the Tampa Bay Buccaneers running backs have not earned a great reputation within fantasy football circles, including those at Pro Football Focus.
With the 2019 NFL season quickly approaching that means so are fantasy football drafts. In this piece I will take a look at the Pro Football Focus (PFF) tier based running back rankings and how they view the two main tailbacks that Bruce Arians will be rotating this season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In this running back break down the writer Jeff Ratcliffe breaks the position down into ten total tiers. Let’s take a look at where the fourth year back Peyton Barber and second year tailback Ronald Jones III check in.
Unfortunately for Bucs fans the fantasy community is not exactly sold on the Tampa Bay backfield and is strongly urges to proceed with caution when drafting either tailback. Proceeding with caution is a totally fair thing to say when discussing the Bucs’ running backs because quite frankly they just have not been very good.
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Ronald Jones was a highly touted back coming out of USC and was taken in the second round. Jones came in with high expectations but just could not quite put it all together to be a contributing back last season. Barber has been serviceable but is best suited to serve as a change of pace or rotational player since he averages 3.8 yards per carry.
Bruce Arians is now in town running the show as head coach and his protege Byron Leftwich is calling plays as the offensive coordinator. These changes allow Barber and Jones to have a fresh start as well as a chance to flip the script on how the league views them as players.
Jones is the first of the duo to come up on the list in tier 8 titled “Buyer Beware” and is summed up as nothing more than a “dart throw” in the later rounds. Barber comes up in the next tier which is titled “Low Ceiling Options”. Neither player is exactly receiving glowing reviews but I think there’s more upside in this backfield than this ranking leads you to believe.
The Buccaneers offense will likely be very productive as long as the offensive line can hold its own which is asking a lot. Jameis Winston and the passing game will likely finish top ten if not top five so one of the two backs should benefit from that.
Personally I think Barber is best for standard and half point PPR formats because he provides a high floor but has a low ceiling. Jones on the other hand has breakout potential and is the guy the Bucs front office would love to become the star back because of the costly investment they already put into him.
Both guys are depth backs for your team that you can occasionally start depending on the matchup. Expect the worst and hope for the best when drafting either of the Bucs tailbacks.