Unless you’re in complete denial, you know that Julio Jones is an elite player. He’s the best player on the league’s best offense (and 2nd-ranked passing offense).
Uncharacteristically, Jones had only three receptions for 29 yards last Sunday, which is tied for the 7th-lowest yardage output in his 75-game NFL career (playoffs included). Just four weeks ago Jones racked up an incredible 300 yards receiving against the Panthers, so you know his game two days ago was an anomaly.
Part of the reason his production was slowed against the Packers in Week 8 could’ve been because of a knee injury. According rotoworld.com, “Coach Dan Quinn said Julio Jones had his knee examined Monday, but is “good to go” for Week 9 against the Bucs.”
That’s good news for Falcons fans and fantasy owners, because that means Jones is healthy enough to not worry about playing in a road game on a short week. Furthermore, Jones will face the 23rd-ranked Buccaneers pass defense on Thursday Night Football.
Between Weeks 5 and 6, LeSean McCoy rushed for 290 yards and three scores. In Week 7, he only gained 11 yards on eight carries before injuring his hamstring–an injury that kept him out of last Sunday’s home game versus the Patriots.
Today, according to ESPN Bills Reporter Mike Rodak, Bills Head Coach Rex Ryan said “Hopefully [he’s back at practice Thursday].” Rotoworld.com suggests the Bills should sit McCoy this week, as the Bills fly cross-country for a game against the 8th-ranked run defense of Seattle. After a bye in Week 10, McCoy will then have had two full weeks to recover in preparation for a road game at Cincinnati.
Read between the lines. Ryan hopes McCoy, a player who’s had his share of injuries, can practice on Thursday. If a player just sat out a huge game against the division favorite and is only hopeful to simply practice, something isn’t right.
Like rotoworld.com alluded to, there’s no point in putting McCoy out there this week when he’d have a tough time moving the ball against the Seahawks at full strength. Especially since Buffalo’s bye is next week, I expect McCoy to be inactive this Sunday.
It doesn’t matter so much how talented your quarterback is. What really matters is if you can protect him. If a quarterback can remain upright, even with marginal talent, he can be dominant.
Dominant is what Oakland’s offensive line has been, and it’s what they’ve allowed Derek Carr to be in 2016. On Sunday, Carr threw for 513 yards, four touchdowns, and zero intercepions. Thanks to Dan Pizzuta at numberFire.com, we’re able to see why Carr has been so effective:
“The Raiders spent heavily on improvements in the offseason, and while the defense has yet to pull through, the offensive line has been one of the league’s best. Per Sports Info Solutions charting data from Football Outsiders, the Raiders have allowed the second-lowest pressure rate on offense. That’s allowed pockets to stay clean for Carr, who has the lowest sack rate among current starting quarterbacks.”