As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. Aaron Jones had one of the most efficient touchdown-scoring seasons in recent memory, so he’s due for a step back there. Also, the Packers added one of the better running backs in the 2020 class, so he’s due for a step back there. But, have we stepped too far back from Aaron Jones in our fantasy football drafts?
Aaron Jones ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB10, 15 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB12, 17 overall
Average Auction Value: $47
Aaron Jones Statistics:
Aaron Jones Overview:
First, let’s start with Aaron Jones and his touchdowns. Jones scored 19 touchdowns last season, which tied Christian McCaffrey for both the 2019 lead in that category and for the third-most among running backs in the last four years. In those last four years, there are 83 instances of running backs getting at least 200 touches. Their average touchdowns came at a rate of one touchdown every 26.6 touches, and every 133 yards.
If you think about the backs getting these types of scores, you’re looking at about a touchdown every game-and-a-half or so. Aaron Jones scored a touchdown once every 15 touches. Only 2018 Kareem Hunt and 2017 Alvin Kamara were more efficient on a touches-per-touchdown basis. Jones also punched one in for every 82 yards he went on the ground. Again, only two players outpaced this: 2019 Todd Gurley, and 2016 LeGarrette Blount. That’s obviously due for some regression, as only Alvin Kamara fulfilled his TD destiny in the following year.
Then, the A.J. Dillon factor. I wasn’t a big fan of Dillon coming out of Boston College; he strikes me someone needing more seasoning to reach his NFL potential. I pegged him as a guy who just needed to slightly level up his traits to be a beast in the league. It looks like the Packers thought the same. I view Dillon as an existential threat not to Aaron Jones, but to Jamaal Williams. Dillon needs to get some seasoning before getting thrown in the deep end, and 2020 will provide that in spades as he waits his turn (and Aaron Jones’ impending free agency). He does not significantly frighten me, as Aaron Jones was close to the league lead in five-zone carries, but was not extraordinarily efficient nor did he have an undue number of carries.
Aaron Jones Draft Strategy:
Aaron Jones as your RB1 or RB2 in the middle of the second round provides absolutely great value. He sits right in the middle of a tier of backs for me that I would be okay with as my #1 running back and absolutely ecstatic if I could slot them into my RB2 slot. I would rather have him in this tier than Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Miles Sanders or Leonard Fournette. However, he’s not sniffing my roster if Austin Ekeler is still available. It’s a toss-up depending on how I’m feeling that day if I want Jones or Kenyan Drake.
Given that Jones was top-three last season, I am taking a step back on him. It isn’t that A.J. Dillon particularly scares me, or that I think that he’s going to end up with single-digit touchdowns this year. I recognize that Aaron Jones is due for touchdown regression. There isn’t really any way around that; he had one of the most efficient years in recent memory, and everyone else who can boast that had a disappointing follow up to that campaign. Still, he’s Aaron Rodgers’ RB1, and he still averaged nearly 100 yards from scrimmage per game last year. Oh, and he’s really freaking good. So don’t be so quick to throw him out because of some touchdowns and A.J. Dillon.
Best Case Scenario:
A.J. Dillon rides the pine and Jamaal Williams fulfills his feelings of being a mermaid, or Spongebob Square Pants.
Worst Case Scenario:
Aaron Jones stumbles out of the gate, and Dillon learned enough this offseason to snatch the role from him.
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com and airyards.com]