some kid in your league who has guys like Draughn out of sheer badness and not skill. And now he's got this amazing matchup against the Browns. Ugh. This makes me angry.

James White, RB, New England Patriots So this is the Wisconsin running back who is going to buck the trend. White has three touchdowns over the last three weeks. He's the guy who is involved with the passing game. And Tom Brady loves to throw to his running backs. Loves it.

Spencer Ware, RB, San Diego Chargers He's scored four rushing touchdowns in the last three weeks, with more than 17 points in two of his last three. The Chargers have struggled against the run, so this makes this matchup very inviting.

Anquan Boldin, WR, San Francisco 49ers Blaine Gabbert is dealing. A sentence I never thought I would write, unless I was writing a "where are they now" story and Gabbert was dealing cards at Binion's on Fremont Street. But he's actually played well as an NFL quarterback. And Boldin is his favorite dude.

DeVante Paker, WR, Miami Dolphins A recent graduate of Danger Zone University, Parker has become a huge part of the Dolphins offense. He's had a receiving touchdown in back-to-back games and has gotten into double-digits. He's got a great matchup this week against the Giants.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks He's not going away, folks. He's had at least five receptions in the last two weeks. The Ravens have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to receivers this year.

William Tye, TE, New York Giants He's had 7 receptions in back-to-back games. The Dolphins don't play a lot of defense, and have allowed seven receiving touchdowns in the last three games. So go with Will Tye, the Science Guy.

Chiefs D/ST Want to stream a D this week? Go with the Chiefs, who have recorded 19 sacks since Week 8, which is the highest total in the league since that time. The Chiefs have averaged 14.5 fantasy points per game over the last six games.

Pro Bowl ballot

49ers D/ST If you're that person who waits until Friday afternoon to find a defense, only to end up hugely disappointed, well you're in luck. The 49ers are a decent play. The Browns have allowed the most fantasy points to defenses this season. The 49ers defense has played a lot better in recent weeks. Look at the way the team shut down Jay Cutler and the Bears. That was pretty impressive. So I'd actually play this squad and feel pretty good about it.

DANGER ZONE

Blake Bell, TE, San Francisco 49ers The matchup isn't great for the 49ers. But Blaine Gabbert loves his tight ends. So I'd go with Bell as a pure Danger Zone special. Wow, this is heavy 49ers this week. I do like this play a lot. And I shot a perfect three-for-three from the Danger Zone last week with Parker, Tye and Scott Chandler. I might have to retire right now. In fact, I've long given up on all of my teams and I only worry about the Danger Zone.

-- You can hit Rank up for more advice or let him know how lousy his picks are on Twitter @adamrank. Don't be thrown off by his # wars, though.

Print