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Julio Jones to Bucaneers: What it means for fantasy football, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage

We break down what the signing of WR Julio Jones means for fantasy football.

Julio Jones #2 of the Tennessee Titans jogs off the field after a game against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Nissan Stadium on January 22, 2022 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Bengals defeated the Titans 19-16. Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed veteran free agent Julio Jones to a one-year deal, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday. We break down what it means for fantasy football leagues in 2022.

Fantasy football analysis: Julio Jones

Julio Jones 2022 outlook

Jones has battled through injuries on and off since 2019 season and will be 33 years old this season. Though he brings depth and a veteran presence to the locker room, it’s unlikely that Jones will have much of an impact himself anywhere outside of best ball formats. With the Titans in 2021, Jones averaged 3.1 catches for 43.4 receiving yards per game — a far cry from what he’d been producing with the Falcons earlier in his career. He also hasn’t had a top-12 weekly finish since Week 8 of the 2020 NFL season.

How signing impacts Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Russell Gage

Though we’re not projecting Jones to have a significant enough role to sway fantasy football managers into rostering him, he’ll still certainly command targets as long as he’s healthy. Unfortunately, that means fewer to go around to the rest of the receiving corps. Luckily, there should still be enough to go around to hold some value.

The Bucs have ranked top-six among NFL teams in each of the last three seasons, but it remains to see what Todd Bowles has in store as he takes over for Bruce Arians as head coach. There are several shifts in play, including the absence of Rob Gronkowski, who retired earlier this offseason and averaged nearly six targets per game with Brady in Tampa.

The biggest impact will come for WR Russell Gage, who just went from “sleeper status” to undraftable in most redraft leagues. Otherwise, Jones shouldn’t move the needle significantly for WRs Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.