Aaron Jones Reduces Body Fat, Fantasy Workhorse Chances Increasing - Roto Street Journal
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Aaron Jones Reduces Body Fat, Fantasy Workhorse Chances Increasing

Aaron Jones fell from a Top-20 Overall pick to the 35-40 range in March after head coach Matt LaFleur made comments about using Jones and fellow 2017 draftee Jamaal Williams in a committee-based approach. He’s now risen back up to RB17 after showing up to camp at 5.3% body fat, almost half of what he played at last year, and finally looking like lead back material. Jones’ transformation comes just months after Packers GM Brian Gutekunst called him out to improve his conditioning heading into this season, and it could propel him to RB1 status.

Jones was a solid fantasy option for much of 2018, finishing as the RB23 despite missing 4 games and seeing minimal work in others. He led the league with 5.5 yards/carry on the year, and was particularly beastly from Week 8-14, where he racked up the fifth most FPs among backs. Still, he only out-touched Jamaal Williams by 11, who filled in well during Jones’ absences.

LaFleur is known for his work with quarterbacks, but the backfield has been his true centerpiece. He’s manned top-8 rushing attacks in his last 2 seasons as offensive coordinator in LA and Tennessee, and his lead RB has touched the ball 15+ times in 42 of the last 48 games (87.5%). Jones’ improved conditioning gives him a greater chance for this share.

Plus, Jones was already elite when fed: in his 8 games with at least 15+ touches, the speedster has netted 145 touches (24 rec), 883 YFS, and 9 TDs. Over a full season, this equates to a 290 touches (48 rec), 1766 YFS, and 18 TD pace. In other words, Jones would’ve scored 308 FPs (19.3 FPPG), trailing only Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Christian McCaffrey , and Alvin Kamara in 2018.

Even with competition from Williams, a pristine-shaped Jones should operate as the lead back in Green Bay, and is perfect for the screens and zone-running this system demands. Thus, he comes with major upside at his current price around the middle/end of the 3rd round.

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