revolutionary tools.  groundbreaking articles.  proven results.

Aaron Jones – The Most Productive RB in the 2017 Draft

You probably haven’t heard of Aaron Jones. The former UTEP Miner declared for the draft on New Year’s Eve to little fanfare (Rotoworld were surprised by his decision), and has gotten almost no coverage so far in a much talked-about RB class. But Jones may be the best 2017 draft prospect you have never heard of – until now.

Impressive Performance, Incredible Efficiency

Although he showed some promise in his true sophomore season (running for 1321 yards and 11 TDs), Jones’ 2016 performance as a redshirt junior was something special. He finished the season with 1773 rushing yards on 229 attempts, adding 233 receiving yards and scoring 20 TDs. While finishing fourth in the nation for rushing yards is something to be proud of, Jones also sneaked into a special group who have amassed 2000 yards from scrimmage in a season (one of only 42 to achieve this since 2006).

Here is the table of every player to reach that milestone in the last 10 seasons. For each, I’ve included the percent of total offensive yardage and touchdowns the player accounted for, as well as the ratio of those percentages relative to the percentage of team touches the player accounted for.1

Aaron Jones Table

Jones may be towards the bottom of this list in terms of total yards, but his per-play efficiency metrics are off the charts.2 Among this list of highly-productive backs over the past 10 seasons, he was in the top eight of each efficiency metric.

Yards per Play Team Yards % Team Yards Efficiency Team TD % Team TD Efficiency College Dominator %
7.81 45.3% 1.30 48.8% 1.40 47.0%
2nd 6th 1st 8th 3rd 7th

Not only did Jones reach 2000 scrimmage yards on less plays than anyone else, but he did so carrying his offense. He performed 30 percent better per play than average for his team – and a ridiculous 54 percent better than the average for the rest of the Miners offense. Only three other players on the list out-performed their team’s per-play average by more than 15 percent (Tevin Coleman, Chad Hall and Kerwynn Williams), and only one other was better than 25 percent (Coleman).

Jones is one of only four from the group who averaged over 7 yards per play, accounted for at least 40 percent of his team’s yards and TDs, and had a team yards efficiency over 1.1 (marks Jones himself eclipsed by a healthy margin).

Aaron Jones Table 2

The biggest explanation for Jones’ remarkable efficiency was his big-play ability. Jones was the only FBS player with double-digit rushing touchdowns on plays that began outside the red zone, leading the nation with 12 such scores. A whopping 9 of the 12 came on runs of 40-plus yards.

Unanswered Questions

There is still much to learn in the pre-draft process. Jones is listed at just 5 feet 10 inches, 205 pounds by Rotoworld; where he weighs in and how he tests athletically at the combine will go a long way toward completing the picture of the type of back he profiles as. The combine will also give Jones an opportunity to answer questions about his arrest in March for DWI.

It’s also worth considering that Jones may look awesome because the rest of the UTEP offense is truly awful (with one winning season since 2005, that’s very much a possibility). But even if that were the case, Aaron Jones’ ability to carry an offense and put up elite production with seemingly little support or surrounding talent means he is a name to watch over the coming months. It’s not often you get the chance to draft someone who can put up 2000 yards on under 300 touches while performing more than 50 percent better than the rest of his team.

  1. Note – Team Yards Efficiency = Team Yards % / Team Touches % (or yards per play / team yards per play); Team TD Efficiency = Team TD % / Team Touches %  (back)
  2. Jones posted 7.7 yards per carry and 8.3 yards per reception, so he was strong in both aspects of the game.  (back)

recent and related...

in case you missed it...

When The Devy Breaks: Keaontay Ingram Is A Three-Down NFL RB In Waiting

Welcome back to When The Devy Breaks, your weekly rundown of the college football landscape and how it affects your devy league rosters. Looking ahead to Week 12, we’ve got several matchups with real college football playoff potential highlighted by Georgia/Auburn and Oklahoma/Baylor. We’ll also see Navy take a swing

Read More

Dollars Per Opportunity: Josh Jacobs Smash Week

Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I utilize our Game Level Similarity Projections to find the hidden DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective with a focus on Week 9 Yahoo! DFS. We have been on a roll with picks in this article as

Read More

DK Buffet Week 11: Key Stats for the Main Slate on DraftKings

When I’m looking into the DFS slate each week, I like to go game by game and identify players or situations that intrigue me. In every game, on every team, there’s a situation that’s relevant for DFS, for either a positive or negative reason. These situations inform us of how

Read More

FanDuel NFL Cash Plays – Week 11

With three straight dominating weeks of FanDuel NFL Cash Plays, The Fantasy Football Ghost is on fire heading into Week 11! Well, ladies and gentlemen, we achieved that elusive hat trick of three straight winning weeks where the players I highlighted surpassed 2.5 times value! In Week 10 we again

Read More
Connect
Support

rotovizmain@gmail.com

Sign-up today for our free Premium Email subscription!

© 2019 RotoViz. All rights Reserved.