Best of SI: The Julio Jones vs. Calvin Ridley Debate in Fantasy Football

Christopher Walsh

This is one of those times you need to take a closer, second look at the question being asked.

Former Alabama wide receivers Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley are teammates on the Atlanta Falcons, and in terms of a straight-up comparison there is none. At least not yet.

Last season, Jones finished with 1,394 receiving yards, the second-most in the NFL despite missing one game. He's finished in the top three in receiving yards every year since 2013. 

But fantasy football is not real football, and while Jones was voted by his peers to be the 11th best player in the recent NFL 100, he's not being ranked that highly as a fantasy player this season. 

So SI Fantasy analysts Ben Heisler and Bill Enright debated the following question: Based on their average draft position, would you rather have Jones in the second round of a fantasy draft this season, or Ridley in the fourth round?

So far Jones' average draft position is 17th overall. Ridley's is 40th.  

On paper it's not as easy of a decision as one might initially expect, especially since Ridley could see more passes thrown his way and statistically close the gap.  

However, the inaugural BamaCentral fantasy league last year was won by the person who selected Jones first overall. We doubt he'll be falling to the second round in any drafts we'll be participating in. 

Julio Jones
Calvin Ridley 










Avg. pos. draft position

WR 4

WR 16

Avg. overall draft position  



NCAA asks Congress for a lot 

This might have slipped under your radar, but in a four-page document sent to legislators earlier this month the NCAA has asked for Congressional protection from lawsuits and state laws while also seeking full control to create NIL legislation.

Specifically, the governing body of college athletics is asking for lawmakers to grant it antitrust protection, preemption from differing state NIL laws and to allow it to craft all rules on athlete compensation.

Ross Dellenger of Sports Illustrated obtained a copy of the bold proposal, what the NCAA refers to as “The Intercollegiate Amateur Sports Act of 2020." It's similar to the Power 5’s NIL proposal that SI obtained earlier this month.

Both are heavily skewered in favor of the schools and leagues, while Sen. Cory Booker (D-New Jersey) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) are crafting legislation that they refer to as an “athlete’s bill of rights,” which could potentially fold into an NIL bill.

The NCAA says it shall establish rules and standards for administering financial aid, participation benefits, licensing revenues and other benefits or payments, including NIL, to amateur athletes by no later than June 30, 2021. Even so, the two sides are on a collision course, in an arena that could see drastic change in the next election.  

Did you notice?

• The swinging pendulum of college football has moved back toward playing this fall as several conferences announced preseason plans and updated schedules on Friday. However, Pat Forde of SI says it's time for Power 5 leaders to articulate the biggest motive behind the push to play the 2020 college football season: Money.

 Study: NCAA robs predominantly Black athletes of opportunity to build generational wealth

• Tom Verducci: How Does MLB Move Forward?

 New Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Marquise Goodwin discusses what went into his decision to sit out the 2020 season after consulting with his family, coaches and teammates.

The lighter side

The relationship between LeBron James and Ohio State could grow even stronger

 .Tom Coughlin fractured four ribs, slightly punctured his lung and needed stitches in his head after a bike accident (we hope for a speedy recovery).

• Yep, he's in midseason form ...