By all accounts, the Green Bay Packers didn’t need to draft a running back. They had Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams, a great 1-2 punch. Then there is Tyler Ervin, a clutch signing of the 2019 season. He showed great potential on the field when he got snaps and fits perfectly with LaFleur’s offense. But then in the 2nd round, with pick 62, the Green Bay Packers drafted running back A.J. Dillon from Boston College. A.J. Dillon should now be on your radar for this year’s Fantasy Football draft.
At first, I was shocked like everyone else. But then I started to watch film. Then I read more about his life. Then I started following his social media and seeing him in the gym. The dude is a beast. If you have been playing Fantasy Football for several years now, you always know there are 3-5 surprise running backs that burst onto the season around the mid-season mark.
Most of them are drafted, held onto, and then dropped when bye weeks pop up or because it is Week 7 and someone on your roster has 3 points total. I have made that mistake way too many times. The past two seasons I have held onto first or second year running backs until the end, and it is definitely a plus when it comes to playoffs time and plenty of injuries to go around. Did I pick up DeAndre Washington of the Raiders (now Chiefs) and win my Fantasy championship last year? Yes I did.
A.J. Dillon is a player that you should draft. Especially for larger, keeper or dynasty leagues. If you are in an eight team league and nothing is on the line, he is not needed unless you are a homer. But, this is a player that could emerge immediately as a goal line threat, a touchdown hawk from Aaron Jones and possibly the next big back in the NFL. Even if he doesn’t burst onto the scene in 2020, he will be great in keeper or dynasty leagues a few years down the road.
As a freshman at Boston College in 2017, Dillon rushed for a Boston College freshman record 1,589 yards with 14 touchdowns. He was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. His sophomore year, Dillon recorded 1,149 total yards and 11 touchdowns, making him the first player in Boston College history to post back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and missing a few games with an ankle injury. Dillon holds the program’s all-time rushing record with 4,382 yards in three seasons.
Not impressed with A.J. yet? He weighs around 250 pounds, has a 41 inch vertical and also runs around a 4.53 forty. My goodness.
Along with drafting AJ, there is something else that might be good to know. Draft Jamaal Williams with caution. I love Williams. He is a great player, person and locker room presence. But, if Dillon shows up and starts to dominate and run people over, Williams might take a backseat. Aaron Jones is a special talent, and Ervin will be used for his speed.
So that means Williams might be the odd man out, unless Jones suffers another injury or Dillon takes time to develop this year. There is also a good possibility of Williams being traded by the end of the 2020 season. I don’t want to see it happen, but you never know. Stranger things have happened. Let’s not forget, the Packers traded Brett Favre to the Jets.
Now saying that, none of this might happen. Aaron Jones and Jamaal Williams both have one year left, and still might split carries with Dillon getting some relief touches. Right now, his average draft position is around 150-175, so that could be anywhere between the 13th and 18th round depending on league size. There is a good chance that Dillon will spend most of the year developing and get some touches if it is a complete blow out. But, there is also a chance he will burst onto the scene and help create a 1-2-3 Running Back punch for the Packers that will be hard for teams to defend. Having depth and versatility at running back seemed to help the 49ers at least two times last year….
There are a lot of people comparing A.J. to Derrick Henry, and I can’t argue with that. Derrick also split carries for a long time before he blew up, which could also be the case for Dillon.
There is also a chance that A.J. will be the starting running back in 2021, which again will help you in keeper or dynasty leagues. The Packers would be absolutely foolish to not bring Jones back, and if for some reason Jones signs a monster deal somewhere else, they should sign Williams. But, money talks, and you never know if both running backs are gone and A.J. Dillon is a huge fantasy pick in 2021 and you can have him on your roster already because you took a chance.
Is there a chance you might waste a draft pick? Sure, there always is. But taking the risk is still better than drafting any Running Back from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They screw someone over year after year after year. And I am not saying draft AJ in the 5th round, I am talking about a late round pick when it feels right. Make sure you have some RB depth already. Make sure you haven’t picked too many rookies in case you only have one keeper. Keep an eye out for any possible injury updates before your draft. But for some reason, I see Dillon being a monster and a huge sleeper pick this year.
And yes, you should also draft A.J. Green and have your team name be “A.J. Squared” or “A.J. Double Team”.
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