Julio Jones is the best WR in the NFL. Come at me, Steelers fans. Since coming into the league, Jones has led in yards per game, and barring any major setbacks, there’s no reason to think he can’t continue to be one of the most dominant receivers in the NFL for the 2017 season.
For Julio, we’ll include the 2016, 2015 and 2014 seasons. Here’s Julio’s averages over those seasons:
2016 - 1,409 yards over 14 games (100.6 average)
2015 - 1,871 yards over 16 games (116.9 average)
2014 - 1,593 yards over 15 games (106.2 average)
That comes out to an average of 15 games per year and 1624 yards per year.
Our target number
Given his average of 107.9 yards/game over the last 3 seasons and 15 games per year, I’m setting our target to 1500 yards.
Why he’ll go under
For starters, Julio has only played all 16 games in a season twice (2015, 2012). With 14 games under his belt last year, he came in under the target number by 100 yards. Additionally, with guys like Austin Hooper and Taylor Gabriel having another year in the system, there’s a good chance their yardage totals will cut into Julio’s. Jones will still get plenty of targets, but this offense is far more diversified than it was in 2015, when he came darn close to breaking 2000 yards.
Why he’ll go over
He’s Julio. As good as the other targets on the roster are, Matt Ryan still trusts Julio above everyone else - and for good reason. There are no signs that he’s slowing down and even when playing on a bum foot, he still managed to put together remarkable playoff performances last year. If he manages to stay healthy for just 15 games against his average over the last few years, he’ll break our target number easily.
Over/Under: 1500 yards for Julio
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