For all those fantasy football owners who drafted Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones and didn’t drop him, it may pay off. But if you’re one of the many who released him, there’s a good chance that Jones may leave you frustrated in the very near future.
After being inactive over the first three weeks of the season, the Buccaneers finally gave their 2018 second-round pick an opportunity to play. While things didn’t exactly go exceptionally for Jones, as he rushed for just 29 yards on 10 attempts, his double-digit carries put him on fantasy radars. It’s worth noting that the rookie’s first game came against one of the best run defenses in the NFL, the Chicago Bears.
It’s tough to gauge what role Jones will play for Tampa Bay coming out of the bye week, but we’re going to break down the start-sit debate for fantasy football owners. At the very least, the Buccaneers back has a solid matchup on the surface.
Key Stats and Ronald Jones’ Fantasy Outlook
The first area we’ll break down for Jones is his matchup, as well as recent production. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Atlanta Falcons vs. running backs in 2018: 103 attempts, 443 rushing yards, 46 receptions, 385 receiving yards, seven total touchdowns (No. 3 most fantasy points per game)
- Jones totaled 20 offensive snaps out of 62 (32 percent) last game, per Football Outsiders
- Jones out-touched Peyton Barber 11-8 on fewer snaps
It seems the Buccaneers are hoping to see if the former USC running back can turn the corner and help the offense. While his workload in Week 4 wasn’t huge, it was enough to at least make him worth having on your roster. Tack on the fact that Barber has only totaled 148 yards on 50 carries (3.0 yards per carry) with no touchdowns, and it’s obvious a change is needed.
Should You Start or Sit Ronald Jones?
As appealing as the matchup against the Falcons is, I’m going to have a hard time pining for fantasy owners to use the rookie until he sees a larger workload. It may happen this week, but there’s also a chance he could see 20-25 snaps and not even hit 10 carries.
Essentially, it’s just a major unknown. With that said, I think in 14-team leagues or larger, you can justify Jones as a flex play if you’re left with very little (or nothing else) to work with. It’s not my favorite spot, but the Falcons have had a brutally tough time against running backs. It’s not unrealistic to think Jones could find the end zone in Week 6.