Lost password?

Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!


Receive free daily analysis


Already have an account? Log In


Forgot Password


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts

2017 Player vs. Player - Julio Jones vs. Mike Evans

Fantasy football draft season is upon us and RotoBaller is here to help! In this series, two RotoBaller experts will discuss the merits of two players with similar value and average draft position (ADP). Remember that situations will change for all players over the course of the summer and it may impact where they are selected in drafts.

We continue this year's Player vs. Player series by looking at a pair of elite wide receivers that are going in the first round of virtually all redraft and dynasty startup drafts.

Nick Del Vecchio (@nickydelta) and Andrew C. Lovell (@andrew_lovell) take sides on behalf of owners in PPR leagues choosing between Julio Jones and Mike Evans, with each making a compelling case for his preferred player.

Featured Promo: Get any full-season NFL Premium Pass for 50% off and win big in 2023. Exclusive access to our Premium articles, 15 lineup tools, new Team Sync platform, Lineup Optimizer, Premium DFS tools and cheat sheets, and much more! Sign Up Now!


Julio Jones (WR, ATL) - Nick

Julio Jones took a slight step back in 2016 compared to the gaudy receiving numbers he put up in 2014 and 2015. However, 83 receptions for 1,409 yards with six TDs from a year ago kept him within elite status of all fantasy wide receivers. He averaged over 100 yards per game and an explosive 17 yards per catch. He is by far the best receiver on his team, and Matt Ryan will continue to force feed him the ball up and down the field. It sure looked to be the game plan during the NFC playoffs, as he totaled 15 catches for 247 yards and three scores in the two games against Seattle and Green Bay.

The one downside with Jones as far as fantasy production goes is that he only has reached double-digit touchdowns once in his career. He finished with six, eight, and six in his last three seasons, respectively. I believe he can easily get to 10 or more this season, as the offense will look to get him many more red-zone looks. New offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian, the former Alabama and University of Washington coach, now replacing Kyle Shanahan, had this to say about Jones:

"I think, No. 1, they were still very good in the red zone, but when you have a player like Julio, it's making sure we maximize his opportunities because there is so much double coverage, there are so many unique coverages that roll his way that when we don’t get that, let's make sure he's one of the primary receivers on that play because it is such a tough matchup for anybody one on one."

As Sarkisian alluded to, when Jones sees single coverage, he is making the play. There have been a number of highlight-reel catches over his career in which he was draped by coverage, only to come down with the ball. His size, hands, catch radius, and sheer determination leads to a high amount of catches per game. Needless to say, that is huge for PPR leagues.

Perhaps the new play caller will dial up more slants and fade routes for Julio deep in the red zone, and a lesser amount of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman run plays. The bottom line here is that if Julio can catch more TDs than he has been, he should have no problem coming very close to being the number one overall WR in fantasy in 2017.

The Falcons' offense was historically great in 2016, finishing with a whopping 540 points, tied with the 2000 Rams for seventh most all-time. They managed to score 30-plus points in 11 games, along with five 40-plus games, good for second all-time. Atlanta recently locked up Freeman to a long-term deal, and a nice chunk of the offense will go through him.

However, whenever Ryan has a passing down, or audibles out of the run, you can expect that his first option is Jones. Expect another prolific season for Jones, along the lines of 90-plus catches, 1,300-plus yards, and at least eight scores.


Mike Evans (WR, TB) - Andrew

Let's get this out of the way right now: you can't go wrong with either Jones or Evans. Both are big, dynamic playmaking wide receivers in the primes of their careers who play in explosive offenses led by Pro Bowl quarterbacks. Outside of stars like Antonio Brown, Odell Beckham Jr., and perhaps A.J. Green, Jones and Evans stand out as two of the most physically-gifted and productive wide receivers in the NFL right now. They are both studs.

But, of course, this is fantasy football, and you can only spend your first-round pick on one of them. Plus, let's be real: it's fun to debate! So while I love Jones, I love Evans just a bit more in 2017. Allow me to explain why.

Any argument in favor of Evans over Jones should begin with their ages. Jones will enter his seventh NFL season at 28 years old, while Evans (fourth season) is just 24. That might not seem like a huge difference, but it's enough of a gap to warrant a closer look. Jones, for instance, had his major breakout campaign in his fourth season, exploding for 104 receptions for 1,593 yards and six touchdowns back in 2014.

If Evans continues his upward trend, he could approach those types of numbers in 2017. The former Texas A&M standout has seen his receptions, targets, and receiving yards increase in each of his first three seasons. Jones, conversely, might have peaked, or at least plateaued over the last three seasons. Jones' average season from 2014-2016 looks like so: 107 receptions, 1,624 yards, six touchdowns. Again, that's an average. Most wide receivers will never post a single season of that magnitude. It's been a remarkable stretch, but are numbers like that maintainable for Jones? It would seem unlikely given a combination of two factors: Jones' injury history and the Falcons' wealth of weapons.

Jones missed two games and was limited in others last season as the result of a nagging toe injury. He had his third career surgery on his left foot in the offseason, and though all indications suggest he'll be ready to roll for the start of the season, it's a troublesome trend. The Falcons also added wide receivers Mohamed Sanu and Taylor Gabriel, and tight end Austin Hooper to an already-potent offense last year. As a result, Jones' reception total decreased by a staggering 53 catches.

Evans, on the other hand, started all 16 games last season and has played in 46 of 48 games overall since joining Tampa Bay as the No. 7 overall pick in 2014. Now, I know what you're thinking: But wait, the Buccaneers added speedy wide receiver DeSean Jackson and rookie tight end O.J. Howard in the offseason. Won't those additions negatively affect Evans like they did Jones? Possibly, but probably not.

Evans might not match or surpass his 96 receptions from last season, but he should find himself facing less double teams. That could mean more yards and touchdowns, the latter being an area where Evans already widely exceeds Jones. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound Evans has 27 career touchdowns in three seasons, including a pair of 12-touchdown campaigns. Jones has 20 touchdowns over the same three-year span, but has topped eight touchdowns only once in his seven-year career.

In short, while Jones might have a slight advantage in receptions in 2017, the two wide receivers' yardage totals should be similar. But Evans could double up Jones in touchdowns, like he did last season, which pushes him ahead in this head-to-head debate.

If you pick Jones, you're drafting based on his track record, which is stellar. If you draft Evans, you're banking on another step forward as he pushes his already skyscraper-like ceiling even higher.


More Player Comparisons

[jiffyNews tags_include='19649' post_limit='15

Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.


Articles & Tools
Import Your Leagues
Weekly Rankings
Compare Any Players
Starts and Sit
Daily Fantasy
Who To Pickup
Fantasy Updates
24x7 News and Alerts


Buffalo Bills6 mins ago

Sean McDermott To Call Defensive Plays
Aaron Rai9 mins ago

Brings Positive Momentum To Valero Texas Open
Javonte Williams13 mins ago

Making "Great Strides" In Recovery
Akshay Bhatia15 mins ago

Looks To Stay Hot In Texas
Hobie Harris23 mins ago

Makes Opening Day Roster
Tyrone Taylor40 mins ago

Hoping To Return In Mid-May
Adrian Houser46 mins ago

Likely To Open On Injured List
Jeff Hoffman51 mins ago

Released By Twins
Kris Bubic57 mins ago

Named Royals Fifth Starter
Sean Doolittle1 hour ago

Tanner Rainey To Continue Rehabbing
Hunter Gaddis1 hour ago

Expected To Enter Rotation
Josiah Gray1 hour ago

To Make Season Debut Saturday
Devin Duvernay1 hour ago

Expected To Return In 2023
Matthew Stafford2 hours ago

Won't Have Any Limitations
Trey Lance2 hours ago

Has A Chance To Regain Starting Job
Odell Beckham Jr.2 hours ago

Giants A Long Shot For Odell Beckham Jr.
DJ Chark2 hours ago

Undergoes Ankle Surgery
Michael Thomas2 hours ago

Making Progress In Recovery
Aaron Rodgers2 hours ago

Trade Could Involve Two Second-Round Picks
Irv Smith Jr.2 hours ago

Agrees To One-Year Deal With Bengals
César Hernández2 hours ago

Tigers Release Cesar Hernandez
James McCann3 hours ago

Likely To Open On Injured List
Mychal Givens3 hours ago

Headed To Injured List
Leody Taveras3 hours ago

Out Another Week
Sergio Romo3 hours ago

Officially Retires With Giants
Cristian Pache3 hours ago

Won't Be On Opening Day Roster
Daniel Hudson3 hours ago

Could Return In Late April
Tony Gonsolin3 hours ago

Dodgers Targeting Late-April Return For Tony Gonsolin
Nicolas Batum4 hours ago

Drops Eight Three-Point Bombs On Chicago
Nikola Jokic4 hours ago

Logs His 29th Triple-Double Of The Year
Tyrese Maxey4 hours ago

Leads Sixers Offense With 29 Points
Immanuel Quickley4 hours ago

Scores Career-High 40 Points
Bennedict Mathurin4 hours ago

Breaks Out Of Slump Monday
Jaden Ivey4 hours ago

Fills The Box Score Monday
Khris Middleton4 hours ago

Has Season-High 34 Points Monday
Lawson Crouse5 hours ago

Delivers Three Assists Monday
Leon Draisaitl5 hours ago

Takes Point Streak To Nine Games
Connor McDavid5 hours ago

Hits 140 Points For The Season
Cale Makar5 hours ago

Helps To Set Up Two Goals
Marc-Andre Fleury5 hours ago

Returns To Form Monday
Matthew Boldy5 hours ago

Scores Another Hat Trick
Trevor Zegras5 hours ago

Suffers A Lower-Body Injury
Daniel Bard12 hours ago

Still Off Monday
Blake Sabol12 hours ago

Made "Fantastic Impression" This Spring
Anthony Rendon13 hours ago

On Fire This Spring
Tyler Anderson13 hours ago

Wraps Up Strong Spring Monday
Miguel Rojas13 hours ago

' Two-Strike Approach Leading To Success
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander14 hours ago

Questionable Versus Charlotte
Ja Morant14 hours ago

Doubtful Versus Orlando
Terry Rozier14 hours ago

Out Again On Tuesday Evening
Gordon Hayward15 hours ago

Unlikely To Play Against OKC
Daniel Gafford15 hours ago

Dealing With A Sore Foot
Kyle Palmieri15 hours ago

Records Three Points Monday
Monte Morris15 hours ago

Uncertain For Tuesday Night
Kyle Kuzma15 hours ago

Remains Out Versus Boston
Gustav Forsling15 hours ago

Scores Twice Despite Florida Loss
Bradley Beal15 hours ago

Sidelined Again On Tuesday
Brady Tkachuk15 hours ago

Logs Two Points In Ottawa Win
New England Patriots15 hours ago

Jerod Mayo To Be Bill Belichick's Successor?
Buffalo Bills16 hours ago

Taylor Rapp Signs One-Year Deal With Bills
Jarrett Stidham16 hours ago

Broncos Think Jarrett Stidham Has Starting Potential
Gardner Minshew16 hours ago

To Compete For Starting Job
Mac Jones16 hours ago

Not Guaranteed To Start In 2023
Samaje Perine16 hours ago

Could Fill In As Starter
Justin Herbert16 hours ago

Chargers Confident They'll Keep Justin Herbert Long Term
Ezekiel Elliott17 hours ago

Cowboys Open To Re-Signing Ezekiel Elliott
Rashod Bateman18 hours ago

Will Be Running In Three Weeks
Odell Beckham Jr.18 hours ago

Giants Open To Reunion With Odell Beckham Jr.
Saquon Barkley18 hours ago

Giants Hopeful Of Long-Term Extension With Saquon Barkley
Maxi Kleber18 hours ago

Questionable On Monday
Jrue Holiday19 hours ago

Ruled Out Monday
Marcus Morris19 hours ago

Sr. Sitting Out On Monday
Karl-Anthony Towns19 hours ago

To Sit Out On Monday
Tyrese Haliburton19 hours ago

Won't Play On Monday
Myles Turner19 hours ago

Unavailable On Monday
Reilly Smith19 hours ago

Ruled Out For At Least Three Games
Erik Gudbranson19 hours ago

Won't Return This Season
Todd Gilliland20 hours ago

Impressive At COTA
Ville Husso20 hours ago

Could Be Done For The Season
Ty Gibbs20 hours ago

Finds His Footing At COTA
Robby Fabbri20 hours ago

Likely Finished For The Season
Troy Terry20 hours ago

Sits Out Monday's Game
Chris Buescher20 hours ago

Continues To Shine On Road Courses
Frank Vatrano20 hours ago

Returns To Ducks Lineup
NASCAR20 hours ago

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. Finishes Seventh
Tage Thompson20 hours ago

A Game-Time Call For Monday
Austin Cindric20 hours ago

Has A Solid Day
Jonas Johansson21 hours ago

Tends Twine Monday In Anaheim
Sergei Bobrovsky21 hours ago

In Goal Monday Against Ottawa
Ilya Sorokin21 hours ago

Starting Monday
John Gibson21 hours ago

Minds The Crease For Ducks Monday
Marlon Vera1 day ago

Has Four-Fight Winning Streak Snapped
Cory Sandhagen1 day ago

Dominates Striking Department
Yana Santos1 day ago

Dominated In Decision Loss
Holly Holm1 day ago

Dominates In Co-Main Event
Austin Lingo1 day ago

Suffers Submission Loss
Nate Landwehr1 day ago

Shines With Second-Round Submission Win
Andrea Lee1 day ago

Suffers Defeat In Close Matchup Saturday
Maycee Barber1 day ago

Takes Close Matchup On Saturday
Chidi Njokuani1 day ago

Takes Close Loss In Split-Decision Showing
Albert Duraev1 day ago

Holds Off Opponent In Tight Split Decision
William Byron1 day ago

Rounds Out Top Five At COTA
Ross Chastain1 day ago

Caught Up To Fourth At COTA On Sunday
Alex Bowman1 day ago

Brings Home Third Place Finish At COTA
Kyle Busch1 day ago

Scrambles Up To Second At Austin
Tyler Reddick1 day ago

Dominates And Wins At COTA
Jordan Taylor3 days ago

Making NASCAR Debut At COTA, Will Start 4th
Austin Cindric3 days ago

Excited To Showcase Speed At COTA This Weekend
Austin Dillon3 days ago

Starts 28th At COTA For Sunday
Ricky Stenhouse Jr3 days ago

. In Middle Of Pack For COTA
Denny Hamlin3 days ago

Rough Patch In Qualifying On Saturday
Kyle Busch3 days ago

Starts Ninth For COTA Race On Sunday
Kyle Larson3 days ago

Could Be A Wildcard On Sunday
Noah Gragson3 days ago

Finds Way To Qualify 10th At COTA
Brad Keselowski3 days ago

A Few Seconds Off the COTA Pace
Ryan Blaney3 days ago

Begins 38th For Sunday's Race At COTA
Chase Briscoe3 days ago

Just A Little Off At COTA On Saturday
Cory Sandhagen4 days ago

Can Earn Back-To-Back Victories
Marlon Vera4 days ago

Finds Himself In Main-Event Spotlight Saturday
Yana Santos4 days ago

Looking For Biggest UFC Win Of Her Career
Holly Holm4 days ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Austin Lingo4 days ago

On Verge Of Three-Fight Winning Streak
Nate Landwehr4 days ago

Hoping For Third Straight Strong Performance
Maycee Barber5 days ago

Can Continue Her Flyweight Ascent
Andrea Lee5 days ago

In Need Of Victory To Keep Momentum Going
MMA5 days ago

Manel Kape On The Hunt For Fourth Straight Victory Saturday
Alex Perez5 days ago

Seeking First Victory Since 2020
Albert Duraev5 days ago

Can Rebound With A Victory