Maybe some helpful information here, as Jones is listed as RB1 on the depth chart. If I’m starting anyone of this group, it would be Jones.
Depth chart for tonight’s Cowboys game pic.twitter.com/pmj7abVzH4— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) September 9, 2021
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers start their quest for back-to-back Lombardi trophies tonight when they take on the visiting Dallas Cowboys. With Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski all set to continue their elite passing game, the running backs stand in the shadows. But who of the three top backs will step into the light and help your fantasy football teams?
Right now we know that Giovani Bernard is going to be the third-down back. Bernard was exclusively in on third downs with the first team in the preseason. He did not stray from that role at all. That means his role will ebb and flow with the number of passing third-downs the team sees themselves in and the percentage of touches he gets on those third downs.
As for the lead back, Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette split the work in their last preseason game, but Jones did get the start. Fournette came in for the second drive and then Jones came back out for the third drive.
Buccaneers HB snap count after 3 drives— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) August 29, 2021
Ronald Jones 8 (1st and 3rd drive)
Leonard Fournette 7 (2nd drive)
Giovani Bernard 2 (3rd downs only)
Last season Jones was the clear lead back, as Fournette was even a healthy scratch in a couple games. But Jones went on the COVID-19 list Week 15 and 16 and then missed their wildcard matchup with Washington due to an injury. That allowed Fournette to take over the lead role and run with it, which he did. They still split work after Jones came back for their last three playoff games, but Fournette was on a roll and put up great stats in the playoffs.
These two lead backs will share work, but a healthy Jones should have a slight edge going into the season. If I had to choose, Jones would be my pick, but at this point, I’d rather stay away from all three. They could easily siphon off enough work from each other to make it difficult for any to have much fantasy value. Guessing right on who will score a touchdown might be the only way to get value from this group and predicting touchdowns on a team with a lot of touchdown makers can be tough.