Marvin Jones‘s 2018 season was his worst since coming to Detroit. Jones also had trouble staying on the field, playing in 9 games last season. The whole Lions team struggled with injuries. Matthew Stafford played with broken bones in his back and Kerryon Johnson sprained his MCL, missing the last 6 games of the season.
The whole team will be bouncing back and Jones could join that group. In his 9 games, he amassed 62 targets for 35 receptions and 508 yards and 5 TDs. Extrapolating the data over a full 16 game season, he would have had 110 targets for 62 receptions and 903 yards and 9 TDs. That stat-line would have given him 206.3 PPR points which would have made him the WR23 last season.
Jones is in the back half of his prime but still has some juice left in him. His current ADP is 103rd overall and being able to get a receiver that can produce top 20 receiver numbers in the 11th round would be a steal that could change the outcome of your fantasy season. In the 9 games that Jones played, he was a solid flex option, in 7/9 games he had 8.5+ points and averaging 12.9 per game. Jones was number one in the league last season in the endzone target share, receiving 54.2% of the Lions end zone targets last season and was 6th the season prior.
The Lions offense looks to be more run-heavy this season by bringing in the offensive coordinator of the number one rush team last season: Darrell Bevell, formerly of the Seahawks. This hire could have a positive and negative effect on Jones. Out of the top ten most run-heavy teams of 2018, six out of the ten teams had one or more receivers inside the top 20. Negatively, these teams tend to run more within the red zone which takes away from one of Jones’s main sources for points. Seahawks number one receiver last season Tyler Lockett did most of his fantasy damage on deep balls and Jones fills the same role with the Lions. Having the deep threat ability gives Jones solid fantasy value on a weekly basis.
Jones seems to have some untapped fantasy value this season that could do dividends for any team, being able to get a low-end WR2 or solid flex in the 10th-11th round can be the difference between a playoff berth and waiting for next season to come. I highly recommend drafting Jones with a late-round pick, his upside this season makes him a possible sleeper this season. His draft price is also low enough that it will not hurt as much to let him go if he does not pan out.