Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update: AJ Dillon, RB GB

Kane Fossell

The NFL Draft is behind us, rookie drafts are taking place, and as dynasty owners, we are looking ahead to the upcoming season. In the Dynasty Fantasy Football Rookie Update series, we break down all the incoming fantasy-relevant rookies, looking at their profile and where they fit.

Name: AJ Dillon

Position: Running back

Pro Team: Green Bay Packers

College Team: Boston College

Draft Status: Round two, 62nd overall

Video Highlights

Combine Review

  • Height: 6’0”
  • Weight: 247 lbs
  • Arms: 31 5/8”
  • Hands: 9 5/8”
  • 40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds
  • Vertical jump: 41”
  • Broad jump: 131”
  • Three-cone drill: 7.19 seconds


AJ Dillon is a power runner who was utilized with a heavy workload at Boston College. He has above-average vision that pairs nicely with his size and speed when he has a full head of steam. Clocking in at 247 pounds, Dillon can plow over defenders if he lowers his pad level – and we have seen that often on film. Add this power to his 4.53 speed and it is clear to see why many people see him as a rare combination.


Dillon does not have the best agility out of the running backs in this class, but many people don’t expect him to due to his play style.

Another knock on Dillon is his occasional inability to lower his pad level. When it does happen as he goes into contact, we have seen him have tremendous success. But he does not always do it – and that could lead to problems.

The last concern many analysts have with him is the lack of receiving work in college. He had 21 total catches in his three years at BC, with a high of 13 in his final season. However, it is clear that he was not asked to do this often, which hindered his results. How the Packers use him remains to be seen.


Being drafted in the second round, we have to believe Dillon will get some of the opportunities available. Both Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones are on the final year of their contracts in 2020, which tells us Dillon has a clear path to carries in 2021.

Last year, the Packers ran the ball 411 times for 1,795 yards with an average of 4.4 yards per carry. It is clear that the Packers want to utilize their running game and look to be transitioning to a power style running game, which is similar to the one head coach Matt LaFleur had as the offensive coordinator in Tennessee.


Dillon’s main threats in the backfield are clearly Williams and Jones, but again as of right now, they are not under contract in 2021, so they should just be viewed as short-term threats.

An additional threat is the utilization of running backs in the passing game for the Packers. Last season, Jones saw 68 targets and caught 49 passes, while Williams had 39 catches of his own on 45 targets. Since Dillon was not asked to do this often in college, he will have to work a bit more on his pass-catching ability to fully synchronize with this new offense.

Short-Term Expectations

Dillon’s 2020 expectations are a bit bleak as he will likely be planted firmly in a running-back-by-committee offense. The Jamaal Williams role could be given to Dillon as he learns the offense and if he can gather 25% of the carries in this offense, that would slot him for a hair over 100 carries and shy of 500 yards.

He should not be in your plans to start in 2020 barring injury to Jones or Williams.

Long-Term Expectations

With no Williams or Jones under contract in 2021, the sky is the limit for this rookie moving forward. He will be able to command the lion share of the carries and be the workhorse in this offense.

Knowing the Packers have no other backs for the 2021 season, it is clear that they will have to sign someone, but that shouldn’t scare you. If Dillon gets over 200 carries per season for the Packers, he should be able to finish as a top-24 running back.

NFL Comparison

It is no surprise that Dillon gets compared to Derrick Henry quite often due to their similar weight and play style. Though Henry is almost three inches taller than the rookie, they do have a similar bruising style that we saw work so well in the playoffs this past season.

Tody Gerhart also fits as a comparison. He was also drafted – at the time in 2010 – to sit behind a producing running back in Adrian Peterson. Both Dillon and Gerhart did not catch the ball out of the backfield well in college. Unfortunately, Gerhart never really got his shot to be the bellcow in any backfield.

Overall, it is difficult to find an easy comparison for Dillon due to his unique size and speed combination.

Projected Range for Rookie Drafts

In one-quarterback leagues, Dillon is being drafted at the 2.05, but I have been able to get him much later. If we take a peek at superflex leagues, Dillon has an average draft position of 2.07 per data from myfantasyleague.com. The players around Dillon would be Brandon Aiyuk and Laviska Shenault.

Knowing where AJ Dillon was drafted, he seems to be a clear pick if you are looking for a running back in the middle of the second round.