Fantasy football drafts can be a difficult and inexact science. Every year fantasy football managers try to determine who is worth a first or second-round pick and who could provide serious value in later rounds. They do their research and hope their draft picks work out and don’t miss time. But injuries are part of the game so depth becomes important. That could be where AJ Dillon comes in. Here is an AJ Dillon fantasy outlook for the 2021 season.
AJ Dillon 2021 Fantasy Football Profile
AJ Dillon didn’t see the field much last season, his rookie year, as he was the third-string running back. But he did average 5.3 yards per carry on his 46 totes. And in Week 16 he went off against the Tennessee Titans when he had 21 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns.
Aaron Jones Re-Signs
It wasn’t a certainty that Aaron Jones would return to the Green Bay Packers. But he re-signed with the Packers after the two sides agreed to a four-year, $48 million contract this off-season. That means Jones will continue to be the lead back in Green Bay. But Jamaal Williams, the previous backup running back, is no longer with the Green Bay Packers so Dillon will now be the primary backup behind Jones.
Matt LaFleur’s Influence
With Matt LaFleur at the helm in Green Bay Williams had 226 carries and 80 targets in 28 games. Last season Williams had 119 carries for 505 yards and two touchdowns. He added 31 catches for 236 yards and a receiving touchdown. Now that Williams is with the Detroit Lions Dillon should see an increase in his usage, particularly in the passing game. Dillon is not the same caliber pass-catcher as Jones or Williams, but he is absolutely capable of catching the ball out of the backfield. And LaFleur isn’t shy about using his running backs in the passing game so some of the 35 targets (he had 31 receptions) Williams saw last season should find their way to Dillon.
In addition, the Packers offense made tremendous strides in LaFleur’s second year in Green Bay. They ranked first in points per game and overall red zone efficiency. Even though Jones will obviously be the lead running back, number two backs can get plenty of opportunities in LaFleur’s system. Last season, when Jones was in the lineup, Williams still averaged a 43% snap share. So, there are touches to be had for backup running backs in Green Bay.
Dillon won’t be an RB1, but he could still provide value in fantasy. And if the Packers get away from throwing the ball at the goal line, Dillon could be the guy in those situations due to his powerful running style. He could possibly reach pay dirt around eight or nine times in 2021. In addition, Dillon could really put up numbers if Jones were to get hurt and be sidelined. And Jones has missed time due to injuries in the past. The talented back has missed eight games in his first three NFL seasons.
If fantasy managers are able to take Dillon in the back half of their fantasy drafts as their fourth or fifth running back, he could be well worth the selection.