From a Packers offensive perspective, it is a solid move that reaped benefits in a 27-16 win over the Denver Broncos in Week 3 as each of the team’s rushers carried the ball more than 10 times to effectively complement star quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the passing game. The fantasy side of things, though, left something to be desired for those who had expected Jones would take the primary load of touches in 2019.
But consider this: Jones entered the end zone twice Sunday against the Broncos, bringing his total up to 12 all-purpose touchdowns over his last 14 games. Three of those six-point trots have come in the last two games as the Packers have started to hit their stride offensively.
There is, however, also the matter of Jones appearing on Monday’s injury report as a limited participant due to a shoulder injury. He was joined by Williams, who was limited for a neck issue — both of which were new injuries for two players who have each struggled with multiple injuries throughout their careers.
Of course, there’s only one thing that matters when it comes to fantasy football: Should Aaron Jones be in your starting lineup, even down at the FLEX, during the Packers’ Week 4 prime-time matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles for Thursday Night Football at Lambeau Field?
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Aaron Jones Fantasy Outlook: Matchup vs. Eagles
Scoring potential alone makes Jones a valuable player for fantasy teams, but he is facing a tougher challenge against the Eagles than he saw against porous Broncos defense. Philadelphia has been near-impenetrable against the run through three weeks , holding ball carriers to just 57 yards per game and only a single rushing touchdown.
Whether Jones can become the first to efficiently crack the wall is less of a concern than how the Packers will choose to attack the Eagles offensively. Three of the seven receiving touchdowns scored on the Eagles this season have been for more than 45 yards each, indicating LaFleur and Rodgers will attempt to exploit the deep ball with downfield threats in Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Geronimo Allison.
Jones does have upside, though, with Williams also limited in a short week of practice. Should Williams not play Thursday or simply see fewer reps as a consequence, Jones would be the immediate benefactor with a bump in total carries.
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Should You Start or Sit Aaron Jones in Week 4
While owners would like to see his carries count creep closer to 20 touches per game, Jones has still been effective as a dual-threat back with 174 rushing yards and another 34 receiving yards on just three catches. He is among only six rushers in the league averaging at least a touchdown per game and ranks ninth in total rushing attempts (47).
Averaging more than six fantasy points higher than Williams in PPR leagues, according to FantasyPros, Jones has also stayed with the upper half of NFL running backs this season and ranks 15th-best overall with 15.1 points per game, thanks to his three touchdowns on the year. That’s just one point behind Nick Chubb in Cleveland and only 1.3 behind Ezekiel Elliott.
Final verdict: Jones’ stock took a hit after taking 10 carries for just 19 yards in Week 3, but he has not raised enough red flags to be benched going into Week 4. Keep in mind the Packers are on a three-game winning streak and will be playing their third straight home game Thursday night after a big win. Demote Jones to the FLEX or RB2 slot if it helps you sleep at night; just don’t do anything foolish.