Four Downs: Joneses do well; Bucs don't 

December, 16, 2012
Two wide receivers with the initials "J.J." certainly enjoyed their Sunday, with a varying degree of fantasy owners cashing in. In Atlanta, Julio Jones delivered his second 20-point (standard scoring) fantasy performance in a month, picking up the slack for a banged-up Roddy White and leading the Atlanta Falcons to a 34-0 whitewash of the New York Giants. In Chicago, the seemingly buried James Jones scored a Week 15-high three touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers held off the Chicago Bears, 21-13. These guys named J.J. are not particularly similar in terms of skills or fantasy value, but in each case they reminded owners of their considerable upside.

For Julio Jones, who has frustrated fantasy owners with somewhat inconsistent play of late (likely due to ankle woes), he was active in more than 91 percent of ESPN standard leagues, and did not disappoint his owners, catching all six of his targets for 74 yards and two scores. Jones is matchup-proof and a must-start each week, even when White isn't nursing a knee problem, and his final two matchups are similarly attractive (Detroit Lions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers). There's risk that the Falcons will clinch the top NFC seed in Week 16 and sit their stars in the finale, but the way Jones is finishing his sophomore season, he's making a strong case for top-5 wide receiver status next season, perhaps sitting in the same neighborhood after the great Calvin Johnson as Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green and Demaryius Thomas as second-rounders in standard drafts.

[+] Enlarge Aaron Rodgers
AP Photo/Rick OsentoskiSomebody has to catch Aaron Rodgers' TD passes; he's on pace for 37 of them this season.
For James Jones, who has just a fraction of the targets, receptions and yards of the leaders, no NFL player has caught more than his 12 touchdown passes. Think about that for a minute. A year ago, Jones' teammate Jordy Nelson scored 15 touchdowns on 68 catches; Jones has 12 touchdowns and 51 receptions with two games left, on barely a third of the yards Calvin Johnson has accumulated. Fantasy owners have whined about the "mediocre" play of quarterback Aaron Rodgers for a month, as he entered Sunday having failed to exceed 15 fantasy points in any game since Week 9, but he skewered the Bears for 24 points. Randall Cobb continues to be Rodgers' top receiver, but Jones was fourth among Green Bay wide receivers in terms of being active (27.6 percent of leagues), and that makes little sense. This was Jones' first game with more than two receptions since Week 9, but he'll make for an attractive flex option the final two weeks (Tennessee Titans, Minnesota Vikings) with Rodgers upping his play, Nelson still nursing a hamstring injury and Greg Jennings slowly working his way back to high-end relevance from his groin injury.