Bucs RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) is officially active for today's Divisional Round game vs. the Rams. He's joined in the backfield by Gio Bernard and Ke'Shawn Vaughn.
Despite the addition of 3rd-round rookie RB Rachaad White, it doesn't sound like the Bucs plan on altering RB Leonard Fournette's role much this season. “Why it’s tough to get Lenny off the field, he’s a three-down back,” OC Byron Leftwich said. “He’s a smart guy, and he and Tom [Brady] can play ball. They can play ball together when it starts moving on them and things are changing and things have to happen, Lenny and him can play ball. They’ve been in these situations. That’s why it’s hard to really get him off the field because of what he brings and the connection him and Tom have. I think it’s unique. It’s not that we’re forcing him on that field. It’s because he’s the best in what we’re asking him to do." Fournette averaged 13.1 carries and 6.1 targets across 14 healthy games last season. Perhaps White cuts into those numbers a tad, but we're expecting the rookie to be more handcuff than standalone fantasy option this season. Fournette checks in as a top 10 RB.
The Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud believes there will be more of a "commitment to run the football" from the Bucs under new HC Todd Bowles. Tampa ranked 2nd in pass rate and 3rd in situation-neutral pass rate last season, so there's certainly room for more running. But we're not expecting a massive shift with QB Tom Brady and OC Byron Leftwich back in the fold.
The Buccaneers are re-signing RB Leonard Fournette to a 3-year, $21 million deal that could be worth up to $24 million. We'd bet there's some fluff built into that contract to inflate the overall numbers, but even in that case it's a much more significant commitment than the 1-year, $3 million pact that brought Fournette back for last season. Expect the 27-year-old to open the year as Tampa Bay's lead back and potentially continue operating as a true workhorse. For fantasy, expect Fournette's ADP to now work inside the top 4 rounds.
Update: ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the contract includes $11 million in guarantees, which should make it at least a 2-year deal.
Bucs RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) has been activated from IR. That puts him on track to play in Sunday's Divisional Round game vs. the Rams. Fournette has been sidelined since Week 15, which adds some uncertainty to his role. But we're expecting him to return as Tampa's lead back. RB Le'Veon Bell was waived to make room for Fournette.
Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette (hamstring) participated in Thursday's practice -- the 1st non-walkthrough of the week -- according to multiple reports. We won't get an official participation level on him because Fournette is still officially on IR, so we'll have to watch the reports on him into the weekend. Tampa Bay will need to activate him by Saturday afternoon to make the RB eligible to play Sunday against the Rams. HC Bruce Arians said early in the week that Fournette hadn't yet been able to run at top speed without feeling his nagging hamstring. Fournette's availability, of course, will affect the roles of Ke'Shawn Vaughn, Le'Veon Bell and Giovani Bernard. RB Ronald Jones (ankle) remained out of practice Wednesday and Thursday and seems to be trending toward missing another game.
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