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What to do with Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones in Week 3 fantasy football

Which of these backs is most likely to deliver a strong fantasy performance in Week 3?

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette celebrates with quarterback Tom Brady after scoring a touchdown against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter at Raymond James Stadium Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The always complicated Tampa Bay backfield continues to confuse fantasy owners no matter who the members of the RBBC are. It wasn’t long ago that Bruce Arians declared Ronald Jones II as the owner of the Buccaneers backfield. However, Week 2 produced an all too familiar scene in which Arians rode the hot hand, and Ronald Jones was forced to play second fiddle to Leonard Fournette. How should this backfield be navigated by fantasy owners going forward? We break down the fantasy analysis below.

Fantasy Football analysis: Bucs RBs Leonard Fournette, Ronald Jones

Leonard Fournette appeared to play a secondary role in Week 1, as he had only five carries for five yards, while adding one reception for eight yards. Perhaps Arians wanted to at least attempt to stick to his word, or perhaps Fournette wasn’t quite acclimated to the offense, leading to low usage in the season debut. Whatever the reason for the under-utilization in Week 1, the tides turned quickly in Week 2, as Fournette saw the majority of the second half work out of the Tampa Bay backfield. He finished the day with 12 carries for 103 yards and two touchdowns while adding four receptions for 13 yards. Fournette has proven his dominance before, and when given adequate volume in a high powered offense he could be a valuable fantasy asset. If he continues to produce, odds are Arians continues to feed him. By this logic, Fournette has earned consideration for your starting lineup.

Ronald Jones II just can’t seem to get a good grip on the Buccaneers backfield, as time and time again we have watched it slip through his hands. In Week 1 he was the clear cut leader as he received 17 carries which he turned into 66 yards, while adding two receptions for 16 yards. Week 2 was a different story. While Jones managed a first half touchdown, he only recieved seven total carries on the day for 23 yards, while adding two receptions for four yards. Fournette seems to be outproducing Jones which does not bode well for Jones’ fantasy value and potential workload in the future. Only time will tell how this backfield will shake out, but for right now Jones may be a “wait and see” bench stash in standard leagues.

Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation

Start Leonard Fournette as a flex play with RB2 upside

Start Ronald Jones as a flex play in deeper leagues