Ronald Jones| Peyton Barber | Jacquizz Rodgers
This backfield appeared to be primed and ready for Ronald Jones and the high draft stock in which the Buccaneers used to draft him, to take over. However, a stubborn, yet effective veteran Peyton Barber has done nothing to lose the job.
Forgive me Fantasy Father for I have sinned! That’s right I must confess that I too bought into the hype surrounding the rookie running back Ronald Jones. What wasn’t there to love? He was an exciting back in college at USC. According to Pro Football Focus he was 9th in yards after contact in all of college football racking up 830 yards after contact. Additionally he averaged 3.5 yards per carry after contact. His big play ability made him a threat to score every time. What excited me most was the fact that in all of college football last year he ran for the most yards on inside and outside zone schemed runs. That taken into account with the fact that Tampa Bay let Doug Martin walk and Jones looked ready to be the MAN in Tampa! The concern with Jones, which has now become his glaring weakness, is his lack of ability in the receiving game. It has translated thus far in the preseason so much so that according to Rotoworld ‘Buccaneers RBs coach Tim Spencer said there’s “probably a reason” second-round RB Ronald Jones wasn’t more involved in USC’s passing game.’
The incumbent journeyman and named starter for the Bucc’s is Peyton Barber. Even though Jones was drafted in the second round by Tampa Bay, It is Barber who has held on to the job and excelled in pass protection. After just about doubling his carries from 2016 to 2017 Barber looks poised to get the first crack at the starting role. In fact Tampa Bay Head Coach Dirk Koetter, when asked if Barber has played like a starting running back this offseason simply said “Yes.” When pressed on the issue Koetter even said, “He’s doing everything he should be doing right now and I think if we went out there and gave it to Peyton 20 times, we’d like what he does.”
With the injury to Charles Sims and the fact that Jones’ hands might as well be feet, the majority of the passing down work will be relegated to veteran Jacquizz Rodgers. It is unlikely that Rodgers will have much relevance this year in fantasy.
Ronald Jones ADP: 6.04 Peyton Barber ADP: 9.03 Jacquizz Rodgers ADP: Undrafted
The feeling that I get with Ronald Jones at his current ADP is similar to being in the club at 2:00am when the lights come on and the person you have been “dancing” with for the last few hours is not who you thought they were. Initially he gave us all warm feelings and ideas of grandeur but with preseason unfolding Jones is a “Do Not Draft” for me.
Conversely Peyton Barber’s 9th round ADP makes him a great depth addition to most fantasy football rosters this fall.
When: Even though I think Jones’ talent should rise to the top, I have concerns that it will happen this year and that he can return any kind of value on his current investment. A career 4.0 YPC by Barber most likely means that this backfield will be Barber’s to lose. You consider all of this and the fact that PFF has the Tampa line rated as #22 and it may be wise to steer clear, regardless.
Why: As mentioned above Jones’ ADP is a tad ridiculous and the casual fan may have brushed past Peyton Barber’s existence to start the offseason but with Jones’ pass catching inabilities and Barber’s lack of mistakes fantasy manager’s must take notice.