The Tampa Bay Bucs are looking to run it back this Szn with bringing all their key players back and even signing new faces. One of the new faces they signed was the new addition to the RB room Gio Bernard. The Bucs have a 3 headed “Beast” in the RB room and us as Fantasy players we need to know what to do on draft. Let’s not act like the running backs are deep in the draft so one of these guys will be on your roster. I’m here to clear things up for you.
Ronald Jones- Now Jones will be the lead back. HC Bruce Arians has this man crush on Jones that he just won’t let fade away. Last szn Bruce went along the lines to say “Ronald Jones is still “The Guy” in the backfield” when Fournette was signed. Jones was the lead back when it came to touches and snap opportunities. Jones ADP right now in PPR formats is the 7th round which isn’t bad for a lead back in those mid rounds with running backs so thin this season. Jones has proven to us year after year he has shown progression. As a starting running in 2019 Jones finished RB26. 2020 Jones finished RB20. Yards per carry, touchdowns, yards and rushing attempts have increased for the better. Jones has a change to either stay in the same tier as a top 20 running back or make the leap Bruce is looking for into the top 15 realms.
Leonard Fournette- “Playoff Lenny” was created obviously during the playoffs and super bowl. Can’t lie, it was impressive to see Fournette show up and show out on a big stage. As fantasy players though we can’t hold on to tight to that performance because we have to look at this from a full season lens. Fournette role as the 3rd down back maybe in jeopardy with the addition of Gio Bernard an incredibly talented pass catcher from the Bengals. Fournette gave us PPR upside week-to-week avg. 3.6 tgts per game along with rushing attempts made Fournette fantasy relevant. Fournette during the season only avg. 3.8 yards per carry with 43% snap opportunities. Now this isn’t me staying Fournette is a bad running back but his opportunities are capped. Fournette current ADP is in the 7th rd just a tad bit to expensive for my taste for a RB2/3. Now with Gio possibly taking that pass catching role its hard to believe Fournette can be trusted as a fantasy starter week to week. Training camp we’ll have to keep a eye on who’s doing what.
Gio Bernard- The bucs signing Gio has me feeling that he is not coming in as the vet signing like how Shady Mccoy was last season. Gio comes in as an experienced pass catcher who was the lead RB last season with Mixon out on injury. Gio plays a role similar if not exact as James White played in New England when Brady was a Patriot. Now I know Fournette displayed some pass catching ability last season and even when he was a Jacksonville Jaguar. Fournette career high 100tgts in Jacksonville always plays in the back of my mind that he can handle the full workload, but times have changed and his role is even more limited when you sign a guy like Gio who is a better around pass catcher then Fournette by the numbers and by tape. Come draft day I am taking a shot on the cheapest guy out of the 3 and I believe the upside is there for Gio. We saw James White with Brady finish RB18 in 2019 and RB6 in 2018. Of course, this is not Gio’s floor but its more so saying Brady has a type because the pats backfield has been and always be a crowded room. There are enough targets to go around for Gio to carve out a role in the passing game. Gio is free so why not.
Football Szn is near and I just can not wait only 8 more Sundays to go people! Draft responsibly and be equipped with the best knowledge.
By- LaQuan Jones “RealDealFantasy”