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Who Do I Draft: Larry Fitzgerald or Julio Jones?

Posted by in Who To Draft on August 27th, 2012 | Comment »

Julio Jones vs. Larry FitzgeraldIt seems as if almost everyone has come to the conclusion that Larry Fitzgerald is the clear No. 2 wide receiver after Calvin Johnson. However, I’ve seen a few people rank Julio Jones as the No. 2 wide receiver. I think it’s a fair debate to argue that Julio Jones deserves the No. 2 wide receiver ranking.  In fact, I have him ranked No. 2 over Larry Fitzgerald.

Here’s what I don’t like about Fitzgerald. His QB situation. Although he had the same QB situation in 2011 at had a monster season with 80 receptions, 1,411 yards, and 8 TDs, I rather have a receiver with a much better QB throwing him the football. The Falcons could easily be a scoring machine and the team to beat in the NFC outside of the Packers. The Cardinals will struggle to go .500. On the plus side, Fitzgerald had a much better 2nd half with Skelton as his QB compared to Kevin Kolb. All signs point to Skelton getting the starting job, who had much better chemistry with Fitzgerlad than Kolb.

Fitzgerald had a much better statistical season in 2011, but many feel that Julio Jones is going to breakout this season and go nuts this year. Julio Jones’ stats last season are 54 receptions, 959 yards, and 8 TDs (12 games). What I like with both players is their yards per reception. Julio Jones averaged 17.8 yards per receptions (ranked 7th) which is right on par with Fitzgerald’s 17.6 (ranked 8th), but Fitzgerald’s career average is 13.9.

Jones also had a hamstring injury nag him throughout the season which kept him out of 4 games. If Julio would have played in 16 games, his stats could have come out to 72 receptions, 1,268 yards, 10-11 TDs. Julio Jones went on record to say he was feeling a 6/10 last year in terms of his health and playing up to his potential compared to 10/10 this season. Bottom line is that think Jones has a higher ceiling in 2012 than Fitzgerald and the rest of the WR cast.

What do I like about Julio Jones in 2012? His potential, upside, and youth. He is going nuts in the preseason.

Week 1 – 6 receptions, 109 yards (36 long), 1 TD
Week 2 – 3 receptions, 41 yards (23 long)
Week 3 – 4 receptions, 90 yards (49 long)

While Fitzgerald will get more receptions than Jones (and is a better option in PPR leagues), Jones is by far the better deep ball man which is the ultimate daggar in fantasy football (and makes Jones a better option in standard leagues).  Jones is capable of having multiple 120+ yard games this season and is on a much better team than the Cardinals. He’ll have many more opportunities to see the end zone compared to Fitzgerald.

It also seems that Jones is the No. 1 WR option for Matt Ryan over Roddy White this season, whereas Roddy White was still Ryan’s guy last season.

And the fantasy pick is…

The answer can depend on which type of league you’re in. Julio Jones is your man in standard leagues since he should outpace Fitzgerald and yards and TDs this season. However, in PPR leagues, Fitzgerald provides a little boost in value.

I’ll take youth and potential over the consistency and track record of Fitzgerald. I think Jones will score 3-4 more TDs than Fitzgerald, while both receivers haul in about 1,250 yards. Jones’ freakish talent will shine in 2012.

I’m taking Julio Jones.

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