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Friday Debate: Will Matt Jones Be a Fantasy Stud?

As Redskins fans ponder the fantasy potential for each and every player on the roster, we debate the prospects for Matt Jones' fantasy dominance.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

I'll be brief up top here, because I want to leave as much of the debate for the comments section below.

I think it is safe to say that pretty much all of us plays fantasy football. If you have played long enough, you have witnessed an incredible trend away from the presence of a true workhorse back being on just about every single NFL team. Whether it be a result of the general trend most offenses have followed toward being more pass-happy, or the manner in which teams prefer the dreaded running back-by-committee approach, there have just been fewer slam dunk workhorse backs in recent years.

For the purpose of this discussion, let's draw the line at 20 touches. At 20 touches and over, we can all likely agree that this back would be a valuable fantasy player (assuming production out of those touches--if a guy doesn't produce, he ain't getting 20+ for long). Under 20 touches, and you just might be looking at either a pass-heavy offense or a team that divvies up the touches between multiple backs.

Since Jay Gruden has been the coach of the Redskins, he has had a 20-touch back only 38% of the time ( That stat surprised me a little, even though we all saw how Gruden used his backs last season. If my ability to add two numbers (rushing attempts and receptions) still works, it looks like there were only two games last season where Jones got over 20 total touches: a win over the Rams (19 carries, 3 receptions) and a win over the Bears (18 carries, 3 receptions).

(This is still me being brief.)

Among the questions to toss around below:

  • Assuming Jones is currently the only running back on the roster we can envision being a 20+ touch player, will we see that happen on a regular basis?
  • Do you think Jay Gruden even wants that many touches from one guy?
  • If given those touches, what kind of fantasy player do you see Matt Jones becoming in 2016 (I couch this as a fantasy question because we just had a great article by Gabe about Matt Jones' upcoming season)?
I think many of us expect a big season out of Matt Jones, but the truth is he can be a difference-maker for the Redskins without necessarily being a top fantasy stud. I happen to think those two will go hand-in-hand this year, and I do expect to see Matt Jones climbing running back rankings as the summer progresses.