Aaron Jones vs. Jamaal Williams | 2018 Fantasy Football

by Nick Ercolano June 06, 2018

Aaron Jones vs. Jamaal Williams | 2018 Fantasy Football

In the Muck Mondays...

We're diving into the Green Bay Packers backfield for 2018 fantasy football purposes. Aaron Jones or Jamaal Williams? Deeply analyzing both of their 2018 fantasy football outlooks. Who we would choose, why & which, if either, are primed for a breakout in 2018.

2017 Player Stats

Aaron Jones Stats 2017Current ADPs (Average of DRAFT & MFL10)

J. Williams - 88, RB37

A. Jones - 92, RB37

Per Graham Barfield - https://bit.ly/2J8gplD

  • Jones 5.55 ypc on 1st & 2nd down trailed only Kamara.
  • J-WIll 3.80 ypc on 1st & 2nd down
  • 44% of Jones carries went for 5+ yards.
  • J-Will = 32% went for 5+ yards.
  • NFL Avg = 32%.
  • Per PFF, Jones forced at least one missed tackle on 16% of his attempts (17th-best) while Williams' missed tackle rate was 11.8% (16th-worst). The NFL average is 14.5%."

My stats (but through PFF)

  • Jones 5.53 ypc overall (min. 75 carries) also 2nd behind only Kamara - did only have 81 carries though. 
  • Williams 3.63 = 39th (of 52 RBs)
  • YAC - Jones (2.9) = 11th (of 52 Rbs min. 75 carries).
  • Williams (2.3) = 41st
  • Jones TA/attempt (0.16) = 16th
  • J-Will (0.12) = 33rd
  • Jones PPO (STD) = 0.30; PPO (PPR) = 0.34
  • J-Will PPO (STD) = 0.25; PPO (PPR) = 0.31

Much of the same from Player Profiler, Williams was terrible at creating yards, Jones was good.


Jones was significantly more efficient than Williams was as a runner. But Williams crushed Aaron Jones when it came to 3rd down, both receiving and pass-blocking, which surprised me, well not the latter part but receiving considering Jones is a really good athlete and he caught the ball in college too. Over his last 3 szns at UTEP he averaged over 2.5 receptions, racked up 632 receiving yards and scored 7 times. He had over 2000 scrimmage yards and 20 touchdowns during his senior year at UTEP.

What's interesting to me, is PFF's receiving grade, which I'm not exactly sure how they calculate it, it's not based on stats or anything, I guess they look at each individual play as a receiver and just grade it, but Jones actually graded higher than Williams did as a receiver. And I feel like these rankings probably aren't too flukey considering this was their top-10:

The way I see it, last year is absolutely not the end-all, be-all to what Jones can be as a receiving back, but again I don't want to make the mistake I've made before, that just because I know a back is capable, doesn't mean the teams are going to use him that way.

The bigger piece of the 3rd down pie is going to pertain to blocking for Aaron Rodgers, coming off this collarbone injury. This is going to be a major concern for Green Bay in 2018. Williams was the 4th highest graded pass-blocking running back per PFF. Jones was amongst the bottom of the league.

The other wild card here is obviously the injuries, which hit all 3 Green Bay backs at one point in 2017, which allowed for all 3 of them to get on the field. Jones missed 6 games last year, but he also only played in 2 games during his junior year at college. He did follow that up with a 257 touch (21.4/game) szn the next year, but still worth noting. Williams dealt with concussions during his freshman year, then had a serious knee injury in 2014 which cut his szn short and forced him to miss all of 2015 as well. Last year he was dealing with a knee issue. So, injuries are definitely a concern here in this bykefield.

If we're going to assume they're both healthy, or at least both play the same number of games, I'm definitely leaning towards Jones. But, I don't think he will take over as the workhorse, I think it'll remain a split back there, and because there are a lot of question marks, for both guys, I probably won't be reaching for either necessarily. I know it'd be nice to own the RB in an Aaron Rodgers offense, but even looking back historically, it's a lot better in theory just like the tight end. Take a look at this chart:

There are the two good years from Lacy and Ryan Grant, but in those szns, both guys dominated their respective backfields Grant saw over 300 touches and Lacy was like 10 away. So, unless your confident in whoever it is you like, being the bellcow, which you can't be right now, I wouldn't be reaching. 

Nick Ercolano
Nick Ercolano


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