The Tampa Bay Buccaneers backfield is a situation that has som fantasy football promise, but figuring out who will put up numbers each week will be difficult. We may have gotten closer to understanding how the team will use them, but I don’t know if understanding is going to help us pick the best play each week.
Last week was the first week of Leonard Fournette getting a good chunk of playing time and he put up great numbers, but they also came against the Carolina Panthers. This week in Denver, we saw the snaps break down like so:
Buccaneers Week 3 RB usage (PFF):— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) September 28, 2020
Ronald Jones: 52% snaps, 13 carries, 4 targets
Leonard Fournette: 35% snaps, 7 carries, 2 targets
LeSean McCoy: 17% snaps, 0 carries, 2 targets
Ronald Jones continues to lead the backfield in snaps and this week he managed more fantasy points as well. Of course, he only ended up rushing 13 times for 53 yards and catching 2-of-4 targets for 20 more yards. But, Fournette had seven carries for a measly 15 yards and caught his two targets for seven more yards. And LeSean McCoy caught his two targets for 20 yards.
The Bucs coaches talked about Fournette as the closer. And he was the closer last week, but not so much this week against a better Denver run defense. If Fournette truly is the back they want to bring in to ice games, then he could have a limited role unless he’s just terrorizing defenses and can’t be taken off the field.
Bruce Arians seems content on using Ronald Jones as the starter and then bringing in Fournette and McCoy situationally. Sometimes those situations lead to a hot-hand, then you might see Jones relegated to second fiddle. Overall, this situation doesn’t look great for fantasy, as the passing game is where the bulk of the touchdowns will come, as seen by two 1-yard Mike Evans scores, and unless we can feel good about a back seeing 15 touches a game, it’s hard to use them in fantasy. But, as it is, Jones appears to have a higher floor each week.