Much has been made about Aaron Jones’ potential coming into his third season in the NFL with his health intact and a new offensive system seemingly making for a better match out of the Green Bay Packers‘ backfield.
So far, so bad.
Jones gained just 39 rushing yards on 13 carries in a low-scoring Week 1 victory over the Chicago Bears in Soldier Field, gaining zero yards on four of those carries with a longest run of just 9 yards. Jamaal Williams was used for another five carries, netting zero yards to make a pair of rushing duds.
Packers first-year coach Matt LaFleur’s offense will likely find its rhythm sooner rather than later, facing a big challenge this week at home against the Minnesota Vikings for a series matchup that is traditionally high-scoring. But that does not necessarily mean Jones is due for the breakout success many pegged him for in the preseason.
Despite previous injury trouble, Jones’ first two years of production support his candidacy for taking a big step toward becoming a premier rusher in the league, but the opening figures (4.9 points in PPR leagues) were troubling for fantasy football owners looking for instant impact.
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Aaron Jones Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs. Vikings
On one hand, you can discount some of the Packers’ offensive shortcomings in Week 1 considering they played 2018’s top defensive unit. On the other, the Vikings don’t exactly offer a more favorable situation for Green Bay’s rushers in Week 2.
The Vikings clogged up the Atlanta Falcons’ run game to allow just 73 yards on 17 carries, with Ito Smith (31 yards) and Devonta Freeman (19 yards) both unimpressive in Minneapolis. The Falcons also scored all 12 of their points in the fourth quarter, making for uneventful offensive snaps throughout while the Vikings raced ahead 28-0 in the first three.
The matchup might be more appealing if the Packers had achieved success running the ball against the Bears, but the danger for a second straight unproductive rushing week is palpable.
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Should You Start or Sit Aaron Jones in Week 2?
Fantasy owners might have a difficult time benching Jones as he is likely filling out RB1 and RB2 slots for most who have him on their rosters. FantasyPros projects the Packers starting rusher to hit 12.1 points in PPR leagues against the Vikings, but that total might still be a little generous for a matchup deemed to be one out of five stars in Jones’ favor.
Twenty-seven other starting rushers are predicted for better games than Jones during Week 2, including San Francisco’s Matt Breida and Detroit’s Kerryon Johnson. But with Rodgers under center, Jones stands a chance of being involved in the passing game, too. He did catch one screen pass in Week 1, but for gained no yards.
Final verdict: Don’t do anything rash. Jones is still worth the start, even if another bad performance could be in the cards. Consider, too, that the Packers play five of their next six games at Lambeau Field for a little extra juice in Jones’ game. That said, if another worth-nothing outing is his fate against the Vikings, it might be worth looking into trade options.