Somehow, by good drafting or pure luck, the NFC South managed to end up with two of the top wide receivers in real life and in fantasy football. This year I see no change in the fact that Julio Jones and Michael Thomas will finish as two of the top fantasy wide receivers, but if I am being forced to pick one of these two I have a favorite that stands out the most to me.
Last year, in the 2018 fantasy football season, Julio Jones finished as the WR4 in full point PPR with 325.8 points. Consistency was not an issue for Jones as he only had one game below 10 points finishing as one of the most consistent fantasy wide receivers once again in his fine career. The shocking stat is that Julio was able to finish as the WR4 even without scoring a touchdown in the first 7 weeks, as he scored all 8 touchdowns in the remaining 9 weeks hence the new nickname Julio “Touchdown” Jones. With the production Jones receives right now, it may seem as if it is as good as it is going to get, but with the new addition of Dirk Koetter as the offensive coordinator it seems as if Julio will only be getting more targets and production. The Falcons finished 5th in total team pass plays and with the addition of Koetter it will only go up. In the last two seasons, Koetter led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to finish 4th and 5th in team pass plays. I am in love with Julio Jones this year, and I am expecting a big season.
With a scorching hot start to the 2018 season, it seemed inevitable that Thomas was going to finish as the WR1 in fantasy. Unfortunately, due to lack of consistency Thomas finished as WR6 in full point PPR with 315.5 fantasy points. Although a WR6 finish looks great on paper, his per game scoring basis scares me away from drafting him as my WR1. Out of the 315.5 full point PPR points Thomas scored, he managed to score 93.8 of those points in the first 3 weeks. This draws a red flag to me when deciding on who to spend an early second round pick on. In terms of consistency, Thomas was on the opposite end of things than Jones as he finished with 4 games lower than 10 points. He was able to counter those low scoring games with 5 games over 27, but as an experienced fantasy player, I do not want to risk those big play games every week. The Saints also finished 29th in team pass plays, and I do not see that changing soon.
This decision is a no brainer to me if you couldn’t tell. If I am sitting at the 2.02 overall pick and I am being forced to pick between Julio or Thomas I will be selecting Julio Jones with no regrets. To me, Julio provides the more consistent point range every week, and he has a better chance to finish as the overall WR1. Not to mention Dirk Koetter loves the throw the ball all over the field.