The Tampa Bay Buccaneers made an unexpected shift at running back in their Week 13 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Ronald Jones got the start, but he was eventually benched and Peyton Barber finished the game with more snaps and carries.
It turns out, Jones was benched to struggles in pass protection. Head coach Bruce Arians acknowledged Jones has improved in the area, but he made a critical mistake that cost them a turnover, per beat writer Eduardo Encina. Jones was benched after Jameis Winston was sacked and fumbled the ball.
According to Arians, Jones missed a blocking assignment switch. And on the play, it’s clear that Jones was confused, looking to provide blocking help to his left while an untouched blitzer closed in on Winston from the right.
Jones finished the game with six carries for eight yards. Barber finishe with 17 carries for 44 yards and two touchdowns.
Fantasy football analysis: Bucs RBs Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber
Barber was starting to lock down the starting job, but this creates a problematic situation. Jones is the superior back by a long shot, but if he doesn’t get carries, it doesn’t matter.
Barber is available in a majority of ESPN leagues, but is a low upside option. He’s worth grabbing off the waiver wire if you’re shorthanded at running back, but it’s hard to justify giving him a starting slot with fantasy playoffs starting in most leagues this weekend. It’s a tricky situation.