Making the Case Not to Draft Aaron Jonesby Mike Fanelli September 2, 2020 1 comment
The 2020 NFL season is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to get ready for fantasy football. Every year fantasy owners select players that either hit or turn into a bust. In this article, I will explain why fantasy owners should avoid Green Bay Packers’ running back Aaron Jones. According to Fantasy Pros PPR ADP, Jones is being selected as the RB14 and 19th overall player off the board.
Make sure to check out all of our other Making the Case articles.
Last season, Jones exploded onto the fantasy scene, finishing the year as the RB2, averaging 19.7 fantasy points per game. A big part of that success was his touchdown production. Jones tied Derrick Henry for the league lead with 16 rushing touchdowns. However, Henry had 67 more rushing attempts than Jones in one fewer game. Jones’ 236 rushing attempts were 103 more than he had in 2018, while his targets increased from 35 in 2018 to 68 last season. Jones had a career season and now enters a contract year. The problem is, the Packers aren’t interested in paying him long term, nor should they.
First off, we all know the Packers surprised everyone by taking AJ Dillon with their second-round pick in April’s draft. Off the bat, Jones will have more competition for not only rushes but more importantly, goal line work. Last season, 10 of Jones’ 16 rushing touchdowns were from five yards out or less. Dillon is a bigger back at 6’0” 247 lbs and should take away a lot of the goal line work, impacting Jones’ touchdown production. In addition, Dillon has been impressive so far in camp. Furthermore, 30.5 percent of Jones’ 314.8 fantasy points from last season came on his rushing touchdowns. Expect Jones’ rushing touchdowns to be closer to 8-10 this season. If Jones has the exact same fantasy season as last year but scores just 10 touchdowns, he scores 2.3 fewer fantasy points per game.
Maybe Jones will become more involved in the passing game if Dillon is taking away goal line work? Don’t count on it. Yes, Jones had a career-high 49 catches on 68 targets, but those numbers were inflated by Davante Adams‘ injury. In the four games Adams miss, Jones caught 22 of 27 targets (81.5 percent). By comparison, in the 12 games Adams played, Jones caught 27 of just 41 targets (65.9 percent). Jones averaged 3.25 more catches and 3.33 more targets per game when Adams was injured. For reference sake, Adams has played in 14 or more games in three straight seasons before last year. Expect passing game regression from Jones this season.
To further rain on Jones’ parade, he wasn’t the full time back last season before the team drafted Dillon. Jamaal Williams played at least 40 percent of the snaps in every game he finished last season. In fact, the only four times Jones played 68 percent or more of the snaps were in the four games Williams either missed or left early with an injury. The Packers may run the ball more this year against Aaron Rodgers‘ wishes but all three running backs will be involved. Don’t expect Jones to repeat his top-five finish this year.
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