“Best Value” Player for Vikings … Makes Sense

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In about six weeks, fantasy football mock drafts will get hot and heavy, and according to one site, Minnesota Vikings running back Aaron Jones represents terrific fantasy value.

“Best Value” Player for Vikings … Makes Sense

The Vikings onboarded Aaron Jones from the Green Bay Packers in March, the solve-all solution at RB1 for one year and $7 million. And per Bleacher Report, Jones is the guy to grab in redraft fantasy football leagues from the Vikings’ roster.

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“Questions at quarterback have depressed the fantasy value of just about every Vikings player not named Justin Jefferson,” BR’s Gary Davenport wrote this week. “But those questions under center could easily lead to Minnesota leaning more heavily on Jones and the run game, and the 29-year-old surpassed 1,500 yards from scrimmage and was a top-10 fantasy option as recently as two years ago.”

For now, Jones is projected as a 6th- or 7th-Round pick in redraft leagues, situated in a territory with players like Chris Godwin (WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers) and Rhamondre Stevenson (RB, New England Patriots). In theory, a fantasy manager can essentially outfit her team’s core — and add Jones as gravy to the starting lineup.

Different Story
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On the whole, Jones is considered around RB16-RB20, along with Kenneth Walker III (Seattle Seahawks) and James Conner (Arizona Cardinals), for example.

If Jones gets injured or encounters an age-related decline, Ty Chandler will be waiting for RB1 duty. The Vikings are also expected to sign Cam Akers sometime soon — if the deal isn’t complete already.

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Minnesota saved $3.35 million by releasing Alexander Mattison in March, flipping that cash into Jones for a one-year experiment.

Jones has played against Minnesota 11 times in his career, and now, with any luck, he’ll suit up for 17 games with his former foe, including two games versus the Packers. He’s tallied 847 rushing yards and 5 touchdowns as a Packer against the Vikings since joining the NFL in 2017 as a 5th-Round Pick.

Before Jones barnstormed the NFL in the season’s final five games, these were the rushing-yard outputs by game:

  • 41
  • 18
  • 35
  • 29
  • 73
  • 35
  • 14
  • 53

On Christmas Eve after, however, Jones morphed into a cyborg with these rushing-yard performances thereafter:

  • 127
  • 120
  • 111
  • 118
  • 108

Minnesota will obviously hope to showcase December + January Jones — when he became fully healthy.

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In May, Pro Football Focus named Jones the eighth-best running back in the NFL entering 2024.

He’ll turn 30 in December.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.