How do you choose between Aaron Jones and Jonathan Taylor? How big of a part does age play? Will Jones even be a Packer next year? Can you go really go wrong either way? Read on to find Dynastyboyds take.
If you follow me on twitter, you will know I love doing polls.
Who would win this poll I wonder?
Aaron Jones, one of the premium running backs in the NFL or 21 year old former Wisconsin star and current Indianapolis Colt Jonathan Taylor.
Jones has been one of the best players in all of fantasy football the past two seasons. Last season I called his breakout and his move to elite status which you can read here if you haven’t. He gained a lot of value in 2019, where he loses it though is in his unknown future.
Where does Jones future lie beyond 2020? He has seen running backs from his draft class all sign big contract extensions. Alvin Kamara signed a 5 year, $75 million-dollar contract ($33.8 mil guaranteed), Christian McCaffrey 4 year, $64 million-dollar contract (38 mil guaranteed) and Dalvin Cook signed a 5 year, $62.5 million-dollar contract ($28 million guaranteed).
Why is Jones the odd one out? Jones has a career yards per carry of 5.0. This is superior to Cook’s career YPC of 4.9, McCaffery’s 4.6 and equal to Kamara’s 5.0. Yet they have all signed lucrative long-term contracts and Jones has not.
What about total touchdowns the past two seasons, Jones has 26. More than McCaffrey (25), Kamara (14) and equal to Cook (26).
Despite finishing as the 2nd highest scoring RB in 2019, his stock took a dip when the Packers drafted AJ Dillon in the 2nd round of the 2020 NFL draft. This move surprised many ‘experts’ and fans alike as it did not look like a position of need for the Packers.
Jones slid down many fantasy draft boards and rankings following this selection. Dillon was viewed as a sign that the Packers not only wanted to split the load with a heavier RB, but also move on from Jones after the season as they do not want to pay him. Beyond signs of ‘dialogue’ and ‘wanting’ to get a deal done, they may very well be correct.
Ultimately, it has not affected Jones’ output or usage in 2020. Dillon has been largely a non-factor and Jones is the RB4 in PPG. In other words, Aaron Jones has been elite.
How highly do you value Aaron Jones though? He recently returned from a calf injury that the Packers were cautious with. They handled Davante Adams hamstring injury in the same manner.
So, would you rather a 25-year-old stud without a contract beyond this season who carries some risk or the young budding star in Jonathan Taylor?
2018-2019 highlights for @Showtyme_33
— Alexander Basara 🇵🇱🐺 (@Basaraski) May 12, 2019
Jones in 2018 and 2019 was straight fire.
Aaron Jones breaking all the tackles 😤
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) November 6, 2020
Jones breaking tackles in 2020
Jonathan Taylor – College Career
The star out of Wisconsin rushed for 6,174 yards during his college career, placing him as the 6th all-time rusher in NCAA history He is the first and only player to rush for over 6,000 yards in any three-year span.
Taylor won the Doak Walker award for the best RB in college in 2018 and 2019. He also finished top 10 Heisman trophy votes all 3 seasons.
Not a bad college resume. He finished with a whopping 55 total touchdowns at Wisconsin in his 3 seasons.
NFL Draft and dynasty Rookie Draft
Taylor was many peoples’ 1.B to Clyde Edwards-Helaire 1.A in dynasty rookie drafts.
If you owned the 1.02 would you have traded it for Aaron Jones straight up? Chances are at the time no.
Would you trade it now? Maybe depending if you are competing or not.
The Wisconsin star illustrated his amazing physical capabilities at the combine. His 40-yard time of 4.39s placed him as the fastest running back at the combine. He weighed in at 226 pounds and his 40-yard time is truly elite for an RB of his size.
Taylor has draft capital on his side, he was selected in the 2nd round with 41st overall pick in the 2020 NFL draft. This far outweighs the capital the Packers used to select Jones with the 182nd pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
Congratulations, Jonathan Taylor on winning the Doak Walker award, given to the nation’s top runningback🏆
• 1909 rush yards, 21 TD
• 209 receiving yards, 5 TD
— IKE Badgers Podcast (@IKE_Badgers) December 13, 2019
When Marlon Mack went down injured, Taylor owners were salivating. Taylor is averaging 3.9 YPC and has his plaudits; however, he also has his detractors. Playing behind one of the better offensive lines in the NFL (the Colts have conceded the least number of sacks this season and are ranked 17th in stuffed rate) many have questioned if Taylor possesses the necessary vision to become a star.
He is currently the 18th highest scoring RB in fantasy. Taylor has shown moments of brilliance along with some rookie inexperience in 2020. He flashed in week 2 against the Minnesota Vikings. Finishing with 101 rushing yards, 2 receptions, 9 receiving yards and one touchdown. Owners were feeling vindicated after using the 1st or 2nd overall selection in rookie drafts on Taylor.
— SKOL Vikings (@7790Skol) September 20, 2020
Between weeks 2 and 6 Taylors rushing attempts peaked at 26 and dint drop below 12. Fast forward to week 9 and Taylor had a mere 6 rushing attempts against the Baltimore Ravens. Game script played a part, there was a more prevalent reason though, and it must be worrisome to his owners. Taylor had his first fumble in the NFL during thee 1st quarter. He had one run thereafter, with Jordan Wilkins taking over.
If there was on knock on him coming out of college, it was fumbling issues. It reared its ugly head for the first time in week 9. During his college career Taylor put the ball on the ground many times, 15 of those being recovered by the opposition.
Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
➕Prototypical RB1 Size
➕99th %tile Speed Score
➕10.6% Target Share in 2019
➕Averaged 2,058 rush yds/season
➖18 Fumbles in 3 seasons
➖8 rec in Fr & So seasons
➖❓As a receiver
➖27th %ile Bench Press
— Alex Johnson (@a_johnsonFF) April 20, 2020
Taylor had 125 touches before his first NFL fumble. An incredible turnaround from the 18 he had in college. Following week 9 Frank Reich expressed his confidence in Jonathan Taylor and placed the lack of touches on game script and not the ill-fated fumble.
First lost fumble of the year for the Colts' running backs. Big-time mistake from Jonathan Taylor there.
— Zak Keefer (@zkeefer) November 8, 2020
Frank’s play calling is in question now. It’s getting ridiculous along with the personnel choices. JT even after a fumble should have more touches
— Winnie the Bish (@Mikey_Mcfly5) November 8, 2020
One of the many clamouring for more touches for Taylor
When comparing Taylor against Jones you must factor in age. Taylor is only 21 years of age, 4 years younger than Jones (49 younger months to be precise).
How highly you value age in dynasty is the likely determinant in who you value more in dynasty.
Jones or Taylor?
There is no right or wrong preference. Both sides have pros and cons. It all comes down to whether your preference is in an elite fantasy RB with an unknown future in Jones. Or the younger, good but not elite RB in Taylor who will produce for you for longer.
Personally, I value Aaron Jones higher, his YPC and usage is simply too hard to ignore. I think he is more likely to be a Packer than not in 2021.