Through 2 preseason games, Bucs RBs Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones have split 1st-team work almost directly down the middle. Barber has tallied 5 carries and 1 target vs. Jones' 4 carries and 1 target. This looks like a committee backfield to open the season, leaving both RBs as uninspiring fantasy options. For more preseason observations, check out Preseason Week 2 Notes.
Bucs QB Jameis Winston said Tuesday that RB Ronald Jones has been "showing out" in OTAs. "I think it’s just his confidence and his comfort," Winston continued. "RoJo is a smart guy and he’s getting comfortable in this offense. No one is breathing down his neck, he’s more relaxed and he’s out there executing at a high level and you can really see what he can add to this team. I know how talented he is, that’s why he was a second-round pick." Jones had a brutal rookie season. But the Bucs made no significant additions to the backfield this offseason. And there's been a steady stream of positive buzz on Jones this spring. He's starting to look like an intriguing target in the middle rounds of fantasy drafts.
Bucs GM Jason Licht singled out RB Ronald Jones as the player who's most impressed the coaching staff this offseason. "His attitude, his willingness to do extra," Licht continued. "You can just see the confidence rising in him." Jones is coming off a brutal rookie campaign that saw him fail to pass Peyton Barber on the depth chart and average just 1.9 yards on 23 carries. Licht might be simply covering his butt after spending a 2nd-round pick on Jones last year. But it's also too soon to write off a guy who turns just 22 in August. Jones still has every chance to win Tampa's starting job in 2019.
The Buccaneers have reached a deal with RB Andre Ellington. The 30-year-old started his career in Arizona under new Bucs HC Bruce Arians. They showed us then that Ellington's not a workhorse. There's room for him to work into a Tampa committee, however. Last year's 2nd-round pick, Ronald Jones, returns, and Peyton Barber (a restricted free agent) will likely remain in the mix. Signing Ellington certainly shouldn't keep the Bucs from making any other backfield moves this offseason. We'll see what this depth chart looks like after the NFL Draft and early free agency.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones will play against the Panthers this weekend, HC Dirk Koetter said Friday. The rookie has been either injured or a healthy scratch in 4 straight games. He’s unlikely to see more than a handful of touches on Sunday and isn’t a fantasy option. Peyton Barber remains a fine RB3 or flex.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones (hamstring) was limited in practice all week but is out for Sunday’s game against the Giants. Peyton Barber will continue to dominate carries in Tampa’s backfield, with Jacquizz Rodgers playing on passing downs.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones (hamstring) returned to a limited practice on Wednesday. That gives him a chance to play against the Giants this weekend after missing the last 3 games. Jones isn't a fantasy option but would put a dent in RB Peyton Barber's value.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones (hamstring) remains out for this weekend’s game against the Redskins. Peyton Barber will continue to dominate touches in Tampa’s backfield but is an unexciting RB3 in fantasy lineups.
Buccaneers RB Ronald Jones suffered a hamstring strain in Sunday's loss to the Bengals and is expected to miss "a few weeks," NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports. That only helps the touch count for Peyton Barber going forward. Barber already returned to 19 carries against Cincinnati and posted his 2nd strong fantasy performance among the past 3 weeks. Unfortunately for Barber, matchups with Carolina and Washington don't shape up well for RB scoring over the next 2 weeks.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Bengals with a hamstring injury. The rookie carried twice for -3 yards and caught his lone target for 4 yards before exiting. We'll look for an update on his status, but Jones isn't worth rostering in redraft leagues.
Bucs RB Peyton Barber missed Wednesday's practice with an ankle injury. He appeared to tweak an ankle in the 2nd half of last week's game against the Browns, and his status for this Sunday's game is uncertain. Barber's absence would leave rookie Ronald Jones as Tampa's lead ball-carrier.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones is active for today’s game against the Bears. The rookie had been a healthy scratch for the first 3 weeks. We’d try to avoid Tampa’s backfield today, but Jones certainly has the talent to take over lead duties.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones is a healthy scratch for the 2nd straight week. The rookie isn't worth rostering outside of deep redraft leagues and keeper/dynasty leagues. Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers will continue to handle backfield duties for Tampa.
Bucs RB Ronald Jones is a healthy scratch for today's opener against the Saints. That follows a disastrous preseason for the rookie. Jones is still worth stashing on fantasy benches but isn't close to making an impact right now. Peyton Barber will serve as Tampa's lead back today, with Jacquizz Rodgers as the #2.
The Bucs have placed RB Charles Sims on IR with the knee injury he suffered in last weekend's preseason game. He was in line for a pass-catching role in Tampa's backfield. That work now figures to go to RB Jacquizz Rodgers, but it's unlikely to be enough to make him a fantasy factor. Sims' injury certainly doesn't hurt the outlooks for RBs Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones.
Bucs RB coach Tim Spencer put rookie Ronald Jones' pass-catching skills on blast. "In college, there was probably a reason why he was only thrown the ball 17 times," Spencer said. Jones caught just 14 balls in his final season at USC and 32 total in 3 years at school. Spencer went on to say that Jones has worked on "his hands, his eyes" but that "he's never going to be the best catching guy on the team." It's pretty rare to hear a coach talk so negatively about a player's ability -- but it seems warranted here. Jones has reportedly struggled catching the ball in training camp and has dropped both his targets in preseason action. Jones won't be a factor in the passing game this season and remains behind RB Peyton Barber for early-down work.
Bucs HC Dirk Koetter called RB Peyton Barber his starter again on Monday. We heard this back in the spring, but it's more meaningful now that we're in mid-August. Koetter went on to say that Barber "could be a three-down player if we asked him to." The 3rd-year back got the start in Thursday's preseason opener, handling the team’s first 6 RB touches. He took 4 carries for 21 yards and a TD. Rookie Ronald Jones, meanwhile, played just 1 snap with the starting offense -- and dropped a pass on it. He finished with just 9 yards and a score on 8 attempts. Koetter called his performance "pretty average." Jones is talented enough to make up ground in this battle, but it's looking like this will be a committee backfield to open the season. Don't forget that RB Charles Sims is also around to handle pass-catching work. Jones is way overvalued at his 5th-round ADP. Barber is a fine pick at his 13th-round price tag.
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