Preseason Player Analysis
What You Need to Know:
- Jones handled the lead back role for most of the 2020 season. He missed 2 games (broken finger/COVID-19 list, Weeks 15/16).
- The Bucs signed Leonard Fournette just prior to Week 1. He missed 2 games with an ankle injury; 1 when he was deactivated (coaches decision).
- With Fournette and Jones active from Week 7-Week 12, Jones out-carried the former Jag 65-45.
- Tampa Bay ran the ball on 36.3% of its plays during the regular season, the third-lowest mark in the league.
- In 4 games without Fournette, Jones averaged 24 opportunities.
- On the year, the USC standout totaled career highs across the board: 192 attempts, 5.1 YPC, 978 yards, 7 TDs. He busted off a 98-yarder against the Panthers.
- RoJo hit 100 total yards 5 times. He finished a solid 21st in PPR points per game.
- Jones stunk as a receiver, though: He tallied only 5.9 yards per catch on 28 grabs and posted a 15% drop rate. Pro Football Focus graded him 28th among 28 RBs in receiving grade (min. 40 targets).
- In the postseason, Jones suffered a quad injury during the Wild Card Round. He watched Fournette hold the edge in postseason touches (82-35). The former Jag out-targeted Jones 21-2.
- Over the offseason, the Bucs signed reliable pass catching RB Gio Bernard. There’s a real chance he (and Fournette) combine to severely cap RoJo’s receiving upside.
- Jones enters a contract year in 2021. His future in Tampa Bay is up in the air.
- The Bucs retained all of their key pieces on offense, re-signing Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski.
- In May, HC Bruce Arians said Jones would be “splitting time” with Fournette. Look for this backfield to remain fluid, with Bernard ready to step into a larger pass catching role if Jones continues to struggle.
Draft Sharks Bottom Line
We know points will be scored in this loaded Bucs offense. Tampa Bay ranked 3rd in scoring last year; 7th in total yards. They brought the entire band back for another run.
Entering the summer, though, we simply can’t rely on Jones to earn (and hold) a fantasy-friendly backfield role. And that’s because of continued backfield competition for both carries and receptions.
He’s at least not coming at a premium with a current ADP approaching Round 9. But we’re likely avoiding this backfield outside of best ball drafts.