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What to do with A.J. Dillon in the NFC Championship

A quad injury knocked A.J. Dillon out of the Packers’ divisional-round game early, but he could see plenty of work this Sunday against the Buccaneers.

AJ Dillon #28 of the Green Bay Packers runs with the ball in the second quarter against the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field on December 27, 2020 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

When the Green Bay Packers last played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the ground attack of Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams, and A.J. Dillon failed to get off the ground largely due to a disastrous second quarter. The Packers hope to avoid a repeat of that game script on Sunday when they host the Bucs for the NFC Championship Game.

Fantasy Football analysis: Packers RB A.J. Dillon, $DKSalary

While Dillon finished third among the Packers’ running backs in rushing last week, the Packers had planned for a different result. Dillon featured heavily as part of head coach Matt LaFleur’s “pony” personnel with Jones. Green Bay ran one of its base RPOs with that grouping throughout the first half until Dillon injured his quad and left the game.

Dillon began the week on the injury report but participated in practice on a limited basis Wednesday through Friday. The Packers subsequently took him off the report, removing any question regarding the rookie running back’s availability for Sunday.

While the Packers might not use as many of their pony-personnel RPOs against the Buccaneers, the weather forecast bodes well for Dillon’s usage. Green Bay should have sub-freezing conditions with snow. If Tampa falls behind early, Dillon could play the role of sledgehammer and clock killer.

Even so, Dillon has perhaps the largest variance of any running back playing this weekend. While he could finish with a great return considering the cost, he seems just as likely to finish with a handful of snaps and little production to show for it.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Dillon if you can accept the variance as laid out above.