Updated Fantasy Rankings For Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley, A.J. Brown & More Key Players After Trade
Getty Images. Pictured: Calvin Ridley, Julio Jones, A.J. Brown
Action’s Director of Predictive Analytics, Sean Koerner, runs through how Sunday’s Julio Jones trade has shifted his early 2021 fantasy football rankings.
Updated Falcons Fantasy Rankings
Matt Ryan: QB13 › QB18
Ryan goes from a fringe QB1/2 to a low-end QB2. The Falcons will likely become a more balanced offense without Julio Jones, which will make it that much tougher for Ryan to produce QB1 numbers as he lacks the rushing upside to make up for the expected dip in passing yards and touchdowns.
Ryan now has a high-floor, low-ceiling profile best suited for 2QB/Superflex leagues. As for best ball formats, I would be much more interested in taking a flier on Tua Tagovailoa, Daniel Jones or Ryan Fitzpatrick in this range.
Mike Davis: RB21 › RB20
Davis is a potential winner of this trade.
The Falcons are likely to adopt a more balanced offense without Jones. Davis has very little competition in the backfield and could play the Derrick Henry role in an Arthur Smith offense. Davis is a steal at his current average draft position (ADP) of RB27.
The only valid reason to fade Davis at his current price would be due to the potential of the Falcons adding an Adrian Peterson-type free agent before Week 1. A move like that would be a crushing blow to Davis’ value.
Calvin Ridley: WR8 › WR6
Russell Gage: WR86 › WR56
Olamide Zaccheaus: WR115 › WR90
The market was out in front of Ridley’s value ahead of the Jones trade. Ridley’s ADP was WR7 at the beginning of May, then jumped to WR5 once it became clear that Jones was unlikely to be a Falcon in 2021.
Gage offers slight value at his current ADP of WR63 — he’s always gotten a boost without Jones, posting WR14 numbers over the final four games of 2020 when Jones was out.
Zaccheaus is now worth a late-round flier. He flashed his potential at times last season and could step up to be the WR3 for 2021. He’ll have to compete with Christian Blake and Tajae Sharpe for the role.
Kyle Pitts: TE10 › TE6
Hayden Hurst: TE41 › TE35
Pitts is going to be Ryan’s No. 2 target as a rookie. The fourth overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft comes loaded with upside, and his current ADP of TE6 sounds about right.
There’s also a chance Atlanta runs more 2TE sets this season, which breathes some life into Hurst’s fantasy value. He would be a TE1/2 streaming option if Pitts were ever to miss time.
Updated Titans Fantasy Rankings
Ryan Tannehill: QB12 › QB10
Tannehill is a big winner of the trade — he now has one of the best WR duos in the league in A.J. Brown and Jones. I would now consider drafting Tannehill ahead of Jalen Hurts.
My only concern would be that Jones’ age (32) is catching up to him and his odds to stay healthy for 10-plus games is lower than we think.
Derrick Henry: RB3 › RB3
Henry remains locked in as my RB3 (with a slight boost) following the trade.
He may concede some volume and yardage to Jones, but in exchange for more red-zone opportunities. Jones’ presence will also make it more challenging for teams to stack the box to stop Henry.
A.J. Brown: WR6 › WR8
Julio Jones: WR15 › WR20
Josh Reynolds: WR63 › WR82
Dez Fitzpatrick: WR107 › WR133
Brown doesn’t need a ton of targets to post WR1 numbers. That’s why this trade may not impact him much. He’s unlikely to face double coverage with Jones now in the mix and Brown’s ADP should remain inside the top 10.
Jones’ value actually takes a dip joining a much more balanced offense. When healthy, I have him projected as a WR1/2 in this offense. His durability is a concern as his body could be starting to break down at 32. My projection for Jones’ games played is lower than other WRs in this range, hence his ranking (WR20) being lower than his per-game value.
Reynolds was a sneaky flier in the later rounds as he was likely to replace Corey Davis’ role in the offense. That hope was shattered with this trade.
Anthony Firkser: TE15 › TE18
Firsker has been a trendy late-round tight end in best ball as he was expected to play a role in this offense following the departures of Davis and Jonnu Smith. Jones’ arrival throws a wrench in that plan, but I’m still interested in Firkser if his ADP falls outside of TE20 after the news.