What is Aaron Jones’ 2024 Fantasy Outlook and Value on the Vikings? Impact on Ty Chandler

Aaron Jones should see plenty of volume with the Vikings. But will it equal greater fantasy success?

Shortly after being replaced by Josh Jacobs in Green Bay, Aaron Jones chose revenge. The explosive 29-year-old RB took a one-year, $7 million deal to join the division-rival Minnesota Vikings.

The switch causes some seismic shifts to Aaron Jones’ 2024 fantasy outlook and value. Is he trending upwards or downwards in his new home?

Let’s dive in.

DOES AARON JONES HAVE ANYTHING LEFT IN THE TANK?

After an injury-marred 2023, Jones brings plenty of question marks into his new home. He missed six games and dealt with nagging hamstring injuries for many others, and fantasy managers must be concerned as Jones approaches 30.

Still, Jones also flashed plenty of his patented juice at full strength. He opened the season with a 26.7 FPs outburst, ranking as the RB1. Once back to full health to close the season, Jones ripped off six-straight 100+ YFS performances, including five with 130+ yards.

His game logs over that span, including the playoffs:

  • Week 16: 22 touches (1 rec), 135 YFS, 14.5 FPs, RB16
  • Week 17: 21 touches (1 rec), 130 YFS, 14.0 FPs, RB18
  • Week 18: 27 touches (5 rec), 141 YFS, 19.1, RB11
  • Week 19: 22 touches (1 rec), 131 YFS, 3 TDs, 32.1 FPs, RB1
  • Week 20: 21 touches (3 rec), 116 YFS, 16.6 FPs

Jones proved capable of shouldering 20+ touches in all six games, and produced quality RB2+ numbers, with a few explosions mixed in.

In the four seasons prior, this is an RB who finished as the RB2, RB5, RB11, and RB8. Given Jones’ track record and strong finish to 2023, another true RB1 season can’t be ruled out.

Yet, his new surroundings in Minnesota do bring some question marks.

WHAT IS AARON JONES’ FANTASY VALUE WITH VIKINGS?

Simply put: the fantasy environment in Minnesota looks pretty bleak right now.

On the positive, Jones faces minimal competition for carries, with only Ty Chandler as competition. On a one-year deal, the Vikings have little reason to do anything but ride Jones, who thrives on volume.

Over the past five seasons, whenever Jones sees 14+ carries (33 games), he averaged 21.8 FPPG. In fact, his season-long pace on this volume is 2170 YFS, 58 rec., 16 TDs, and 371 PPR FPs. Via RotoViz’s Game-Splits Tool:

Jones should see 14+ carries nearly every week he’s active. That feels obvious, given his competition.

Yet, whether he can keep up his career pace is far more debatable.

For one, he won’t be in an Aaron Rodgers-led offense. Had Kirk Cousins remained here, Jones would threaten for a Top-12 Ranking.

But we have… Sam Darnold.

Yes, Kevin O’Connell has been a QB-whisperer and offensive guru since taking over in Minnesota. Even Nick Mullens averaged nearly 300 yards per game in his starts last year.

Still, assuming no further QB changes are made, Darnold will prove to be O’Connell’s tallest task. From 2018-2021, Darnold started 12+ games. His offenses averaged 20.8 points (23rd), 17.3 (31st), 15.2 (32nd), 17.9 (29th).

Yikes.

Perhaps another QB will be added to inspire hope. Maybe O’Connell is just that good. But, barring a QB addition, this is an obvious downgrade from the ascending Packers’ attack under Jordan Love.

Thankfully, the offensive line shouldn’t be a major drop-off. The Packers ranked 11th in PFF Line Grades last year, while the Vikings ranked 12th. The Vikings do possess plenty of firepower between Justin Jefferson, TJ Hockenson, and Jordan Addison, as well.

Still, Darnold worries me. Until further notice, the Vikings present a fairly steep downgrade in overall offensive environment for Jones.

IMPACT ON TY CHANDLER’S 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK

Ty Chandler managers must (and should) be banging their heads against the wall.

Granted, it took injuries to Alexander Mattison AND Cam Akers for Chandler to finally get a shot. Once he did, however, he ripped off some decent efforts: 24.7 FPs (RB4), 7.7 (RB41), 9.4 (R31), 10.9 (RB26). Serviceable, with a solid ceiling.

Moreover, O’Connell heaped praise onto Chandler at the 2024 NFL Combine:

“The way Ty finished the year was a real positive, and going from year two into year three will be a huge opportunity for him to continue his growth…what we can build on from there, specifically with Ty towards the end of the season. I thought seeing him really come on there and really start to assert himself was a real positive for our team.”

Yeah. Right.

I never expect Chandler to enter the season with much relevancy, and Jones’ addition cements that. Chandler couldn’t surpass far-less talented RBs in Mattison and Akers, and I expect him to see minimal usage as long as Jones is healthy.

Yet, that’s where Chandler could find relevance. As mentioned, Jones will turn 30 this December. He missed six games last year and at least two games in five of seven seasons.

Still, all the aforementioned concerns about the overall Vikings offense would apply to Chandler. This wouldn’t be as juicy of an opportunity as he found last year… and he still only had one truly useful outing.

Thus, Chandler is one of the most overpriced players in Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Drafts. He is going as the RB41 with an ADP of 134.6, ahead of useful WRs like Dontayvion Wicks, Brandin Cooks, and Marvin Mims, as well as intriguing rookie RBs like Jaylen Wright and Blake Corum.

Even Chandler’s ceiling outcome – a Jones injury – doesn’t carry significant upside in the current Vikings attack.

AARON JONES’ 2024 FANTASY OUTLOOK

Aaron Jones should see all the volume he can handle with the Vikings, which has typically resulted in monstrous fantasy performances. Unfortunately, Jones will likely struggle to replicate his past success in a less explosive offense even with heavy usage.

The Vikings ranked 28th with just 23.0 run plays per game last season. They may be forced to embrace the run game more with Darnold under center, but barring an unexpected QB change or leap from Darnold, the offense as a whole could be abysmal.

Stir in the injury risk as Jones approaches 30, and he has taken a 20+ fall down my Big Board with the move to Minnesota. Jones now ranks as my 80th overall player and RB26 in my 2024 Fantasy Football Rankings. I still believe he has some juice, so if the QB situation improves, I will quickly bump Jones back up. For now, I will likely avoid him at his RB16, 64.0 ADP in Early Best Ball.

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