Julio Jones Injury Update Boosts Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage Fantasy Outlook for Week 13

Jason Schandl
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons
Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Atlanta Falcons /

Julio Jones got banged up in Week 12, briefly exiting the Atlanta Falcons' matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after suffering a shoulder injury.

He did return to that game, but he has now sat out practice on both Monday and Tuesday in Week 13, calling into question his status for Thursday's Thanksgiving Day matchup with the New Orleans Saints. If Julio can't go, Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage will both get huge boosts to their fantasy outlook.

Through 12 weeks, Jones ranks ninth among wideouts with 100 targets and second with 1,293 air yards, and there aren't many players who would vacate a more significant workload than he would.

We got a sample of what an absence would mean for the Falcons' other wideouts in Week 12, and it resulted in a ton of fantasy value. Ridley saw a season-high 14 targets (catching six for 85 yards and a TD) while Gage set season-highs in snap share (74 percent), targets (10), receptions (8), yards (76) and PPR fantasy points (15.6).

The Saints are a tougher matchup than the Bucs were, but with the potential to both see double-digit targets (especially since Austin Hooper is also still missing from the practice field), both Ridley and Gage will be strong fantasy plays if Jones sits out.

Having already played through the injury once, though, it's too early to count Jones out for this game, as he could potentially suit up even without practicing. Keep an eye out for updates after Wednesday's practice, which should hopefully lend some clarity to the situation.

Accounting for Jones playing, our Week 13 PPR fantasy football rankings have him at WR3 while Ridley checks in at WR26. Without Jones, Ridley would jump into the top 15, and Gage would slot in right around where Ridley ranks now.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.