The Duel

Matt Ryan Injury Status Alters Julio Jones Fantasy Football Outlook in Week 8

Zach Brunner
Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles v Atlanta Falcons / Todd Kirkland/Getty Images
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The Atlanta Falcons are in the midst of a five-game losing streak and the team might be without their star QB for a Week 8 matchup with the Seattle Seahawks. While Matt Ryan is set to be a game-time decision, it's his top WR, Julio Jones, that could be affected the most by a quarterback change.

Ryan, who hasn't missed a start in over a decade, threw for more than 300 yards in the first six games of the season (he was injured during the Falcons' Week 7 contest) and has thrown for 15 TDs this season. Going from Ryan to backup Matt Schaub would be a clear downgrade in fantasy for Jones.

While Schaub is one of the better backups in the NFL, he's much more of a game manager than Ryan. Schaub will likely still target Jones early and often, but the WR's upside will be capped if the backup starts in Week 8.

From a fantasy perspective, we can expect WR1 output in PPR formats from Jones no matter who starts, but he slides from a top-5 option to the back end if Schaub gets the nod.

Jones' volume alone, with at least seven targets in each game this season, puts him in elite company. Plus, the Falcons traded away Mohamed Sanu earlier this week, something that frees up an additional six-plus targets per game. With Julio averaging 8.9 targets per game already this season, we could see this average rise to double-digits.

Jones comes in at WR3 in our Week 8 PPR fantasy football rankings, making him a must-start for you fantasy team, whether it's Ryan or Schuab tossing him the pigskin.


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