After a 103 yard, one touchdown performance in week five many were expecting Leonard Hankerson to continue his fantasy ascension. Unfortunately, it didn’t really happen after Hankerson was forced to leave during the first half against the Redskins because of a rib injury. However, he did return.
Owners shouldn’t be too concerned about Hankerson’s performance because the best is yet to come, especially in week six. Julio Jones has been nursing a hamstring over the past few weeks and is likely going to be questionable in week six.
Even though head coach Dan Quinn expects Jones to play, this could be a situation a la Chris Ivory in week three, where Jones is active week 6 but barely plays, if at all.
Even if Jones plays, his impact on the game could be limited. In week five, Jones only caught five of his 10 targets for 67 yards. The Falcons are on a short week, playing on Thursday, which could lead to a limited Jones come game day.
So, if Jones does miss the game or has his snaps limited, Hankerson becomes an extremely valuable fantasy commodity. Despite the rough week five, Hankerson was targeted at least six times and caught two touchdowns from weeks two to four.
Also, according to Pro Football Focus’ Mike Clay, Brandon Browner is their worst graded cornerback so far in 2016. Delvin Breaux can’t be too high on their rankings either.
So, regardless of Jones’ status, Hankerson has a great matchup, but if Jones is out, he’s pretty much a must-start.