Atlanta Falcons star wideout Julio Jones has missed the last two weeks with a nagging hamstring injury.
Jones is set to miss his sixth game of the season in Week 16 against the Kansas City Chiefs, which boosts the outlook for Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage in the fantasy football championship.
Julio Jones Fantasy Outlook
Jones has managed to play in just nine games this season, but he's also been forced to exit early in two of those games.
For fantasy managers banking on Jones' WR1-level of play, it's frustrating that he's been so limited this year. However, those with him rostered likely have backup options already in place given Jones' unreliability this season.
Calvin Ridley Fantasy Outlook
No. 2 wideout Calvin Ridley is in for another big day in Week 16 with Jones out.
Ridley is averaging 13.0 targets, 9.0 receptions and an astounding 143.5 yards per game over the past two weeks, a direct benefit from Jones being unable to suit up in either of those games. Ridley has also caught a touchdown in back-to-back games, and there's little reason to believe that isn't a possibility for him once again in Week 16.
As the No. 1 receiving option, Ridley will face a tough Chiefs defense that is allowing just 31.3 PPR fantasy points to WRs this season (second-fewest in the league). However, with Jones out, Ridley is primed for a large share of the targets regardless, making him a starter lock in Week 16.
Russell Gage Fantasy Outlook
Russell Gage has emerged as Matt Ryan's No. 2 option with Jones out.
Gage is averaging 8.5 targets, 5.0 receptions and 75.0 yards over the past two Jones-less games, an improvement over the 6.4 targets, 4.1 receptions and 43.5 yards per game he was averaging from Weeks 1-13.
Against an electric Chiefs offense (tied for first in poins per game this season), Atlanta should be put in passing situations early and often, giving Gage plenty of opportunity to have a notable day of production. He should warrant serious starter consideration for fantasy managers in the championship.
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