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Barkowitz: Leave Julio down by the schoolyard

WHEN THE draft rolls around next year and it's time to select the first receiver, think of Julio Jones and what he did last week.

Falcons' Julio Jones runs with the ball during the second half of Week 10 game against Eagles.
Falcons' Julio Jones runs with the ball during the second half of Week 10 game against Eagles.Read moreMatt Rourke

WHEN THE draft rolls around next year and it's time to select the first receiver, think of Julio Jones and what he did last week.

And then take Antonio Brown.

Jones did not play in Atlanta's Week 14 rout at Los Angeles with a sprained toe and is looking at sitting again this week against the 49ers. Jones was again absent from practice on Thursday.

You know those preseason commercials for fantasy sites that show a guy with one of those huge checks for like 100Gs? What they don't show is the poor saps among us who have been relying on Jones all year only to have him come up small when it means the most. He's missed Week 14 three of the last four years with various injuries, which is one example why single-week games like those run by FanDuel and DraftKings have exploded.

Bumps and bruises happen to everyone, but the collateral damage in fantasyland is more painful when guys miss tasty matchups like Jones had against the Rams and has here on Sunday. No team has given up more touchdowns to opposing wide receivers than San Fran. It's a 4 o'clock game, so have a standby plan. Atlanta teammate Taylor Gabriel, Arizona's J.J. Nelson or Baltimore's Steve Smith are reasonable options if Jones has to sit again.

Contest of the week

How many official passing attempts will Carson Wentz have on Sunday?

Wentz has had 60 and 46 attempts over the last two weeks, which is a ridiculous load for a rookie. He's sixth in the league with 498 passes thrown (38.3 per).

Coach Doug Pederson said he'd like to lighten Wentz's load, but also mentioned that the Ravens are No. 1 in rushing defense.

The reader who comes closest to forecasting Wentz's passing attempts will earn a Daily News fantasy football T-shirt. In case of tie, one winner will be selected at random. Wentz has to play or the contest is nullified.

Send guesses to by noon Sunday. Include your hometown.

Did you know?

Roman Gabriel is the only Eagles quarterback ever to lead the league in passing attempts. He had 460 in 1973. Donovan McNabb set the team record of 571 in 2008 when he finished fourth league-wide. That was the last season the Eagles won a playoff game.

Weather report

From, starting with the most extreme. Games are Sunday unless noted:

* Green Bay at Chicago: Extreme cold, with a low of -15 and wind at 10-20 mph.

* Tennessee at Kansas City: Single-digit temps, but light wind.

* Cleveland at Buffalo, snow flurries, temps in the 20s, wind 20-30 mph

* Miami at New York Jets (Saturday): Rainy, temps in the 40s, wind 10-20 mph.

* Eagles at Baltimore: Rainy, temps in the 40s, wind 10-20 mph.

* Detroit at New York Giants: Occasional rain, temps in the 40s, wind 10-20 mph.

* Pittsburgh at Cincinnati; Temps in the teens, dry, wind 5-10 mph.

* New England at Denver: Dry, with temps in the 20s, wind 5-10 mph.

* Carolina at Washington (Monday): Dry, with temps in the 30s, wind 5 mph.

Time travel

It's been almost five full years since Matt Moore started a game, which the Dolphins quarterback will do on Saturday night against the Jets. Oddly, Moore's start in Week 17 of the 2011 season also was against the Jets, but it was in Miami. More triviality: Conwell-Egan product Steve Slaton led the Dolphins with 55 yards rushing that day. It was the final game of his NFL career.

Position watch

QUARTERBACKS: Speaking of disappointments, this is the first time in seven years Drew Brees has gone consecutive games without throwing a touchdown pass. His six interceptions are the most he's had in back-to-back games since he had seven in Weeks 13-14 in 2012 . . . Philip Rivers leads the AFC with 27 TD passes and has thrown multiple scores (14 in all) in each of the last six. But he's also thrown an astonishing 13 interceptions in that span . . . We have Marcus Mariota as a QB2 this week against a Chiefs defense that has held in check Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, Matt Ryan and Derek Carr over the last five weeks. Trevor Siemian, however, did scorch KC for 368 yards and three TDs in Week 12.

RUNNING BACKS: Ty Montgomery is now listed as a running back on the depth chart. He had 13 touches last week and scored his first touchdown of the season. With Aaron Rodgers battling a calf injury - and every other Packers RB banged up - Montgomery is an interesting option as an RB2 . . . With Adrian Peterson targeting a return in Week 16, it's worth noting that the Vikings'

final two games are at Green Bay (13th in fewest points allowed to RBs) and home to Chicago (6th). Leave him on the waiver wire . . . The Ravens give up the fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs, and have contained Le'Veon Bell, Ezekiel Elliott, Jeremy Hill, Jay Ajayi and LeGarrette Blount since their Week 8 bye. Wait'll Ryan Mathews gets ahold of them, though.

WIDE RECEIVERS: New England's Malcolm Mitchell has scored four touchdowns in the last four games. Rob Gronkowski goes down, a fourth-round rookie steps up. Remarkable. Mitchell is keeper-league material and will be a hot midround pick in 2017 drafts . . . Carolina's Kelvin Benjamin has one 100-yard game all season (in Week 2) and hasn't caught more than three passes in a game in a month . . . J.J. Nelson's arrow is pointing up after the Cardinals released Michael Floyd. Nelson is a WR 2/3 this week against New Orleans and in Week 17 at the Rams. Week 16 at Seattle, however, is a different story . . . Chicago's Alshon Jeffery, a potential free agent, is back after a four-game PED suspension. He's never played in a game with Matt Barkley at QB.

Ed Barkowitz, who lost to colleague Bob Cooney in a playoff game last week, has been writing about fantasy football in the Daily News since 2001.