Updated: Jul 12
Written by Christian Skutevik
Aaron Jones Is Underrated
Its hard to believe that Aaron Jones is consistently falling to the mid 2nd round in mock drafts. He finished 2019 as the #2 back in PPR leagues while finishing #3 back in standard scoring. Yet, he is somehow being taken just one pick in front of Clyde Edwards-Helaire who hasn't taken a single snap of professional football. Don't get me wrong I actually really like Clyde but it is absurd to expect him to perform at Aaron Jone's level.
Last year he outscored Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook, Josh Jacobs and many more. Many people were very surprised last year and see his elite performance level as a fluke(yes, he was elite). However, here at the FFP we were on to Aaron Jones before the season began and his success came as no surprise, nor was it a fluke. So what made the difference last season that allowed Jones to have such a major breakout?
Proof In The Pudding
Aaron Jones has ALWAYS been a very talented back, but it took a new head coach to implement the right offensive scheme that could fully utilize his skills. Back in 2018 under HC Mike McCarthy Jones managed to finish just 24th in fantasy points among running backs on a low 159 touches. Last year under first year HC Matt LeFluer he saw 285 touches(236 carries and 49 catches). Those extra touches skyrocketed him into tier one fantasy status.
It wasn't just the extra volume that helped. Head coach Matt LeFluer used him where it counts, in the red-zone. Jone's took 17 goal line carries(6th most) into the end-zone for 10 touchdowns(tied most w/ Zeke) and totaled 14 red-zone TDs. Additionally, LeFluer's new offense allowed Jones to prove he is reliable pass catcher, and Jones saw highs in Targets(68) Catches(49) Yards(474) Receiving TDs(3) Yards/Target(7.0) and P-RAT(109).
Since 2017 Aaron Jones is the only running back to have at least 30 TDs and a YPC over 5.0
Aaron Jones also happens to running behind a solid O-line that finished 8th in run block rating last and 3rd in pass blocking efficiency last season. Not that he needs the help, 68% of his 1,196 rushing yards came after contact last season.
Conclusion, Aaron Jones is an elite fantasy running back period. The stats prove it, he is versatile and physical back in an offense that uses him a lot, uses him well, and gives him the blocking he needs. Plus I am a vikings fan, so you know there is no bias here(believe me, I wish he wasn't any good).