If You Need a Big Receiver for Your Fantasy Football Team, Who Do You Go With: AJ or JJ?
With Calvin Johnson officially retired, the NFL will need a new player to step into the role of best “big” wide receiver. Jones and Green both fit the description, each measuring up at 6’4”, with Jones weighing in at 220lbs and Green at 205. That said, neither measures up to Megatron’s statuesque 6’6” and 235lbs — they don’t call him Megatron for nothing.
Julio Jones vs A.J. Green
Both A.J. Green and Julio Jones are in the discussion when you talk about the best wide receivers in the NFL, so it’s only natural these two come to mind when we talk about the next great outside receiver — these guys do most of their damage lined up wide, rather than in the slot. Both players came into the league in 2011, Jones being 22 years old and Green 23.
In the first 5 seasons of their careers, these two have been nearly unstoppable. Green has piled up 6,171 yards on 415 catches while Jones has accounted for 6,201 on 414 catches. It doesn’t get much more even than that. When we look at targets, we get a little more separation though: Jones has been targeted 648 times to Green’s 706 targets, which means Julio Jones is slightly more efficient when the ball is thrown his way. Jones has reeled in nearly 64% of the balls thrown to him while Green is at about 59%. That’s win for Julio.
When we look at touchdowns, though, the tables turn. A.J. Green has reached paydirt 45 times through the air versus Jones’ 34. The difference in 11 scores doesn’t sound that impressive until you look at it this way: that’s about a season’s worth of touchdowns. Green could take a year off from football and could still have more touchdowns than Jones. The man knows how to score.
Lastly, let’s take a look at their durability. Once again, this one goes to Green in a landslide. A.J. has totaled 76 starts in his 5 seasons while Jones has managed just 64 out of the maximum 80 games. Not only has Green missed fewer games than he’s played seasons, but he’s played almost an entire season more than Jones already. Julio Jones has had some trouble staying healthy, 2015 was the first year started all 16 games. The flip side to this argument though, is that Jones has been much more productive on a per game basis. He’s matched Green in receptions and yards despite playing 12 fewer games!
This one is a toss-up, ladies and gentleman. You’ll have to pick your poison. Do you want the more productive and efficient receiver who misses more games than you’d like? Or do you prefer the steady workhorse with a nose for the endzone? Either way, you really can’t go wrong.