Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones was officially ruled out for the rest of the 2013 NFL season on Wednesday, which is bad news for the team and fantasy owners who rely on the 24-year-old’s consistent production each week.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen first reported the news via twitter, while also confirming that Jones will undergo foot surgery soon.
Who should Jones owners target on the waiver wire and via trade to replace some of his production?
Well, the first player who should picked up off the waiver wire is Atlanta’s Harry Douglas, who could be a low-end WR2 for the rest of the season. Douglas only has 16 receptions for 219 yards and a touchdown this season, but with a quality quarterback throwing him the ball, an increased role and a good understating of the offense, his value will increase moving forward.
A receiver not on the Falcons worth adding from the waiver wire in all types of leagues is Terrance Williams, who has emerged as an important part of the Dallas Cowboys’ 7th-ranked passing offense. Williams has developed some good chemistry with quarterback Tony Romo, and caught four passes for 151 yards in Week 5, which included an 82-yard touchdown. He’s a high-end WR3 or a low-end WR2 for fantasy owners in need of depth after Jones’ injury.
Based on Miles Austin‘s injury history, Williams should remain as the third option in the Cowboys’ passing attack for the rest of the season. With Dez Bryant getting lots of double teams each week, Romo will be expected to target Williams more often.
Another receiver worth a look via the waiver wire or trade is Justin Blackmon. The Jacksonville Jaguars wideout returned from his four-game suspension last week and caught five passes for 136 yards and a touchdown on nine targets. The Jaguars are the worst team in the NFL, but Blackmon is a reliable WR2 in any league.
The final receiver Jones’ owners should try to acquire is Alshon Jeffery, who is now the No. 2 receiver in the Chicago Bears offense. Brandon Marshall receives so much attention from opposing defenses every week, which has allowed Jeffery to catch 15 passes (including 24 targets) for 325 yards and two touchdowns over the last two games. He’s earned Jay Cutler‘s trust and has the speed and physical tools necessary to be a dominant NFL receiver.