The Green Bay Packers are struggling in many areas, including the ground game. But could that change for Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon against the Los Angeles Rams this week? We’ll break down the fantasy football outlook for each player in Week 9.
Should You Start Aaron Jones or AJ Dillon This Week?
In the Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer, PFN’s Consensus Rankings say that Jones is the player to start. His projected 11.7 points include a projection of 45 rushing yards, three receptions, and 21 yards. That projected stat line outperforms the consensus projection for Dillon (7.9 points).
MORE: 2023 RB Fantasy Football Rankings
My ranking for these two Packers running backs aligns with the consensus projections. Jones is getting healthier, having appeared in two games in a row after only playing in two of the Packers’ first five games.
Fantasy Outlook for Aaron Jones This Week
Although the numbers have not been reminiscent of his 1,000-yard, 50-reception season a year ago, Jones being on the field in consecutive games for the first time this season is a positive sign for the Packers.
He still hasn’t scored since Week 1, when he had a touchdown run and a touchdown reception against the Chicago Bears, but in fairness, he’s only played in three games since the season opener.
Jones played in a season-high 35 offensive snaps last week, and even though he finished with only 29 rush yards, he did that on just seven carries for a 4.1 yards-per-carry average. On top of that, he had a season-high four receptions, which means last week was the closest runner-receiver version we’ve seen from Jones since Week 1.
The Packers are facing a Rams defense that ranks just 20th in opponent rush yards allowed per game (115.1) and has allowed 130 or more rushing yards in half of its eight games.
When these teams met last season in Week 15, Jones rushed for 90 yards — 5.3 yards per carry — and caught four passes for 36 yards and a touchdown reception.
Fantasy Outlook for AJ Dillon This Week
Dillon is still leading the Packers in rushing this season (266 yards), and he is still seeing plenty of time on the field — he played on over half of the Packers’ offensive snaps in each of the last six games.
But he is coming off his worst offensive rushing game of the season last week, tying his season low with 11 rushing yards on only six carries, an average of 1.8 yards a carry. He did catch five passes for 41 yards, though, both season highs.
But with Jones appearing to be getting healthier, it looks as though he is going to get the chance to be the top running back for the Packers again. Some touchdowns from Dillon might change my mind when it comes to starting him on a fantasy team, but he’s scored just once all season — back in Week 5 vs. the Las Vegas Raiders.
One reason to consider Dillon is the fact that he has scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in two career games vs. the Rams.
The Pro Football Network Start/Sit Optimizer projects Dillon to have 33 rushing yards, with two receptions for 12 yards, all lower than the optimizer’s projections for Jones.
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