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Aaron Jones vs. AJ Dillon: Fantasy football showdown

We go over the fantasy football outlooks of Jones and Dillon for the Packers and pick who we’d draft first.

AJ Dillon #28 and Aaron Jones #33 of the Green Bay Packers walk off the field after beating the Cincinnati Bengals 25-22 in overtime at Paul Brown Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Green Bay Packers enter the 2022 NFL season with the same championship aspirations they’ve had for what feels like the last 20 years. It’s been an eventful offseason filled with tough decisions as well. WR Davante Adams was traded to the Raiders. The Packers opted not to bring in a big-name free agent wideout or trade for someone to replace the Pro Bowler. Instead, Green Bay drafted a few WRs and have us all guessing who will emerge.

You’re probably wondering why all this matters when it comes to selecting between Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon in the Packers backfield in fantasy football. With so many questions surrounding the passing game, that should mean the Packers run the ball quite a bit in 2022. Let’s break down the backfield duo of Jones and Dillon and who you should be targeting relative to ADP.

Aaron Jones outlook

Jones is coming off a disappointing 2021 despite being healthy for most of the year. He played in 15 games, rushing for 799 yards and four TDs while catching 52 passes for 391 yards and six TDs. Jones was able to combine to go over 1,000 total yards and 10 TDs, which to many would appear like a fine season. Considering Jones was drafted in the first and second round in most leagues in 2021, he didn’t live up to expectations. Jones had rushed for over 1,000 yards in each of the previous two seasons, and led the NFL in rushing TDs with 16 in 2019. The rapid regression could have something to do with wear-and-tear. It also could have something to do with Dillon.

AJ Dillon outlook

The third-year back out of Boston College is staring down a breakout in 2022. You could say the breakout already happened. Last year, Dillon led the Packers backfield with 803 yards on 187 rushes for five TDs. He also had 34 receptions for 313 yards and two TDs. Jones and Dillon had similar production, with Dillon leading on the ground but getting less work in the passing game. Heading into 2022, we should see Dillon get the short yardage and even goal line carries. Jones has more big-play ability but Dillon will be tough to take down.

Fantasy football verdict

Right now, per Fantasy Pros Jones is going as the RB13 and Dillon at RB25. Overall, Jones is being viewed as a late second- or early third-round pick. Dillon is more in the fourth or fifth round range. With that in mind and knowing the two will likely split snaps, Dillon feels like the better value. Jones could see more work in the passing game, so in PPR formats, he’d maybe get the edge. It’s a tough call. Dillon has 1,000+ rushing upside and could get double-digit TDs in a perfect world. We could also see that go to Jones. I think with it being this close, targeting Dillon instead of Jones makes sense. If Jones were to drop in your draft, he’d become appealing. Otherwise look to grab Dillon as a risk-reward RB2/FLEX.