We all love a good story of every analyst’s wet dream having a break out season and making them look smart. Aaron Jones was a favorite for a lot of fantasy football content producers because of his skill set and big play ability. 2019 was his true coming out party and the Packers have to be thrilled a few years after Eddie Lacy didn’t work out (probably literally).
I’m not here to fat shame or clown on eating disorders. I’m no clean bill of health. My ticker is probably begging for a sliver of kale or some asparagus but instead I respond with, “at least I drink more spiked seltzers than beer now.” In fact, who can resist the various brats, cheeses, and ice creams that the great state of Wisconsin has to offer? Eddie could not, but I wish him well and I’m sure he’s living a great post-NFL life. If he wasn’t, he’d probably be trying to crack an XFL roster.
Back to the player at hand, which is Aaron Jones. As I previously mentioned, 2019 was a break out year for the Packers’ lead runner. It was his first 1,000 yard season on the ground and he nearly doubled his previous season’s reception total and more than doubled his receiving yards from 2018. The most impressive part of his season was his touchdown output, especially in the red zone. Aaron Jones led the NFL in red zone scores but had less red zone carries than 12 other players. 11 of Aaron’s 16 rushing touchdowns happened inside the 10 yard line. That’s the efficiency that you like to see when you’re making keeper decisions.
A key to success will be assurance that a solid running game will be sustained in Green Bay. In 2018 under Mike McCarthy, the Packers recorded 307 carries and in 2019 they registered 405 carries under Matt LaFleur. I believe that the increase was more of a mission statement to the future of how this offense operates during the remainder of Aaron Rodgers’ tenure in Green Bay as opposed to the plethora of injuries that they dealt with at the WR position. Or, the amount that they use the rushing attack could fall somewhere in the middle of 2018 and 2019. Either way, with proven hands in the passing game and a quarterback that can move the offense into the red zone often, there is little doubt that Aaron Jones can do this again if not be even better.
There were points in the middle of the season where it looked like Jamaal Williams was going to become a bigger part of the Packer offense than Aaron Jones investors would have liked. Some may feel that he stole a couple of touchdown routes away from Aaron Jones in the passing game. Jamaal Williams didn’t score a touchdown from week 10 and beyond and also failed to reach 10 touches in any game during the fantasy playoffs of weeks 14-16. Looking at the season as a whole, Aaron Jones handled 69% of the carries between the two. Matt LaFleur recently made comments that ideally he would like to add a third back to the mix, but I am not sure how much stock to put into that comment. No decision needs to be made now, but one would think that LaFleur should be more concerned with adding depth to the wide receiver position.
In 2019, Aaron Jones was a middle of the 3rd round fantasy draft pick. It is too early to where he will end up on average in 2020, but so far he’s being drafted towards the end of the second round and according to Fantasy Football Calculator, he has been taken at least once in the first round in a mock draft. As you know, this data is not very reliable at this point, but if I had a guess, the 2nd round will probably be his price tag in 2020 drafts, pending roster changes. If you drafted Jones in the 3rd round, and they don’t add a third threat to his touches, I would happily give up a 3rd round pick to keep him.
Keeper Value: Great, as long as the backfield remains the same.