Aaron Jones is one of 2019’s top investments. His average draft position belies his promising range of outcomes as the Packers’ lead back.
Health is a concern for Jones, likely a factor in the market’s favoring of less profitable backs. Marlon Mack, Derrick Henry, Nick Chubb and Damien Williams, among others, are being drafted ahead of Jones. I generally approach all my running back targets with the assumption of medium-to-high risk. Consequently, I’m willing to downplay Jones’ track record a bit. I’m also buying that his offseason work and sacrifice will allow him to decrease his odds of injury.
For as long as Jones is healthy, volume will be plentiful, which is the most important factor for any running back. In February, Matt LaFleur suggested the backfield would be a running-back-by-committee. However, the tone has changed in recent weeks and LaFleur’s play-calling history suggests he’s willing to put plenty of work on his lead back’s plate.
A 45-50 percent share of carries and a 12-15 percent share of targets is my bet for Jones, and I’m confident his percentage of the opportunity will yield 250-plus touches.
February is also when Packers GM Brian Gutekunst challenged Jones to get in shape, suggesting he possessed the capability of serving an every-down role. Jones returned to camp leaner and stronger, decreasing his body fat to 5.3 percent. And consequently increasing his odds of running away as the lead back. (In virtually any profession, rising to the challenge of your boss’s boss typically results in good things.)
CWi Strategy: Aaron Jones
As a result of the aforementioned developments, I’ve landed Aaron Jones in five of my first 14 Yahoo! Pro League drafts and will continue to invest in him aggressively throughout the preseason.
CWi: 20 | Y! ADP: 35.1 | FFC: 24.8