Fantasy football: Julio Jones struggles at home

The unthinkable: You know the “always play your studs” rule which is as old as fantasy time, but could Atlanta Falcons wideout Julio Jones be the exception? With a “Thursday Night Football” matchup at home against the New Orleans Saints, the Alabama product will try to break his streak of poor fantasy performances at the Georgia Dome.

Can Julio Jones put an end to his home woes tonight? (Bill Feig/Associated Press)

Jones averages just 5.56 points at home, but as the “NFL Fantasy LIVE” crew pointed out on the show today, there is no way you can bench a player of his caliber. When you consider the Saints have given up more fantasy points to running backs than any other team, Jones and teammate Roddy White should see plenty of opportunities as the Saints defense balances trying to contain the likes of Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers. If he’s going to break the streak, tonight’s matchup poses a great opportunity.

No ImPACT: Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Thursday that Eagles quarterback Michael Vick failed to reach the baseline status on his Wednesday ImPACT test, meaning the concussion that has sidelined him for two consecutive weeks will prevent him from suiting up against the Cowboys. The bad news: With DeSean Jackson out, Jeremy Maclin owners will likely have to look for other options. Nick Foles is still going through his rookie bumps, and squaring off against the NFL’s eighth ranked secondary on the road doesn’t bode well for him. As for the good news: For owners who picked up Bryce Brown, it could mean a very heavy workload against a Cowboys front allowing an average of 110 yards per game and nine scores this season. As fantasy guru Michael Fabiano points out in this week’s “Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em” analysis, “Assuming (LeSean) McCoy is out once again, Brown is a terrific option against the Cowboys. Their sagging defense has allowed 16-plus fantasy points to running backs in each of their last four games overall.”

Comeback time: Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray returned to practice on Wednesday, but his status for Sunday’s game against the Eagles is still uncertain. “We handed him the ball,” coach Jason Garrett told The Dallas Morning News. “We threw him the ball a little bit. He looked pretty comfortable out there. We haven’t seen that in about a month-and-a-half. It was the first step back into it.” The whole “first step back into it” isn’t necessarily a huge vote of confidence for Murray’s availability, or seeing a full workload even if he does play. Factor in that Dallas plays in the Sunday night game and you have a fantasy conundrum. You’ve reached this point without him, so why risk your playoff chances on Murray now? Unless there is some official word before the games start up, it might be best to avoid the Oklahoma product.

-Adrian Mojica
Follow on Twitter @FFFdaily

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