So the age old question stares us in the eyes, “Do I go with the grizzled veteran who has peaked, or the up-and-coming stud-to-be that wowed us in his one year?” Do you draft consistency or potential? In today’s Draft Day Dilemma, 11stever11 and I ask the question, “Who do you draft first in PPR formats, Julio Jones or Roddy White?”
Let me start things off by saying I was dead set on White as my pick, then I read stever’s take on Jones and second-guessed myself. I then did my own research and am firmly back in the White camp. Why do I mention this? Above all, these articles are a guide and a point of view, but at the end of the day, go with what you think; just use us to get to the best decision for you.
murphysxm: Roddy White
I go into every draft with one mantra: draft the team that gives me the best chance to win every week. This is different than drafting the team that scores the most points each week. I don’t care if I beat my opponent by one or 100, a win is a win. Having this philosophy has me typically target consistency over boom-or-bust. In essence, the DeSean Jacksons of the world never end up on my team. He scores 40 for you in one week, you win! Then he gets you three in the next week and you lose. I’d rather a guy get me 20 each week.
Translating that mindset to Roddy vs. Julio is the key for me. In 16 games last year, White failed to crack 10 fantasy points only once (.06% of his starts). In addition, he cracked 20 points seven times. Jones, on the other hand, failed to hit the 10-point mark three times in 13 games (23% of his starts); granted, he did crack the 20-point mark the same seven times. You will see Jones on Sportscenter more often, but White will still a much safer bet for consistent performance. When push comes to shove and Matt Ryan is in trouble, White is his most comfortable target.
Another key part to the rise of Jones is his amazing finish last year. In his last four games he had 20 catches, 393 yards and 6 TDs. That is what makes Jones so enticing, I get it. Those numbers are great; in standard PPR formats that is an average of 26 points per game. Sign me up. What people forget is over that same time period, White had 32 catches, 415 yards and 3 TDs. Folks, that is 24.5 fantasy points per game. Basically, Jones’s best four-game stretch of his career got you six more points total than Mr. Consistency did over the same stretch.
I assume Jones will have an increase over his 2011 numbers, but I think those stats from the last four games prove there is enough to go around for both of them. White has a higher basement and has been the model of consistency amongst WRs. (You have to go back to the 2006 season to find a year he wasn’t top 10, and he was 13 then.) Call me conservative, but I will be taking Roddy White over Julio Jones every opportunity I have.
11stever11: Julio Jones
The second-year wideout is worth selecting over White in this year. Last season Jones finished 18th in fantasy points for wide receivers even though he missed three games. With a full offseason and a healthy hamstrin,g Jones has huge upside going into this year.
Let’s first take a look at the number of targets last year. Julio Jones was 44th in the league for wide receivers in targets with 98, yet still put up top 20 numbers. White had a league-leading 179 targets, which will go down this season. I still expect the amount of targets this year to favor White, but with Jones to be targeted more in the red-zone. Jones is built to be a red-zone threat at 6’3″ and 220 pounds, compared to White at 6’0″ and 211 pounds. With Tony Gonzalez and Michael Turner on a sharp decline, Jones will improve on his last year’s total of eight red zone targets. Despite the small amount of targets though, Jones had the same amount of total touchdowns as White at eight a piece. Nine-to-ten touchdowns is a reasonable expectation for Julio Jones, but he has the upside to put up more.
The recent news out of Atlanta has been about the offense focusing more on Julio Jones. More vertical passes will be put into place, which Jones excelled at last season with a 17.8 average yards per catch, while White averaged 13 yards per catch. Jones put up 415 yards after the catch in 13 games, so expect his average to stay around 17 yards. With an increase in the vertical passing game, Jones will be targeted more. Considering that he put up 959 yards last season on only 54 receptions, Jones can put up a fantastic stat line.
This decision comes down to taking a proven veteran or a young star. Selecting Jones involves risk, but not as much as some may think. Last season, Jones averaged 11.3 points per game while White averaged 11.1 points per game. With Jones in line for more targets, his points per game will only increase. White is not getting younger at the age of 30, and his league-leading 15 drops last season show he is slowing down. I predict Jones stat line to be 75 receptions, 1,250 yards and nine touchdowns. The risk of taking Jones will be well worth it, although I think at the end of the season both will be top-15 wide receivers.
There you have it, both sides. Again, the choice is yours. Take our advice and research and make it work for your draft and your league settings. Stay tuned for the next installments of Draft Day Dilemmas coming soon.
Just an average guy that enjoys talking fantasy. Follow me here in the forum under username murphysxm.
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