You are not giving Aaron Jones the respect he deserves in drafts

Once the fantasy football community decides to turn its collective back on a particular player during draft season, it’s hard to convince them otherwise. Andy Behrens will try to do so anyway — first up, a veteran running back who can still get it done regardless of his circumstances.

Look, it’s certainly possible that Green Bay’s offense is about to absolutely crater in the first season of the post-Aaron Rodgers era. We can’t rule it out. As a lifelong Bears supporter, I’m open to the concept.

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Before we declare the Packers to be definitively dead, however, we should consider the following facts:

  1. Rodgers actually just delivered his worst statistical season as a starter, producing career lows in passer rating (91.1) and yards per attempt (6.8).

  2. Jordan Love is a former first-round pick who served a long apprenticeship and looked just fine in limited duty last season.

  3. Green Bay has a quality offensive line, an accomplished head coach and respectable talent at the skill spots, including an excellent (and under-appreciated) running back tandem.

This brings us to Aaron Jones, one of fantasy’s most flagrantly disrespected backs.

Why the Aaron Jones undermining is unwarranted

Last year, all Jones did was gain 1,516 scrimmage yards, catch 59 passes and average 5.3 yards per carry. He also finished among the NFL leaders in missed tackles (53) and yards after contact per attempt (3.2), plus he never missed a game. If you were somehow disappointed with the production you received from Jones … well, wow. He was his usual highly efficient and effective self.

Jones is verifiably great. Even a committed Chicago fan can admit as much.

And yet, for reasons that remain unclear, Jones is currently the RB14 in ADP in early-drafting Yahoo leagues. It’s wild.

Over the past four seasons, this man has ranked among the RB1s three times, including two top-five positional finishes. He hasn’t found himself RB14 or lower since 2018. In a healthy season, there is simply no way that Jones is finishing as an unhelpful mid-RB2. You likely can’t name 13 professional running backs who are better than this guy. No chance.

Again, we can make no promises about the performance of Love in 2023, but we can tell you the offseason vibes between RB and QB are quite good. Jones is an exceptional receiver too, not merely a good one:

A running back like this should be an inexperienced quarterback’s best friend. After Rodgers took all the veteran wideouts with him to New York, the receiving corps in Green Bay is now a collection of first- and second-year players. It’s not crazy to think that Jones could be headed for a career-high in catches. He deserves at least last year’s receiving workload.

Jones has exhibited no signs of decline whatsoever and he’s going to be an offensive centerpiece for his team. Fade him at your own peril.


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