The Green Bay Packers will be without superstar Aaron Jones again this weekend due to his calf injury, once again making running backs Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon two of the most-coveted waiver wire pickups of the fantasy football season.
After his terrific showing in place of Jones in Week 7, Williams is likely already rostered in the majority of places. Still, it never hurts to double-check his availability in your respective leagues.
Assuming you already have Williams on your fantasy roster, you’re probably left wondering if the backup can repeat his terrific showing from a week ago. If Week 7’s contest against the Houston Texans is any indication, Williams becomes a must-start this week against the Minnesota Vikings.
While AJ Dillon likely needs a touchdown for fantasy relevancy, the rookie is certainly worth a speculative add in the event that Jones’ injury is even worse than expected.
Aaron Jones misses his second consecutive game due to injury
After being held out of Green Bay’s Week 7 victory over the Texans because of a calf injury, Aaron Jones was largely expected to return for Week 8’s showdown with the rival Vikings. Unfortunately, the calf injury Jones suffered is more serious than the initial reports indicated, and the running back will miss his second consecutive game this weekend.
When healthy, Jones has been one of the best fantasy football assets of the 2020 NFL season. Despite missing Week 7’s game against Houston, he remains the RB5 in PPR formats. When only looking at Weeks 1-6 in which he was active, the Green Bay starter is RB3 with an average of 23.0 PPR points-per-game.
Can Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon help your fantasy teams?
The gaudy numbers put up by Aaron Jones would be difficult for any running back to replace, but backup Jamaal Williams did an admirable job in Week 7. With Jones sidelined, Williams dominated the Packers backfield last weekend and looked good while doing so.
While some reports had Dillon in store for a massive workload, Williams received the vast majority of snaps, carries, and targets. Williams led the Packers running backs with 55 snaps (89%), 19 carries, and five targets en route to an RB6 finish in PPR scoring. Meanwhile, Dillon only saw 14 snaps (23%), five carries, and zero targets in Week 7.
While those numbers could certainly look differently in Week 8, I find it extremely difficult to trust Dillon as anything more than fantasy bench depth. The bruising Dillon could find his way into the end zone if used on the goal line, but the rookie from Boston College looks like the ultimate touchdown-or-bust player this week.
Jamaal Williams and AJ Dillon’s Week 8 fantasy matchup vs. Minnesota Vikings
One week after feasting on Houston’s exploitable defense, Jamaal Williams, AJ Dillon, and the Green Bay Packers get another above-average fantasy matchup against the Vikings. Minnesota’s defense has been a massive disappointment this season, and they just traded away top pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue to the Baltimore Ravens.
So far this season, the Vikings defense against running backs has been downright inexcusable. Their total points to running backs are right around the league average, but their defensive Consistency Score has been one of the worst in the league. Running backs have a 13.22 CS when facing the Vikings, which is the sixth-highest mark in the league.
With Green Bay favored by nearly a touchdown (-6.5) and high winds expected throughout the day, all signs point toward Jamaal Williams being the focal point of the Packers running backs once again.
While Minnesota is a slightly tougher matchup than Houston on paper, it’s still a matchup that Williams and Green Bay should exploit. If Green Bay dominates as expected, AJ Dillon could certainly see enough late-game work for fantasy relevancy.
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Jordan Woodson is a fantasy football analyst for Pro Football Network. Follow him on Twitter @Jordan_Woodson.