Week Seventeen Analysis: With the list of injured Packers wideouts growing by the minute, James Jones is about the only one who has been healthy all season. He's been clutch as of late too, including a three touchdown game two weeks ago and 100 yards and a score last week, which is good since he's likely going to be the top receiver option against the Vikings this weekend. The Vikes did allow seven catches and 97 yards to Andre Johnson last week, but only allowed two catches and 18 yards to the rest of the Houston wideouts. In the first meeting Jones only had two catches for 40 yards, but did have a touchdown.
Week Sixteen Analysis: No one, not even James Jones, saw that coming. Last week Jones only hauled in five catches for 60 yards, but three of them went for touchdowns. Jones now leads the NFL in receiving touchdowns with 12, and nine of those have come from inside the red zone. He's basically their goal line option. Jones has had more red zone targets than any of the Packers' running backs have had red zone rushing attempts. He's also scored three times as many touchdowns inside the 20 as all of the Pack's running backs combined. This week in Green Bay, the Titans come to town. Tennessee happens to have given up 18 red zone passing scores this season, the fourth-most in the NFL.
Week Fourteen Analysis: You would think that Greg Jennings returning to the lineup last week would have hurt James Jones' on-field opportunities, so it might surprise you to learn that Jones was the only Packers' receiver on the field for all 80 of Green Bay's offensive snaps last week. He logged 13 more snaps than Randall Cobb and 27 more plays than Greg Jennings. Jones also recorded the only passing touchdown last week, but there is a downside. Jones has only been targeted six times in the last three weeks, including a goose egg in New York two weeks ago. But Jones' specialty has been the red zone, which is something the Lions have struggled with as of late. In the last six weeks Detroit has given up eight red zone passing touchdowns, including two last week to Donnie Avery.
Week Twelve Analysis: James Jones is tied for the lead among wide receivers with seven red zone touchdowns this season, but there's a few reasons why Jones is lower on this list than his teammates. First, he's only scored once in the last four weeks. Second, he has yet to top 81 yards in a game this season. But maybe most of all, in a seemingly good matchup, he faces a Giants team that has only allowed a total of seven red zone passing touchdowns this year. That mark is the fifth-best in the NFL. Granted, everything else about the Giants secondary is terrible, including the five touchdowns to wide receivers in just their last two games. He's still a starter in most formats, just temper your expectations a bit.
Week Eleven Analysis: With Jordy Nelson expected to return, James Jones will see fewer snaps and passes. But believers in Jones cite his eight touchdown receptions this year while playing for one of the best passing attacks in the league. Critics of Jones respond by letting us know that he's been held to fewer than 90 yards in 15 straight games. If it's a choice between the two, I'm siding with touchdowns. Jones has made his name this year by scoring seven red zone touchdowns, while Detroit has been particularly easy to pass on inside the 20 over the last few weeks. In their last five games, the Lions have allowed seven red zone passing touchdowns to opponents.
Week Nine Analysis: First a side note: this ranking assumes that Jordy Nelson won't play thanks to his hamstring injury and bye next week. If I'm wrong, and he goes, James Jones drops down 10-15 spots. While James Jones has not scored in two straight weeks, there is positivity to be seen in his production. Jones was targeted more and had more receptions in the last two games than in any other contests this season. It's part of the deal when you own a Packers' receiver. They will get touches, and score in bunches, but they will also have a few weeks in which they are held out of the end zone. This week the Packers face an Arizona club that made Alex Smith look like Joe Montana on Monday night. The Niners' wideouts combined for 12 receptions, 143 yards and three touchdowns, including a 47-yard bomb to Randy Moss against Arizona.
Week Eight Analysis: James Jones has caught nine balls in the red zone and converted seven of those for touchdowns. He's had only 20 catches from outside the red zone and has not scored on any of them. It's pretty safe to say that Jones is not viewed as the Packers' deep threat. But he's a threat indeed, even more of a goal line option than the Packers running backs. In the red zone, the Packers have scored through the air 13 times, while running in only two touchdowns. In fact, Green Bay has had only 12 rushing attempts inside the 20 all year. The Jaguars have allowed at least one wide receiver touchdown in each of the last four weeks.
Week Seven Analysis: Unless you've been in a space pod in the troposphere for the last few weeks, you've probably noticed that James Jones has scored twice in each of the last three games. While the touchdowns are a fantastic story, I'm still uncomfortable with the fact that Jones is averaging only 3.8 receptions and 45 yards per game. Without the touchdowns he's nearly worthless on a fantasy roster. Let's see if he can keep it up this week in St. Louis. The Rams have only allowed four touchdown passes this season (the fewest in the league) and only two of those were to wide receivers.
Week Six Analysis: James Jones Jones is scoring a touchdown on one of every four receptions, but somehow is averaging less than 48 yards per game. Hey, quit stealing Jordy Nelson's stat line! Assuming Greg Jennings is going to sit for another week, I'm going to stick with Jones, as he's scored twice in each of his last two games and is facing a Texans' defense that just lost one of their best pass rushers, Brian Cushing, to an injury on Monday night. Last week Houston allowed Jeremy Kerley to burn them for five catches and 94 yards. Jones has a history of being inconsistent, but not since Jennings' injury, so he's startable again.
Week Two Analysis:
It looks more and more like Greg Jennings won't suit up for the Packers this Thursday night, meaning James Jones should be primed to fill in the starting receiver role. Why Jones and not Randall Cobb? Jones was on the field for 86 percent of snaps last week while Cobb only saw action in 53 percent of offensive plays. While both are likely to see a healthy increase in snaps, Jones has the track record to prove his value. Last year in Week 16 when Jennings was out due to an injury, Jones rocked the Bears for two touchdowns. For a guy who is likely available in your league right now, James Jones looks like the perfect plug and play guy this week. He's lying in wait, primed to score, like Justin Bieber's latent homosexuality.