A.J. Dillon is entering his third season in the NFL and he is looking for an increased role. He led the Green Bay Packers in carries and finished with 1,119 total yards and seven touchdowns in 2021. He finished the season as RB23 while playing a split role with Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones. (here is a look at Jones fantasy-wise, heading into the 2022 season). Departures, including Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling have left a void in the Packers passing game going into this season. Maybe Green Bay will lean on the ground game a little more this season. Here is a 2022 fantasy football outlook on A.J Dillon.
READ MORE: Courtland Sutton Fantasy Football Outlook
2022 Fantasy Football Outlook: A.J. Dillon
2021 Season Recap
Dillon led the Packers in carries in 2021 but he didn’t see an increased role until a few weeks into the season. Although quarterback Aaron Rodgers won his second straight MVP, the Packers played at a slow pace and enjoyed running the ball. Dillon saw an increase in carries starting in Week 4. From Weeks 4-18 he averaged over 12 carries per game and he was RB15. Dillon was heavily utilized as the short yardage back and that will probably continue in 2022.
In 2022 Dillon very well might see an uptick in carries and targets. Coming into the NFL Dillon was not known as a pass catcher. In his three years at Boston College, he had only 21 catches in 35 games. But this past season he had 34 catches and caught over 90% of his targets. With Adams and MVS both leaving the team that leaves a lot of available targets in the passing game. Adams and MVS combined for 224 targets, 149 receptions, and 1,983 yards last season. Obviously, Dillon will not receive all those available targets but it gives him an opportunity to get more involved in the passing game.
It will also allow Aaron Jones to play more receiver. Jones was already heavily involved in the passing game but Adams’ departure could mean more targets for Jones. In the one game that Adams missed in 2021, Jones received double-digit targets. In that same game, Dillon had over 15 carries. With the lack of pass catchers, this could mean that Dillon could see a bulk of the carries while Jones goes back to helping in the passing game.
Both Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon saw over 200 touches last year. Both were top 24 fantasy RBs.
The previous four times two backfield mates each received 200 touches, both were top 24 for fantasy as well.
Dillon and Jones can both be great together in the same offense.
— Hutchinson Brown (@hutchinsonb_ff) July 7, 2022
Adams’ departure also leaves a hole in the Red Zone. Since 2018 Adams leads the league with 37 Red Zone touchdowns. Dillon’s physicality and size mean he will be the best option for the Packers for Red Zone production. All five of Dillon’s rushing touchdowns in 2021 came in the Red Zone. He is one of the best bets for double-digit touchdowns in 2022.
Average Draft Position
A.J. Dillon is currently being taken as RB25 in the fifth round in fantasy football drafts. He finished better than RB25 last year on a Packers offense that had Davante Adams. He should soar way past RB25 and get into the 12-20 range. It usually is not a good idea to take two backs from the same team but it makes sense this year with Dillon and Jones. They have different styles and they play together pretty often. Jones is currently going in the second round and taking Dillon three rounds later to lock up the backfield is an option to consider this year. And here are the running backs who will be vying for the third spot behind Dillon and Jones.