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Countdown to 2021 fantasy football drafts: Aaron Jones No. 9

Aaron Jones comes in at 9 in our fantasy football rankings countdown to the 2021 NFL season.

Packers running back Aaron Jones has agreed to a four-year deal. Dan Powers/USA TODAY NETWORK via Imagn Content Services, LLC

With quarterback Aaron Rodgers having as dominant a season as he did last year, it’s easy to overlook just how good Aaron Jones was. But a dual-threat running back like Jones is an easy first-round pick in any fantasy draft, and that’s why we’ve got him at No. 9 on our list.

To commemorate the 2021 NFL season, we’ll be counting down the 75 best fantasy football players in the league. Picking a Top 75 is subjective, especially when you are projecting a whole season of accumulated fantasy points, but that’s part of the fun. We’ll assume what I see as an average league, which is 12 teams, .5 PPR scoring and a roster of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, & 1RB/WR/TE. Kickers and defenses need not apply.

Change is the nature of the NFL beast, so trades and injuries will likely impact this list as we go along, but hey, this isn’t rocket science. We’re here to have a little fun and build up some much needed anticipation for a league cast in the shadow by baseball, soccer, hockey, etc. Sarcasm aside, the NFL is addictive and we’re here to give your daily fix as we close in on the season.

The official fantasy football drafting tiers can be found here.

No. 9, Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers, RB

With 1,104 rushing yards, he set a new career high, adding another 355 receiving yards on 47 catches. He also posted 11 total touchdowns (nine rushing, two receiving). Jones is averaging 5.2 yards per carry for his career, which means he’s doing more with less and reducing the threat of workload-related injuries. And with defenses selling out to try and keep Rodgers somewhat contained, Jones should have more than enough room to work this year.

Competition for touches

There have been rumblings out of camp that A.J. Dillion will get more touches this season, but we’ll believe it when we see it. He never had more than five in a game last year, so it would take a lot more work for him to seriously impact Jones’ production.

Team offensive expectations

Green Bay should be one of the league’s most explosive units once again this year. Obviously, it’s a better unit since Aaron Rodgers decided to come back. Rodgers’ return helps Jones too.

What’s his upside?

Two years ago, Jones scored 19 touchdowns and rolled up 1,558 total yards. Those numbers made him an early first-round pick in most fantasy drafts last year. It’s be great to see him get back to something close to his 2019 totals this year.

What’s his downside?

With Rodgers mostly throwing the ball when the Packers were close to the goal line, that ate into Jones’ production—the quarterback giveth and taketh.

Projection

220 carries; 1,250 rushing yards; 10 rushing touchdowns; 45 receptions; 350 yards; 3 receiving touchdowns.