Hello there, and welcome to the second installment of Diamond in the Rough. DITR is an article series where I select a player that I believe to be undervalued based on their ADP (Average Draft Position) and then state my case as to why they should be targeted in every draft. Enjoy!
Every Jordan needs a Pippen, every Brady needs a Belichick, Every Ruth needs a Gehrig, you get the point. Dynamic duos can be traced back as far as sports history has been recorded. As I stated, each of those athletes needed another, it’s vice versa. They just feed off of each other and their success resonates. In this article, we will be looking at a very dynamic duo, namely the lesser half of said duo.
Julio Jones and Taylor Gabriel
Julio Jones needs no introduction, he has solidified himself as a top-three wideout in the league, arguably the best. You all know the spill, the guy that we’ll be focusing on today is none other than his teammate, Taylor Gabriel. Before we dive into that, let’s take a look at the Falcons’ offense as a whole. Julio Jones, Devonta Freeman, Tevin Coleman, Austin Hooper, and Mohamed Sanu make up the majority of one of the best offenses we’ve ever seen. Not to mention reigning MVP Matt Ryan at the helm. So where does this leave Taylor Gabriel? How does he fit into the offense? How is he going to be a relevant fantasy asset? Let’s find out.
After a slow start, Gabriel seemed to find his stride in week 8. From weeks 8-16, Gabriel notched 27 catches, 472 yards, and 6 touchdowns, this is a stretch where the Falcons had a bye week, meaning Gabriel averaged a WHOPPING 23.6 yards per catch over this span. This shows that he has scorching speed and playmaking ability that can often times leave defenders looking silly. Just to fully understand how impressive Gabriel was during the second half of the season, let’s compare his weeks’ 8-16 to his teammate, Julio Jones.
Gabriel: 27 catches, 472 yards, 6 touchdowns, 23.6 YPC
Jones: 43 catches, 523 yards, 1 touchdown, 12.1 YPC
Let’s translate these stats to fantasy points:
Gabriel: 83.2 Fantasy Points (Standard Scoring) 110.2 Fantasy Points (PPR)
Jones: 58.3 Fantasy Points (Standard Scoring) 101.3 Fantasy Points (PPR)
As you can see, Gabriel was the much better option in weeks 8-16. The gap was closer in PPR, but Gabriel still edged out Jones. While Jones was out for two games, that’s always a problem with having him on your squad. Jones has proven to be completely dominant when healthy, but struggles to stay that way.
I am in no way saying that Gabriel is going to continue to outperform Jones. But we’re looking at a guy, in Gabriel, that is currently being taken in the 11th round in 12 team leagues. This is a great value pick in a round where value can be hard to come by. Go get Gabriel in as many leagues as you can, you won’t regret it.
Questions, comments, concerns? Find me on Twitter @TFRJordan