Having already lost J.K. Dobbins to a season-ending injury and seeing other running backs injured in Week 1, fantasy managers are sweating over Aaron Jones. Let’s take a look at Jones’ latest injury status, whether or not he is expected to play today, and his fantasy value this week if he does.
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Editor’s Note: Aaron Jones is officially inactive for Week 2.
Is Aaron Jones Going To Play Week 2?
Jones left Sunday’s victory over the Chicago Bears with a hamstring injury. Since leaving the game, he has not managed to practice. His injury has been considered serious enough to leave him out of practice all week. His official status as of this morning is questionable.
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However, Adam Schefter of ESPN has reported that “Aaron Jones, listed as questionable for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury, is not expected to play vs. the Falcons, per sources.” He then goes on to mention that running back Patrick Taylor has been promoted from the Packers’ practice squad for today’s game.
Potential Fantasy Options If Jones Is Out Includes Zack Moss
With Jones not likely to play this week, let’s dicuss alternative options that could be out on fantasy managers’ waiver wires or benches.
Let’s start with Zack Moss. While most fantasy managers might be scared to start players on the Indianapolis Colts, Moss looks like an attractive option. He is likely to start in Week 2 after missing Week 1 with an arm injury.
Deon Jackson didn’t pull up any trees in his absence. In fact, on Jackson’s 13 carries, he managed a measly 14 yards (a meager 1.1 yards per carry). Jackson managed most of these yards after contact. However, averaging 0.9 yards after contact isn’t going to keep you in a job in the NFL for very long.
There is going to be volume for Moss this afternoon. And, if he can earn the touches inside the 10-yard line, he can wind up with a touchdown or two against the Houston Texans. Moss is currently ranked RB37 in our Consensus Rankings. However, I think there is some value to starting him this week against a Texans defense that gave up 110 yards rushing last week against the Baltimore Ravens.
Speaking of the Ravens, Gus Edwards is worth some consideration today. PFN Consensus Rankings currently have him at RB32. However, he will likely have more of the work today over Justice Hill. While Edwards and Hill seemed to split time equally after the injury to J.K Dobbins, Edwards was used more between the 20s and more when the game wasn’t truly over.
Though it appears Hill is likely to get the work inside the 10-yard line and vulture touchdowns from Edwards, Edwards’ usage is more stable and predictable. Meanwhile, Hill will be competing with Lamar Jackson for carries in the red zone.
There isn’t a high ceiling for Edwards. However, for a last-minute Flex play, he could plug a hole for a week and buy fantasy managers some time to think about the position long-term if Jones’ injury is more serious than first thought. After all, the Cincinnati Bengals, the Ravens’ opponent today, gave up 206 yards to the Cleveland Browns last week on the ground.
Lastly, AJ Dillon should be slotted into lineups if you handcuffed Jones. While it isn’t a strategy usually advocated by fantasy experts, Dillon is in must-start territory if you did handcuff Jones. Dillon is ranked at RB24 in the PFN Consensus Rankings this week.
The Packers play the Atlanta Falcons today, who gave up 154 yards rushing to a poor Carolina Panthers offense last week. And, with no real competition for carries behind him this week, Dillon is expected to get a significant workload today.
If the Packers play as well as they played last week against the Chicago Bears, they could be in a positive game script for a significant portion of this game. That means more carries and more work for Dillon. I would argue he is the best option of these three to start. However, Edwards and Moss might be more realistic last-minute options on fantasy managers’ free agency list.
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