The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a deep backfield in 2021, but head coach Bruce Arians has made it clear how unpredictable this group is for fantasy football managers to figure out. Ronald Jones entered the season viewed by many as the lead back, followed by Leonard Fournette and then Giovani Bernard. One week into the season, it’s not quite so clear.
In Week 1 against the Cowboys, Fournette was listed as the starter and finished the game with 42 snaps and a team-leading nine carries and added five receptions on seven targets. Bernard finished with 17 snaps and caught two of three targets but had no rushing attempts. Jones finished with six snaps and rushed the ball four times.
Jones was getting work early, but a fumble appears to have been the reason he was quickly shuffled to the sideline for the rest of the game.
Fantasy Football analysis: Bucs RB Gio Bernard
The fact that Bernard did not see more work in Week 1 with Jones effectively benched is concerning. Considering he’s only rostered in 16.2% of ESPN fantasy leagues, not many people are making a decision on him.
The Bucs face a bad Falcons defense and should roll up some strong yardage numbers. The bigger concern with Jones is the impact he’ll have on Fournette and Jones. Earlier this week, Arians said Jones was going to start this week. Two days later, he said all three running backs are starters. We can probably assume Bernard is not actually a starter, but this situation lowers the value of all three running backs.
Fantasy Start/Sit Recommendation
Sit Bernard outside of the deepest leagues with numerous flex positions.