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Ronald Jones start or sit: Week 1 fantasy football advice

Ronald Jones ceded ground to teammate Leonard Fournette last season, but the two will again share the Buccaneers’ backfield in 2021.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday night, formally kicking off their title defense in the process. The team returns the vast majority of its starters and key contributors from last year’s championship roster, a group headlined by quarterback Tom Brady.

But while Brady understandably grabs the most headlines, the tailbacks with which he shares the offensive backfield should also garner attention.

Fantasy football analysis: Bucs RB Ronald Jones

While Ronald Jones served as the Buccaneers’ primary running back during the 2020 season, he had to share the spotlight with others. Leonard Fournette. The balance between the two flipped late in the regular season, with Fournette moving into the starting role when Jones landed on the COVID-19 list in December. Jones never regained the lead role back, with Fournette running over defenders during the team’s title run.

However, with Jones now fully recovered, he should see more work than he did in December and the postseason. The Buccaneers will split early downs between him and Fournette while Gio Bernard, formerly of the Cincinnati Bengals, will play in obvious passing situations.

Fantasy start/sit recommendation

Start Ronald Jones as a low-end FLEX.