Aaron Jones is currently being drafted as the RB16 in the middle of the 3rd Round. Is he worth the draft cost? Spoiler Alert: YES! Here’s his situation for 2019 and why he will be a fantasy football league winner:
Aaron Jones = winning. While NFL production and fantasy football production are sometimes disconnected, I’m speaking for every fantasy football player in the world who knows that Aaron Jones is an NFL star. Who more efficient rushing the ball than Aaron Jones in 2018? No one. The answer is no one. He led the league in yards per carry (ypc) last season with 5.5. In fact, his career average is 5.5 ypc over 24 games, a pretty solid sample size.
Jones averaged the 16th most fantasy points per game (13.2) in Half PPR scoring last year despite a limited workload. If you gave him the average quantity of touches of a top-14 RB, he would have scored 18 fantasy points per game last year. Furthermore… even if his efficiency dropped from 5.5 ypc to 4.1 ypc, he would have still finished as the RB9. He could easily be a top-5 fantasy back with enough opportunity.
Did you know that the Packers were 32nd in rushing attempts (333) last year, 25% below the league average? Mike McCarthy had the league’s most efficient runner on his team but decided to run the fewest rushing plays in the league. Gotta keep the opponents on their toes after all. Maybe McCarthy thought running the ball was a bad strategy. I would rethink that since 8 of 12 playoff teams in 2018 were top-10 in team rushing attempts. Takeaway: run the ball more!
Early this offseason, new Packers head coach, Matt LaFleur indicated that he prefers a running back by committee (RBBC) approach this year. As the offensive coordinator in Tennessee in 2018, he underutilized Derrick Henry until about Week 13. However, it’s important to also remember LaFleur’s involvement with the Rams and Falcons, where Todd Gurley and Devonta Freeman were fantasy studs during his tenure.
On film, there’s a crystal clear difference between Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams. Williams reminds me of LeGarrette Blount (cue the music). He’s powerful, but he’s not the lead dog. Meanwhile, Aaron Jones runs like Le’Veon Bell lite. He’s smart, explosive, and patient. Jones also has a tremendous ability to fall forward for extra yards similar to the likes of Julian Edelman.
Aaron Jones rushed 133 times last year for 5.5 yards per carry. Jamaal Williams rushed 121 times for 3.8 yards per carry. Jones caught 74% of passes thrown his way vs Williams at 66%. If we compare the production of Jones and Williams when they touched the ball at least 10 times last season, it becomes obvious that Jones is the superior talent:
Games w/ 10+ touches (2018)
Touches / game
Rushing yds / game
Receiving yds / game
TD / game
Fpts / game
Matt Lafleur needs to take a lesson I learned from The Office… “KISS: Keep It Simple Stupid.” Unleash Aaron Jones in 2019, and it’s a win for everybody.
I expect a bounce-back year from Rodgers. Davante Adams is a beast and should have no problem repeating as a top-3 WR performance, even if Rodgers repeats his mediocre 25-TD season. However, Rodgers could easily throw for as many as 38 touchdowns, as he’s done four times in the last eight seasons. That would generate 85+ more fantasy points to go around compared to last season. No reason to think Aaron Jones couldn’t be a big beneficiary.
As mentioned earlier, Aaron Jones is being selected in mock drafts in the middle of the 3rd Round as the RB16. Draft him with confidence as early as pick 3.01. He’s a breakout candidate who could finish as a top-5 RB if everything aligns for him this season. Give me the NFL’s most efficient runner on a team that has the potential to lead the league in points scored. In fantasy football, upside is king. Aaron Jones is the definition of a potential league winner. All he needs is for the new coaching staff to acknowledge and apply his insane talent.