I can sympathize with any worried Aaron Jones owners out there. I really can. It’s not easy to see your high-round draft pick out-snapped 33-21 and 39-36 the past two full games he’s had to split the backfield work with Jamaal Williams. It’s not easy to have Williams’ return coincide with only the second lost fumble of Jones’ career. It’s not easy to see Jones drop a sure 30-yard touchdown reception a quarter later, either. Still, for all the negativity currently surrounding Jones’ viability, it’s important to take a step back and remember this is an asset that scored four touchdowns just two weeks ago. There’s also nothing stopping both Jones and Williams from producing in the same contest - especially if Davante Adams is going to be sidelined yet again.
Without his Pro Bowl receiver, Aaron Rodgers has relied heavily on his running backs in the passing attack the past two weeks. In fact, with a massive 42% of Rodgers’ passes directed at RBs within that span, no team has leaned on their backfield more than the Packers. Jones alone has seen 15 targets in this two-game stretch, while Williams hauled in four of his five opportunities against the Lions on Monday Night Football, even turning one of those catches into touchdown. Considering an opposing running back has seen five-plus targets in every single matchup the Raiders have played in so far in 2019, I’d anticipate these trends to continue on Sunday.
Fantasy Football Analysis, Green Bay Packers RBs Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones
It would appear that Matt LaFleur is going to implement a “hot-hand” approach to RB volume in the immediate future, which does make projecting Jones’ and Williams’ value slightly difficult. However, if there was a team capable of supporting two fantasy viable running backs, Green Bay’s made a pretty strong case in recent weeks. Dating back to the beginning of Week 4, no squad in the NFL has managed as many drives into the red zone as the Packers (16). Combine those high leverage opportunities with touches in the passing game and, maybe most importantly, a four-team bye week, and there’s little doubt that you’ll be forced to play both these men versus Oakland.
Start Williams. Start Jones.