AJ Dillon is entering his third season with the Green Bay Packers. It should be his best one yet. Over the prior two seasons, Dillon has been stuck in a timeshare with RB1 Aaron Jones. Right when we thought Dillon was about to break out, the Packers re-signed Jones to a four-year deal before the 2021 season. Luckily, the contract is escapable after this season. With Dillon’s limited workload, we might be looking at a late breakout like Austin Ekeler. The Packers’ offense will be completely different this year without Davante Adams. It appears they will be rushing the ba,ll a lot more which is big for the Quadfather. Dillon is on the path toward a complete breakout year.
2021 Season Recap
Dillon nearly quadrupled (pun intended) all his stats from his rookie year when he barely played. With Jamaal Williams gone, he took over the RB2 role. This allowed him to rack up 187 carries for 803 yards and five touchdowns. Dillon averaged a steady 4.3 years per rush (YPR). In addition, he was a factor in the passing game. He had 37 targets and caught 34 of them. He scored two touchdowns and had 313 yards. Not bad, for an RB many assumed wouldn’t be passing down back.
Looking at some advanced stats reveals Dillon had a great 2021 season. He averaged over two yards after contact while breaking 17 tackles. Those quads are hard to stop. He was a YAC (yards after catch) monster last year, averaging 9.1 per reception. This showcases his elusiveness and speed. All of this was done on only 43% of the snaps. That number should rise in 2022.
2022 Season Projection
I expect the Packers to rush the ball much more with Adams gone. Plus, I expect Coach LaFleur to get his RBs more receiving work and routes. They must replace the talented WR somehow after barely adding any over the off-season. I’m sorry, Allen Lazard, you’re not Adams. Nor is rookie Christian Watson. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jones and Dillon on the field together. The Packers are still trying to win now, and Dillon will have to be a focal point of that.
As you can see above, I have Dillon setting career highs in every category. With Jones getting older and likely serving more of a scat-back role, I foresee Dillon handling most of the carries. With the increased passing work for the RBs, Dillon easily sets a career-high in targets/receptions. The Quadfather should also be a touchdown machine in the red zone with Adams gone. Don’t be surprised if Dillon winds up a late-end RB1 or high-end RB2. I have him projected for 14.9 ppg in PPR.
Do I Buy or Sell the Quadfather?
Dillon is entering his age-24 season with only 233 career rushes. That’s an abnormally low number for a talented young RB. This means he should take over the RB1 spot in the Packers offense in 2023 at only 25 years old with roughly 450 carries. Most backs that age have at least 600+ carries. This will allow Dillon to survive longer in the NFL, like Derrick Henry. He barely rushed his first couple of years and was able to last until 28, when he started breaking down. I see the same thing with Dillon.
In this respect, Dillon works for rebuilding or contending teams. If I was rebuilding, I would probably hold onto Dillon to start the season or until a couple of RBs get hurt. Then, I’d sell him for at least a first, if not another pick as well. Contenders will always pay for an RB if they need one or think he’ll help them win a championship. I would want Dillon on my team since he would be an ideal RB2. He can give you RB1 numbers often but remain a reliable RB2. To acquire him, I’d try offering a late-first and a third-round pick or see if I can send two early seconds. He will help your team for multiple years.
As mentioned above, this could likely be Dillon’s breakout year. He should establish himself as a premium RB in dynasty and the NFL world. He’s set up to record career numbers this year in a more RB-oriented offense. The Packers will be playing for the playoffs. They’ll need to utilize Dillon as much as they can. With Jones in tow, Dillon won’t be overused, which protects his future in the NFL and dynasty. I would want Dillon on my team if I’m contending in dynasty. I hope you’re ready for the Quadzilla to destroy defenses this season.
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