2013 Fantasy FootballFantasy Football

Fantasy Football 2013: Marvin Jones Below the Radar (again)

Fantasy Football Marvin Jones
Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

How quickly they can fall out of favor… Eighteen short days ago, Marvin Jones was the toast of ‘Fantasy Town USA’. He had just gotten through ravaging each and every member of the Jets secondary unit, cracking the goal line four times in his 13 snaps as a pass receiver. Jones followed up that “for the record books” display with an uneventful week nine at Miami – and then a disastrous effort at Baltimore in week ten. Jones was targeted seven times against the Ravens: one catch for two yards, three uncatchable balls, a drop and an interception. The drop was his first of the season. Despite this inadequate level of productivity, Jones saw his highest snap count totals all season with 50 (54%) and 63 (69%) in the pair of games. That, in tandem with his big time ability, is enough for me to endorse his rest of year WR3-WR4 status.

With his recent spike in snaps and targets a near certainty to maintain, fruitful stat lines should be expected. Coming from a pro-style offense at California, Jones is a seasoned and versatile route runner, a threat in all segments of the football field. He uses his 6’2 200-pound frame adroitly, getting off the line cleanly, creating separation at the head of routes and boxing out for position with ball in flight. His 4.46 speed plays faster in space, and the Bengals make a concerted effort to get him involved in the WR-screen game. His combination of size, strength and long strides make him an ideal YAC candidate. He’s a source for both cheap receptions and chunk yardage.

Marvin Jones
(NFL Game Rewind)
Marvin Jones
(NFL Game Rewind)
Marvin Jones
(NFL Game Rewind)

The statistical evidence in favor of Jones is ample:

  1. Andy Dalton boasts a 117.3 QB Rating when throwing in his direction, earning Jones the 9th best ‘WR Rating’ in the league.
  2. Jones has one drop on 30 catchable passes, the 13th rated drop rate.
  3. He’s 4th among wide receivers with ten missed tackles.
  4. Jones averages 15.1 yards per reception (29th) and 6.1 YAC per reception (22nd).
  5. His seven touchdowns at WR are tied for 6th, and he’s hitting paydirt every 6.4 targets.
  6. He’s been targeted with four catchable balls 20+ yards downfield, hauling in them all. 13.3% of his targets are 20+.

Jones is currently owned in 65% of Yahoo! leagues and started in only 22%, making him under-owned, underutilized and flat out underappreciated. He earned a positive Pro Football Focus pass grade against each opponent from week six to week nine, ranging from 1.6 to 5.6 (11 composite). Dalton makes notable plays one way or the other; the question is will he toss three touchdowns or stare down three interceptions. After two miserable efforts, he’s due. With Joe Haden certain to lock horns with A.J. Green, Jones should see plenty of ‘quality’ and ‘quantity’ in week 11. Dalton trusts Jones to win at the point of attack even when covered up. Unfortunately, that trust has resulted in costly interceptions in back to back weeks – but the opportunities to strike gold will continue be there. The Bengals have their bye on the horizon in week 12.

*Premium Stats provided by ProFootballFocus.com*

Follow Adam on twitter @AdamGaneles for NFL analytics and breakdowns

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