Buccaneers Sign Julio Jones

by Daniel Johnson
2022 Fantasy Football Julio Jones Bucs

We've got you covered on every bit of breaking news this offseason here at F6P, and today we'll be taking a look at the Fantasy Football analysis of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing free agent wide receiver Julio Jones.

The first domino hath fallen. Of the many marquee veteran wide receiver names waiting to be signed from free agency, Julio Jones made the headlines yesterday after signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a 1-year, $6M prove-it contract.

Odell Beckham Jr., T.Y. Hilton, Will Fuller and other veterans are still waiting to find a new home.

Does it move the needle on his fantasy value relative to last year's ADP buzz when he signed with the Titans? Let's get into it.

Buccaneers Sign Julio Jones

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New Digs

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Ta ta, Tennessee! We always knew Julio was going to move on from the Titans (or, rather, vice versa) after a season marred by—surprise, surprise—health concerns, inconsistent snap count (33%), and mediocre performance. We just had little indication of which teams would take a flier on him at this age.

Enter Tom Brady & co., who are cautiously optimistic about Chris Godwin's availability in Week 1, but fairly paltry at the wide receiver position beyond he, Mike Evans, and Russell Gage (about whom I know everyone thought was a sneaky-great pick this year; not so much anymore).

They lost Gronk in the offseason, as well; it's clear Brady and the Bucs are interested in a battle-tested veteran who can serve as a reliable red-zone threat in select offensive packages, just as Gronk was.

Adjusting His Fantasy Value

I mean, do we really need to?

It's an analyst's folly to try to predict usage, but I feel pretty confident that the Gronkowski role (outside of the blocking) is precisely what's in store for Julio. I doubt he sniffs a 50% snap count in the games for which he's healthy enough to suit up, but I do bet those snaps will, more often than not, happen in the opponent's side of the field.

He started ten games total for the Titans last year, and I think that's probably pretty consistent, if a tick lower, with what you'll see this year. Over his last four years, dating back to his 2018 season with the Falcons, Julio's averaged 12.5 games played per season. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt, and say he plays in 13 games in 2022.

A ~40% snap count across what's essentially 66% of the season seems to justify his current ADP as a FA, which, according to FantasyPros, is WR73 at 190th overall.

Bottom Line

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Sure, we have to consider the Tom Brady effect. But, in this case, I think it only translates to red-zone opportunities, and a few potential touchdowns for Julio (which, as we all know, were pretty elusive for him in Atlanta even when he was racking up receptions and yards).

But this doesn't move the needle much for me. He's a touchdown-dependent WR5/WR6, or a desperation bye-week-fill-in. Let someone else take a flier on him before you do.

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