Ronald Jones II
RB - TB
Week 3 Outlook
Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones rushed six times for 27 yards while adding another nine yards on 1-of-3 targets in Sunday's Week 2 win over the Falcons.
Jones drew the proverbial start but was out-produced by Leonard Fournette. As of now, it is safe to say Fournette is the back to trust out of Tampa's backfield, but with tempered expectations. Jones is off the radar in Week 3 against the Rams.
Ronald Jones gets the starting nod from Bucs HC Arians after fumbling and being pulled in season opener against the Cowboys.
In hopes of taking the torch from veteran Leonard Fournette, Jones gets a great opportunity to showcase his skills against a rebuilding Falcons team. We've been down this road before with Jones, but the matchup is certainly right.
Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones four times for 14 yards in Thursday night's Week 1 win over the Cowboys.
New season, same RoJo. Jones only logged six snaps in the season opener. While he did manage four carries for 14 yards -- he was not targeted as a receiver -- he also fumbled early in the game, which led him to the bench. Jones' fumble likely got him right back into Bruce Arians' doghouse. Expect a lot of Leonard Fournette in Week 2 against the Falcons if that is indeed the case. Super Bowl Lenny led Tampa backs in snaps with 42 followed by Giovani Bernard's 17.
Ronald Jones is showing zero hesitation in hitting his holes, turning the corner on outside runs, and appears locked in during his contract year.
Fantasy managers tend to overlook just how effective Jones was rushing the ball in 2020. He was sixth in yards per carry and led the NFL in yards after contact per attempt. Even if you're concerned about Leonard Fournette and the addition of Giovani Bernard, all of those question marks are built into his current price. He's currently being drafted at RB30, yet the former Trojan finished last season as RB16. The addition of Bernard does not likely impact RoJo since he is not used in a pass-catching role and at this stage of Bernard's career, he's not a threat carrying the football. While fantasy managers are unlikely to forget Fournette's dominant playoff run, Jones was still a valuable fantasy asset last season. With his depressed ADP, fantasy managers should be looking to capitalize on RoJo as a guy who is capable of providing RB2 numbers with the upside for even more if Fournette gets hurt. The Buccaneers have one of the best defenses in the NFL and a powerful offensive line. The combination of these two is excellent news for any running back and fantasy football manager looking to invest in such a situation. The current state of affairs may appear muddy, but RoJo's role in this offense is clear and at his current price, fantasy managers shouldn't be shying away.
Bucs coach Bruce Arians says Ronald Jones II and Leonard Fournette will continue splitting time at running back this season.
“Of all the positions, it’s probably the one where those two guys will compete,” Arians said. “But they’re both gonna play. They’re so talented and they both bring so much to the table. Hopefully if they’re both healthy, they are splitting time. I know fantasy doesn’t like that, but those two guys…I mean, RoJo is one of the best runners I’ve been around. Lenny had that great run in the playoffs. He showed what they drafted him for in the top 5. So we’re blessed to have this group of backs, with Ke’Shawn and Gio. It’s a hell of a group.” This is a crowded backfield, so the fantasy ceiling of all these guys is limited barring an injury. Fournette's ability to play in the passing game makes him a safer better than Jones, but it's unclear how much work Gio Bernard will steal through the air. Ultimately both Jones and Fournette should be bench players for your fantasy team come Week 1.
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