Matt Jones has what can best be described as “meh” physical traits. Jones college production is also underwhelming. What Jones does have is pass catching ability along with an underrated opportunity in Indianapolis.
After a productive rookie season, more so in the passing game than rushing, in 2015 things looked good for Jones going into 2016. Washington allowed Alfred Morris depart via free agency, and brought no one of note in to challenge Jones for the starting role. Measuring in at 6’2″ 231 pounds Jones has the size to be a power back. As evidenced by his 19 receptions on 25 chances in 2015 he also can be used in the passing game, giving him 3-down upside. Jones was ready for big things in 2016, or it appeared as such.
Rob Kelley started generating buzz in the 2016 pre-season, and eventually became the full-time starter for Washington when Jones couldn’t stop fumbling. On the season Jones had 3 fumbles on just 107 touches. Jones was able to secure all 8 of his targets on the season, so there’s that. Additionally, he improved his YPC from 3.4 to 4.6. Hooray for little victories, right? But that improved YPC was built off the back of two monster performances last season, against the Eagles and Browns. Once Jones lost his starting gig he didn’t see the field again, due to not playing on special teams he wasn’t able to secure the backup role.
Now after being freed from Washington, Jones finds himself in Indianapolis. Frank Gore (what’s dead may never die), Robert Turbin and Marlon Mack are ahead of Jones on the depth chart. Gore is eternal but at some point, he might retire, or at least get dinged up this season and be forced to miss time. I love Marlon Mack, but he’ll never be a 3-down back until he stops bouncing everything to the outside. (Editors Note: After some feedback on Reddit I watched all of Mack’s runs from this pre-season. He did not bounce everything to the outside as I initially stated. In fact, on only one run could it be said he did so. Bad news though is you’re not getting Mack now for anywhere near the price of Matt Jones.) Turbin is JAG of the highest order.
You are what you record says you are. And Robert Turbin’s record screams JAG. For Jones, this isn’t exactly the most intimidating depth chart to land in.
Per DLF’s Trade Finder tool Matt Jones was virtually free prior to being released by Washington this weekend. Now? You likely can acquire him for some random rookie 4th round pick. This is a big back with pass catching ability. The perfect 3-down type of player. If Jones can rectify his fumbling issues, he could end up winning a week or two for you this season. Prior to losing his job last season Jones averaged a respectable 11.2 fantasy points per game, comfortably within RB3 range. If you can secure a player with RB3 upside for a 4th round rookie pick you need to do so.
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