Aaron Jones DFS Value, Prop Bets: Is Jones a trap play in DFS against San Francisco?

Is there value on Aaron Jones prop bets this weekend against the 49ers, and should he also be considered for DFS lineups?

The Divisional Round of the NFL playoffs is upon us, which means only a handful of games remain in the season — leaving us limited time to find value in fantasy football and NFL betting. As we continue our tour around the Divisional Round while examining individual players, let’s see if there is value on Aaron Jones prop bets or in DFS.

Aaron Jones’ DFS value vs. 49ers

At $6,800, Aaron Jones is the second-highest-priced running back on the Divisional Round slate on DraftKings. The only RB higher is Derrick Henry at $7,500. When looking at the slate, the running back position is somewhat shallow for players I want on my DFS roster. And I am not sure Jones makes the cut for this price.

There is no denying Jones’ impact. He is one of the best RBs in tight spaces with his vision, and he’s at his best when on the perimeter and in the passing game. Yet, 2021 was a down season for Jones, at least as a rusher. His carries per game are at a three-year low at 11.4 (14.8 in 2019 and 14.4 in 2020), and his efficiency has dropped as well, going from 5.5 yards per carry last season to a still respectable 4.7.

That drop in volume has come at a cost. After 1,080 yards and 1,104 yards in his previous two seasons, Jones rushed for 799 yards in 2021 with only 4 touchdowns, tying his career-low (2017).

In fantasy football, especially PPR formats, Jones’ passing utilization saved his season. He finished in the top 10 in targets (65), receptions (52), yards (391), and was No. 2 in touchdowns (6). Of his 229.0 PPR points (RB11), 55% (127.1) came via the air.

Jones is a risky DFS play at his price

Jones’ down year on the ground is a direct result of increased touches by AJ Dillon. While Jones did see 48.7% of the rushing share, Dillon’s consistent usage inside the red zone (39 carries) muted Jones’ weekly upside. In fact, all of Dillon’s 5 rushing TDs came inside the 10-yard line. That will not change this week, and the matchup vs. San Fran is brutal.

The 49ers are No. 7 in DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) as a unit but are No. 2 DVOA and EPA/rush (Expected Points Added per rush). They are also No. 1 over the last four weeks in fantasy points allowed to the position at just 13.73 per game. They have allowed double-digit scoring only 11 times this year, and since Week 13 (including playoffs), the 49ers have surrendered only one game of 10+ points (Rex Burkhead, Week 17).

For Green Bay to win, they need to do so through the air. I expect Jones to be involved in that area but likely not enough to justify his price tag. I would personally look for better-priced RBs on DFS like Devin Singletary ($5,900) or Elijah Mitchell ($5,800).

Aaron Jones prop bets this weekend

This weekend, I am more intrigued by Jones from a prop-bets aspect than DFS. On FanDuel Sportsbook, Jones’ rushing prop is 52.5 (-114) with a receiving prop at 22.5 (-110). The receiving prop is the bet that interests me the most. All Jones would need to do is hit his season average of 26.1, and it would pay.

Of Jones’ 578 offensive snaps, over 66% have come on passing downs, with over 120 coming in the slot or out wide. The ability to be used over the formation to generate touches in Matt LaFleur’s offense is where Jones shines. I would lean the over on this prop bet.

As for the rushing side, it is close. The line is set just high enough to make you second-guess your choice. Jones has rushed for 53+ yards in nine of his 15 contests, including his last three. He has been a full participant in practice this week after resting in Week 18 due to a knee injury. With a full week off for their bye, Jones should be good to go with no limitations.

He has the chance to snap off a 40-yard run on any given play. With that said, averaging just 11.7 rushes per game this year makes me worried. Since Week 10, Dillon is No. 12 in the NFL in carries, averaging 13.8 per game. Jones has just 9.1 over this same stretch. Between the matchup and nearly half a season of sample size, I would stay away from Jones’ rushing prop.

Tommy Garrett is a Fantasy Analyst for Pro Football Network and is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA). You can read all of Tommy’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter: @TommyGarrettPFN.