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Tony Jones Jr. emerges as No. 2 RB for Saints in Week 2 NFL preseason

Saints RB Tony Jones Jr. had a strong showing in Week 2 of the NFL preseason. We recap his performance.

New Orleans Saints v Baltimore Ravens
Tony Jones Jr. of the New Orleans Saints smiles after a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 14, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

The New Orleans Saints may have a different No. 2 running back this year. Last season, Latavius Murray was the primary ball carrier behind superstar Alvin Kamara. This year, it could be Notre Dame product Tony Jones Jr. He started ahead of Murray in the team’s second preseason game against the Jacksonville Jaguars and head coach Sean Payton reportedly favors him over the bruising back.

Stats

5 carries, 24 yards, 1 reception, 4 yards

Analysis

Jones Jr. getting the start over Murray is the bigger news than his production. He got eight of the first 10 snaps, while Murray got the other two. Kamara is the top running back for the Saints, but Jones Jr. could see significant time as the backup.

Fantasy implications

Murray got 146 carries last season in 15 games. Even with seven starts, Murray averaged 9.25 carries per game in the contests he didn’t start. This means Jones Jr., if he is officially the No. 2 back, could have a decent role. He would merit flex consideration in deeper leagues and should be on benches in standard formats if he wins the No.2 job.