Two runs were all it took for Aaron Jones to start looking like his rumored self last Sunday afternoon.
The Green Bay Packers leading rusher has been pegged as a breakout candidate for 2019 since the preseason, and while taking his career-most carries against the Minnesota Vikings, he produced his first 100-plus yard game of the season in addition to making four catches for 34 yards.
Jones finished with the third-most rushing yards (116) in the NFL’s second week and the second-highest fantasy football numbers among the league’s running backs with 25 points in PPR leagues, according to FantasyPros. Only Dalvin Cook’s 154-yard field day against the Packers did better, and nearly half of that came on a 75-yard touchdown run.
The fact that 1.6 percent of fantasy leagues out don’t have Jones on a roster is absurd, especially when you consider he will be running in his home arena against one of the worst run defenses through the first two weeks. But is a softer challenge from the defense enough to guarantee a big game from Jones?
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Aaron Jones Fantasy Outlook vs. Denver Broncos
Unlike against Chicago and Minnesota, Jones faces a defensive unit that has allowed 125.5 rushing yards per game entering Week 3. The Bears ran for more yards than they passed in a tight win last Sunday in Denver, while the Oakland Raiders saw the Broncos buckle enough to allow rookie Josh Jacobs to rush for 85 yards and two touchdowns.
What bodes well for Jones is how the badly pass-catching rushers have burned the Broncos this season. Jacobs caught his only target from Derek Carr for a 28-yarder that set up the Raiders final touchdown drive against the Broncos. The next week against the Bears, the Broncos allowed rookie David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen to remain fairly active in both the run and pass game.
The edge Jones holds over all of them? Experience. The third-year pro has battled his injuries but finally seems ready to step into the dynamic role the Packers have envisioned for him. He warmed up against a strong Vikings defense, and now this week he could finally catch fire.
Should You Start or Sit Aaron Jones in Week 3?
The real question is to what effect can Jones be a top-of-the-league starter for fantasy owners. Playing him at the top of your roster seems obvious unless you were blessed to snag Jones later in your draft and landed one of the coveted top RB1 options, such as Ezekiel Elliott or Saquon Barkley.
The matchup is a highly favorable one for Jones, who is projected by FantasyPros to get 15.1 points in PPR leagues in Week 3 against the Broncos, but his upside could be higher a few others projecting for more production.
Final verdict: Take Jones against the Broncos in favor of Nick Chubb in a primetime game against the Los Angeles Rams or Le’Veon Bell against a New England Patriots team that has allowed three points all season.
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