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Josh Jacobs

All-purpose back joins running back-friendly offense

I've seen some debate regarding the Packers' signing of Josh Jacobs. Some think they should have just stuck with Aaron Jones, who finished strong (and was a fan-favorite). Others think Jacobs, who averaged just 3.5 yards per carry last year, is washed-up from all the touches over the years, even at just 26 years old.

I'm in the camp that will probably be drafting Jacobs, in part out of appreciation for past success (most notably his awesome 2022 season), and in part because I think he'll be very good in the Packers offense. Lots of running backs have been very good for Green Bay, for a lot of years now.

The Packers are best known for their decades of success with quarterbacks, from Brett Favre to Aaron Rodgers to now, it seems, Jordan Love. And all that is true. But hand-in-hand with that, they've sure had a lot of great fantasy running backs.

Since 2000, the Packers have had a running back finish in the top 12 at their position 12 times (PPR scoring). That includes Jones doing it four times in the last five seasons. But Ahman Green also did it five times, and Eddie Lacy -- Eddie Lacy! -- did it twice.

The Packers have also put four other running backs in the top 25, including AJ Dillon two years ago. While a lot of teams have gone to committee backfields in the past decade, the Packers have generally seen one back do most of the damage. In 2024, that will be Jacobs.

2022Aaron Jones11215939577
2021Aaron Jones799523911011
2021AJ Dillon80334313723
2020Aaron Jones110447355115
2019Aaron Jones108449474192
2018Aaron Jones72826206924
2015James Starks60143392521
2014Eddie Lacy113942427136
2013Eddie Lacy117835257118
2010Brandon Jackson70343342424
2009Ryan Grant1253251971111
2007Ryan Grant95630145817
2006Ahman Green105946373615
2004Ahman Green116340275811
2003Ahman Green188350367203
2002Ahman Green124057393911
2001Ahman Green138762594113
2000Ahman Green117573559134

Green Bay re-signed AJ Dillon, after he apparently drew no interest on the free agent market. When Jacobs needs a breather, it will be Dillon spelling him (those who like to protect their starters with clear backups should be able to do so in Green Bay with Dillon). But Jacobs looks pretty good to me as an early choice in fantasy drafts.

Considering what Jones did over the last 5-6 years, it's reasonable to have some interest in him in Minnesota. You know he'll get up for his two games against the Packers, and he's certainly done well in divisional games against the Lions and Bears.

But Jones is 29 years old; he'll turn 30 in December. Jacobs just turned 26 last month. Packers fans lamenting Green Bay's pivot need look no further than that age difference. I'll have some interest in Jones in drafts, as well, but give me the younger guy more often than not. Jones seems more likely to be selected too early, Jacobs too late.

--Andy Richardson

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