Fantasy Football ADP Duel: Would You Rather Draft Aaron Jones or Leonard Fournette for 2019 Season

Dan Israeli
Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers v Dallas Cowboys / Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
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The running back position is seemingly deep as we eye the 2019 fantasy football season. So much so that you can wait on drafting a running back until rounds two and three to grab a guy with RB1 potential.

Two guys who should be available after the first round, according to their average draft position (ADP), are Aaron Jones, of the Green Bay Packers, and Leonard Fournette, of the Jacksonville Jaguars. Fournette has an ADP of 24 overall (RB14), while Jones is going six spots later, on average, at pick 30 (RB16).

While Jones has battled injuries during his first two years in the league, missing a few games each season due to a right knee sprain, his health isn't what many think had been holding him back. It's that he was never handed the featured back role in the Packers' offense. Jones played in 12 games last year and only saw 133 carries after getting 81 totes in 12 games during his rookie season.

With a new head coach in Matt LeFleur saying that Jones will be more involved in the passing game and lots of upside in the new-look offense, many fantasy owners would jump at the chance to have the Packers' RB on their squad.

But it's Fournette that was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the same draft that Jones was taken in Round 5 at pick 182. After missing three games in his rookie year (one due to suspension), Fournette was limited to just eight games last year due to a nagging left hamstring strain. While being hampered by injuries in his first two seasons, the Jaguars' back has still managed 14 touchdowns in his first 21 NFL games.

And as long as Fournette is healthy, he's surely primed for a big role in the Jacksonville offense in 2019. The Jaguars should be better offensively with Nick Foles under center, and if they're leading more games that's also a positive for any running back. Plus, there are reports that the Jags will put an increased emphasis on the passing game. With 58 catches in 21 NFL games, a spike in targets would clearly benefit Fournette's fantasy stock as well.

Truth is, the outlook for both of these players is bright. Jones should see an uptick in receptions, after totaling just 26 last season, and as long as Fournette is healthy, he can win weeks in fantasy on his own.

While both players have a big opportunity in 2019, the debate may come down to quantity versus quality. While Fournette has exceeded 20 carries 12 times in his NFL career, Jones has yet to do so even once. But Jones has a 5.5 yards per carry (YPC) average through two seasons, with Fournette sitting at a 3.7 YPC mark.

So while Fournette will likely see a bigger workload in Jacksonville, Jones could be more efficient and productive with less carries in Green Bay. They both make for fine options in fantasy drafts once the top-10 running backs are off the board, and if you're in a snake draft you should consider one in the second round and the other in the third.


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