Who to Start in Fantasy: Brian Hartline vs. James Jones
Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline and Green Bay Packers wide receiver James Jones have been hot commodities lately in fantasy football. It’s as if last Sunday was the official release of their IPO stock. Everyone is trying to get ‘em. Let’s say you either have both of them or are looking to pick either one up off of waivers ( assuming either is still available). Which one would you rather have?
Thoughts on Hartline:
Tremendous game last Sunday and fantasy owners have been hysterical about him. While we saw what he is capable of, don’t expect a repeat performance. And for that matter, I wouldn’t get too hopeful that he even tops 130 yards receiving again this year. Why? you ask. First, he has a rookie QB in Ryan Tannehill that he is dependent upon getting him the ball. Second, new coaching staff and new offense present a learning curve for all members of the offense. Lastly, the Dolphins schedule isn’t exactly “easy” by any means. If Hartline continues to produce, teams will be inclined to double cover him as there isn’t really another threat on the opposing side in Devone Bess.
On the flip-side, Hartline is a starter as compared with James Jones. Hartline will continue to get guaranteed targets every week, making him a better play throughout the course of the whole season.
Thoughts on Jones:
Jones had 56 yards and 2 TD’s last week and has also been a highly coveted pickup. He has 16 receptions for 191 yards and 3 TD’s on the year. Pretty solid weekly WR3 or flex option. He also has one of the elite QB’s in Aaron Rodgers. The Packers rely on Rodgers and the passing attack so opportunities are more apparent. That’s a huge plus.
With WR Greg Jennings possibly missing some more time due to injury, Jones should see more time and targets. What’s also encouraging about Jones is that he’s been one of Rodgers’ favorite redzone targets. More TD opportunites means more possible points. Gotta like that.
What Jones has going against him is that first, he isn’t the starter. When Jennings returns, Jones will surely take a hit in opportunities on the field. Also, fantasy owners have seen this from James Jones before. He had a good game and then just couldn’t repeat the performance. With that type of track record could we be just seeing the usual James Jones or is he finally ready to contribute and show up every week.
If you’re targeting one of these guys my suggestion is to choose based on need. If you need a guy to fill a WR spot for the season then I’d say go with Hartline since he’s a starter and will play considerably every week.
If it’s a guy to fill a spot for maybe this week or two weeks down the road for a bye week, I’d go with Jones. With Jennings out for an undetermined time, I like Jones simply because he’ll have better opportunities than Hartline since he has the Packers offense and Aaron Rodgers on his side. But when Jennings comes back, his role should diminish unless he’s super-productive.