Fantasy Football: Bold Predictions for Week 13
Aaron Jones will Finish as the Top Fantasy Running Back
Aaron Jones has been crushing it recently, but the best is still yet to come. As JJ Zachariason noted in his Week 12 Report, Jones has handled 43 of 48 running back carries over the Green Bay Packers' last three games. He has also had no fewer than five targets in any of those games. His 16 targets are the sixth-most at the position since Week 9 and earned him the fourth-highest target share among running backs.
His dominant workload isn't the only thing to like about him, either. He leads all NFL running backs with 6.0 yards per carry while still holding the third-best Rushing Success Rate (the percentage of carries that add points to their team's expected point total) in the league with 54.46%. This is important to note, as it demonstrates that his yards per carry rate isn't buoyed by just a couple big runs. It means that Jones is constantly gaining significant chunks of yardage.
The Arizona Cardinals probably won't be able to stop him from doing that, either. Through 11 games this season they've already allowed running backs to rush for 1,454 yards. That's more than they allowed all players to rush for during their 16 game season last year, and there's still plenty of football left to play. They've allowed a ridiculous 44.4% Rushing Success Rate to opposing backs as well -- basically turning their opponents' backfields into Christian McCaffrey doppelgangers.
The Packers are 14-point favorites in this one, but this might go another way. The Cardinals haven't played terrible pass defense this season, and they actually haven't been blown out by any teams outside of our top 10 in nERD Power Rankings. They even kept the Chicago Bears and the Kansas City Chiefs offenses to surprisingly low totals. They're by no means a good team, but they might not be quite as awful as they've looked.
This is good for Jones for two reasons. If the game turns into a blowout, the Packers will turn to Jones to grind out the clock with his incredible ability to consistently gain chunk yardage. If the game stays surprisingly competitive, it would still behoove the team to make full use of their stud running back to take advantage of the Cardinals' weakness to opposing backs. This should give Jones a very high floor for the week and one of the highest ceilings.
Long story short, the biggest flaw in the Cardinals defense is their glaring weakness to the run, and the Packers have an elite running back in Aaron Jones. He's currently the RB8 in numberFire's projections, but don't be surprised when he finishes as the RB1.