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What to do with Ronald Jones, Peyton Barber in Week 14 fantasy football

It was Peyton Barber, not Ronald Jones, who scored a pair of touchdowns last weekend against the Jaguars. Can you trust either this coming Sunday?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Peyton Barber runs the ball in for a touchdown during the first quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

As a Millennial, I’m cursed to a life where I can’t properly express my feelings without the use of small pictures. So, if you’ll indulge me, allow me to sum up the Buccaneers’ running back committee with the always applicable shrug emoji. Honestly, apathy is probably the best way to go about surviving what has been one of the most inconsistent backfields in all of fantasy. Despite the fact that Ronald Jones was named the starter five games ago, he’s gone back-and-forth with Peyton Barber as the featured RB in Tampa Bay’s offensive attack. In fact, over the last four weeks specifically, neither of the duo has managed to even lead the team in rushing attempts in consecutive matchups.

The lesson here is that sometimes is there is no right answer. Though Bruce Arians made a point to clarify that Jones still the starter earlier this week, the “hot hand” philosophy is obviously going to remain a factor with the Buccaneers. On top of that, its not like being the RB1 on Tampa Bay is all that sacred a role. The Buccaneers are one of nine teams with a run ratio below 38%, they’ve seen the third-highest percentage of their runs go for either zero or a loss of yards, and, across their past three games, they’ve mustered a measly 3.3 yards per carry. The presence of Dare Ogunbowale also can’t be ignored, as the third-year back has actually played more snaps than Barber through 12 contests and has seen a majority of the pass-catching work.

Fantasy Football Analysis, Tampa Bay Buccaneers RBs Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber

Jacksonville surrendered 200-plus rushing yards in Week 11 and Week 12, yet, in 31 attempts last Sunday, Tampa Bay gained a paltry 74 yards on the ground. This is an offensive system that simply doesn’t empower its running backs. Is it possible that Barber has another performance with two touchdowns? Sure. However, I don’t think its exceedingly likely against a far more stout Colts defense. If you’re truly desperate for a FLEX play, I’d lean to Jones’ viability over Barber’s, but that’s only because the former has shown some inclination to get involved in the pass game. In a perfect world, you’d avoid both.

Start/Sit Recommendation

Sit Jones. Sit Barber.