Why Aaron Jones could be a sneaky draft value

In the Yahoo Fantasy Football Forecast, analysts Liz Loza and Scott Pianowski discuss some fantasy football draft strategy and a pair of running backs who could be value picks

Video Transcript

LIZ LOZA: You mentioned, you know, the anchor RB, anchors aweigh strategy. And I agree with you, Joe Mixon is someone I might take. Aaron Jones is another one that I wouldn't mind using as my anchor.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Aaron Jones is a screaming value right now. His ADP's around 21.

LIZ LOZA: Incredible.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: If I knew that I could get Aaron Jones in the second round-- of course, that's unknowable, right? But I would love to say, great, give me-- give me Jefferson, give me Chase, give me even Davante Adams, somebody like that--

LIZ LOZA: Stefon Diggs.


LIZ LOZA: Give me Stefon Diggs at the end of the first. And then on the sneak, turn around.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Give me an alpha receiver, and I'll come back with Aaron Jones. And then I'll-- and then I'll go back to that receiver room, maybe get a Pittman or somebody, you know, maybe get Tee Higgins--

LIZ LOZA: You get Tee Higgins, yep--

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: --somebody like that, yeah.

LIZ LOZA: --in the third.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: Oh, I would love a build-- I would love builds-- I love builds that have Aaron Jones in the second round. The problem is, you can't be sure you're going to get Aaron Jones. But he's the running back in the second round I like.

LIZ LOZA: Let's say you get Mixon or you get Aaron Jones as your anchor, and then maybe you build with a Diggs and a Pittman or a Tee Higgins or something like that. Now, right-- here's the player that I am, like, very interested on that I also think is a screaming value, it's Miles Sanders. You can get him in the sixth round. So now that-- I mean, again, you're hedging that you can make it happen, that no one else has the same strategy, especially after listening to this pod, and won't reach for him. But if I can get Miles Sanders, who I think is a fine RB 2, and who had that knee injury in week 6 and just, frankly, was never right after that, I think that there's an opportunity there.

And I do think that, you know, AJ Brown added to this offense, it's still going to be a run first proposition with Jalen Hurts as the quarterback. There's-- we saw at the beginning of last year, right, that Nick Sirianni was, like, trying to get Jalen Hurts to be a passer, and it just isn't the thing he does best. And so there might be more of those opportunities folded in with AJ Brown, but it's still going to be a run first identity.

And I also think that the stacked box rate that Miles Sanders is going to see, although he didn't see-- I think he only saw a stacked box upwards of 8% of the time last year, which is in, like, the RB 30 kind of category. But I think that that number is going to decrease even more, and he might just see, you know, a standard base front or even a light front more frequently, which should help his efficiency numbers.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I-- I'm in on everything you said for Sanders.

LIZ LOZA: All right.

SCOTT PIANOWSKI: I think you build a very strong case. And I'll add-- I'll give you the cherry on top of the sundae. He had no touchdowns last year, and that is just screaming for correction. It doesn't-- he touched the ball so much. And look, I get it, Hurts runs a lot, and he bogarted a lot of the rushing touchdowns. That stuff is going to correct. Even if Hurts can still have a handful of touchdowns, Sanders, by accident, might score seven or eight times this year. And if he got a break, maybe he could score 10 times.

Touchdown-- touchdown counts can be extremely volatile year over year, more for the receivers than the running backs because the running backs can score those cheaper touchdowns easier. A goal line carry is more likely to be a touchdown for a running back than anybody else. But the fact that Miles Sanders didn't score a touchdown last year, that's a feature for me, not a bug, because people have-- we're at a point now where Sanders has been hurt enough and he's been frustrating enough to people that probably half your league has probably been-- or a, you know, [? third ?] year league has been burned by Sanders. They don't even want draft the guy now.

They're not even-- he's not-- you know, like I said, I didn't want to draft Barkley. He's off-- basically off my board unless the price gets ridiculous, and it won't. A lot of people are like, I'm done with that Sanders guy. He doesn't score any touchdowns. He's always hurt. I think he's an unbelievable value. And he'll be your second running back on a lot of teams. He might be your third running back on some teams, and I'm all for it. I think you outlined a great case for why he's one of the tremendous-- that's why we draft early, too, because this maybe could correct itself between now and August. If you're best ball drafting right now, I want a lot of Miles Sanders on your team.