The Washington Redskins go into a tough home matchup with the Miami Dolphins in week one, still unsure how to divvy up their carries between running backs Alfred Morris and Matt Jones. Head coach Jay Gruden drafted Matt Jones to likely be the team’s running back of the future, but at least initially only set out to have him be an upgrade over the departed Roy Helu Jr.
Going into week one, the writing on the wall suggests Matt Jones’ role could be growing. More importantly, fantasy football league managers preparing to rely heavily on Morris as one of their top fantasy running backs may need to be a little concerned.
“We’re going to work Matt [Jones] in there, obviously,” head coach Jay Gruden said. “Alfred [Morris]’s still the bell cow. We want to keep him fresh for 16 games. If he gets 12-20 carries, Matt Jones gets eight to 10, I don’t know how that’s going to work or play out.”
Great, neither do we. Therein lies the problem with Alfred Morris in fantasy football. Matt Jones could be a thorn in his side to some degree. We got that. Add in a tough matchup with Ndamukong Suh and a top-10 Miami run defense, plus Morris’ own mild regression (his YPC have dipped each year he’s been in the league), his general lack of explosiveness and a lack of versatility (he offers nothing as a receiver) and there are enough red flags to make you dizzy.
It’s entirely possible Morris is still the feature back the Redskins claim he is. Another 1,000+ yard season and 8-10 touchdowns could still be in the cards. He could even find a way to tear up the Dolphins at home, where he has played his best football so far in his career.
Or Washington could love Matt Jones as much as they appear to, Morris’ touches decline and Matt Jones ascends to true fantasy football relevancy. It’s too early to tell. You probably still need to roll with Morris in season long fantasy football leagues. You drafted him to be a RB2 most likely or a Flex at worst, so you should still use him unless you have some random awesome option behind him. For DFS leagues, Morris is off the table. In matchup alone he’s not looking strong this week, but add in everything else, and he’s absolutely a DFS option to fade.
For the long-term, the Matt Jones loves looks and sounds pretty real. If he’s available in your league, few stashes are looking better at the moment.