The Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back situation was a confusing one for fantasy football managers going into Week 1. Now, after a full game against the Dallas Cowboys, it’s still a little confusing, but we have learned a few things.
Leonard Fournette was in to start the game despite Ronald Jones being listed first on the depth chart. It’s safe to assume that the depth chart is useless. And Fournette was the lead back, as he had 16 snaps to Jones’ five and Gio Bernard’s two through the first four drives, per Pro Football Focus’ Nathan Janke. Jones then got one more snap, and had the ball punched out, ending his night. One thing we learned tonight is, don’t fumble if you are Ronald Jones, because you will not see the field again.
Fournette then had a terrible drop which led to an interception, but he didn’t lose any playing time, as he finished with 42 snaps.
Buccaneers final HB snap count— Nathan Jahnke (@PFF_NateJahnke) September 10, 2021
Leonard Fournette 42
Giovani Bernard 17 (3rd downs + 2 minute drills)
Ronald Jones 6 (0 after the fumble)
Out of 65 plays#DALvsTB
As far as production goes, Fournette rushed nine times for 32 yards and caught five passes for 27 yards. Jones rushed four times for 14 yards and Bernard had two receptions for 12 yards, all coming on the last two minute drill that led to the winning field goal.
We can’t be sure that Jones stays in the dog house, but we saw enough trust in Fournette early and as a receiver, even after his awful drop, to consider him the highest upside fantasy back moving forward.