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What's Julio Jones' Fantasy Value with the Titans?

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

Julio Jones, WR, Titans

What You Need to Know:

  • Jones was traded to the Titans in June. Tennessee received Jones and a 2023 6th-round pick in exchange for a 2022 2nd-rounder and a 2023 4th.
  • Jones turned 32 in February.
  • But he’s remained excellent when on the field. Among 87 WRs with 50+ targets last year, Jones ranked 3rd in yards per target and 4th in yards per route run. He finished 28th and 5th out of 80 qualifiers in 2019.
  • Jones played 15 games in 2019 and ranked 3rd among WRs in PPR points and 5th in non-PPR. His scoring average in 7 healthy games last year would have ranked 4th in both PPR and non-PPR.
  • Durability has always been a problem for Jones. He missed 7 games and most of 2 others last year with a lingering left hamstring injury. He missed 1 game in 2019, 2 in 2016, 1 in 2014, 11 in 2013 and 3 in 2011. That’s 25 games missed over 10 NFL seasons.
  • Jones heads from a Falcons offense that ranked 8th in pass rate and 4th in pass attempts last year to a Titans offense that ranked 30th in both pass rate and attempts. Atlanta threw it 143 times more than Tennessee in 2020.
  • The good news: The Titans’ passing game was efficient last year, ranking 7th in yards per attempt and 4th in TD rate. They finished 23rd in passing yards but 8th in TDs.
  • The offseason departures of WR Corey Davis, WR Adam Humphries and TE Jonnu Smith leave behind 192 targets (a 40% share) from last year.
    • Davis, who Jones will basically be replacing, garnered 92 targets in 14 games. That’s 6.6 targets per game -- a full-season pace of 105 that would have ranked 32nd among WRs last year.
    • Davis saw a 22.1% target share in his 14 games.
  • There’s also a chance the Titans’ pass volume grows this year. Their run-heavy attack last season was partly by design. But going 11-5 and trailing for only 42% of offensive snaps helped boost the run rate. Consider this: Tennessee threw the ball on just 41% of their snaps when leading but 56% when trailing last year. So if they’re trailing more this year -- and Vegas has their over/under win total set at 9 -- the pass rate figures to climb.
  • The Titans lost OC and play-caller Arthur Smith, who took Atlanta’s HC job. He’ll be replaced by Todd Downing. He spent the past 2 seasons as Tennessee’s TE coach, so the team is looking for continuity in scheme. But Downing has just 1 season of NFL OC experience. That came back in 2017 with the Raiders, who finished 17th in total yards and 23rd in points.

Draft Sharks Bottom Line:

You know about Jones’ injury issues. And those aren’t likely to go away now that he’s 32.

But Jones has also remained dominant when on the field, performing as a top-5 WR in terms of efficiency and fantasy production over the past 2 seasons.

The concern in Tennessee is volume. The Titans ranked 3rd-to-last in both pass rate and pass attempts last season. We’re expecting them to throw it more in 2021 -- but not nearly as much as Jones’ old team did. And with A.J. Brown on the other side of the field, Jones won’t dominate targets.

It leaves him as a lower-end WR2 -- albeit one with a lofty weekly ceiling.

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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