NFL season is less than a month away, and it’s time to start putting out a handful of season-long player props. The menu is deep on DraftKings Sportsbook, giving us options on plenty of players at any position. I’m almost exclusively betting unders when it comes to season-long props, as there are too many paths to victory — most notably injuries. However, sometimes we get a number so good that we just have to play an over, and I think we have one of those cases with a new addition in Tampa.
Almost all of my football futures will be posted in article form, but as always follow along on Twitter, as some will just be posted here — @julianedlow.
Unless Jones suffers a serious injury early in the season, I just see far too many scenarios that he cashes the over on this absurdly low number. Even if he’s dinged up and misses a few games here and there, I’m very comfortable with this over. Let’s start with the production Julio’s had throughout his career, and then move onto the role he’s going to fill.
Jones was in Atlanta for the first 10 years of his career, and while he’s not quite the same player now, he went over this number in all 10 seasons. He essentially doubled or tripled this number in seven of those seasons, but did have three years with fewer than 1,000 yards.
Julio has the reputation of being hurt often, but he played in fewer than 13 games just twice during his time with the Falcons. Conveniently enough, those three seasons under 1,000 yards all had something to do with injury. One of them was Jones’ rookie season, when he had 959 yards in 13 games. But Julio managed to go for 580 yards in just five games in 2013, and then 771 yards in nine games in 2020 (his final season in Atlanta).
From there, Julio did have his only season finishing under the 550 mark — 434 yards in 10 games while playing alongside Ryan Tannehill. So where does Jones go from here?
Jones shows up to Tampa in good health, and receives a massive upgrade at QB, now catching passes from Tom Brady. Aside from what I’d consider to be overblown injury concerns, the only legitimate concern here is if there’s enough production for Julio while playing behind Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. I’d say absolutely, and we have proof.
Over the last two seasons, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski have both had rolls in the Tampa offense to some degree. The offense loses 2021 stat lines of 55-802-6 from Gronk (12 games) and 42-545-4 from AB (seven games).
Yes, a bunch of that Gronk production will be filled at TE, but Julio does provide a big body for Brady to target in the red zone, so you’d think he’ll pick up some of those looks. Even if he doesn’t, Brown’s WR3 role has proven to be more than enough — AB finished six yards shy of cashing the over on 550.5 last season in just seven games! Oh, and one of those games he decided to take his shirt off and quit the team mid-game.
I think Jones should be able to achieve this mark in about eight healthy games, which is less than half a season. If he can put together a healthy season he could flirt with 1,000 yards. While firing on overs can be uncomfortable, I think we have enough upside here to go ahead.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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