Will Julio Jones Hit the Over on His Receiving Yards Prop?
At 31 years old, Jones has already reached his peak but remains at the crest of his game after finishing behind only Michael Thomas in targets and receiving yards last year.
On FanDuel Sportsbook, Jones' 2020 receiving yards prop total is set at 1,349.5 yards (-112), the same number he recorded in 2019 with Atlanta (1,394). As he turns the page deeper and gets another year older, will Jones go over the listed prop?
Let's take a look.
An Incredible Performer
Jones has posted at least 1,394 receiving yards in six consecutive seasons, including six straight top-three finishes among wideouts in receiving yards. Jones has led the league in receiving yards twice (2015, 2018), finished second three times (2016, 2017, 2019), and finished third once (2014). He is a three-time Second-Team All-Pro (2017-19) and two-time First-Team All-Pro (2015, 2016) -- earning All-Pro honors in five consecutive seasons.
Last year was another monster year for the greatest receiver in Atlanta Falcons franchise history, and Atlanta remained a pass-happy offense, targeting Jones left and right. The Falcons led the league in passing plays, averaging 45.9 per game, and topped the charts in pass-to-run ratio (66.97%). Among receivers, Jones finished top three in targets (second), deep targets (second), receiving yards (second), complete air yards (second), HOG rate (third), and total distance target (first), per PlayerProfiler.
He received 35.92% share of his team's air yards, which ranked ninth overall in the league. Jones had just four drops last season, and we should expect another high-volume season in what should once again be a pass-friendly offense.
Across the board, Jones is obviously still a premier pass-catcher, even at 31-years-old.
In his last six seasons, he's had five campaigns of at least 148 targets, including 170 and 157 looks the last two seasons, and he's stayed healthy, missing just three games during that span.
Could Julio see even more volume come his way in 2020? Maybe.
Todd Gurley, Atlanta's other big skill-position addition this offseason, is a capable pass-catcher. But last season he posted his lowest totals in receptions (31) and receiving yards (207) since his rookie year despite playing 15 games.
Calvin Ridley will be another premier pass-catcher in this offense, and he's had 63 and 64 receptions on 92 and 93 targets in the last two seasons. His workload will likely increase in 2020 barring injury, but Jones remains the unquestioned top dog. There isn't much of a threat that Jones will see a decrease in his massive amount of targets.
Jones is the only player in the NFL to record at least 1,300 receiving yards in every season since 2014, and it's hard to imagine him slowing down after missing only one game in the last three years (four in the last six seasons).
numberFire's projections are a little conservative for some of the top-end guys -- as is the case with most projection models -- and we see that with Julio's numbers. We project him for 94.9 receptions, 148.8 targets, 1,311.2 receiving yards, and 5.9 touchdowns in 2020.
But I think Jones gets to the over here and surpasses the line of 1,349.5 yards thanks to elite talent and elite volume.
In his nine-year career, Jones has only three seasons of fewer than 1,394 yards, and they were his first three campaigns (2011 to 2013). And we have Matt Ryan pegged for a league-high 614.9 pass attempts, so with Hooper out of the picture, Jones has the upside to lead the league in targets if he can stay healthy.
Julio has averaged 99.1 yards per game over the last two seasons, so even at his age, he's got plenty left in the tank to get past this prop.