The 2018 season fell short for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on just about all fronts. None of the rookies had a more disappointing season than running back Ronald Jones . The starting spot from the beginning of the year was Jones to win, yet after a disappointing and injured rookie season he found himself behind Peyton Barber and Jacquizz Rodgers.
Jones had a very good career at USC totaling 591 rushing attempts for 3,619 yards over a three-year period. His six yards per carry as a college player was a stark contrast from the less than two yards per carry that Jones had in his rookie season in the NFL.
Fantasy football players and experts are writing Jones off as if he is done and will never amount to anything. This thought is wrong. In 2019 Jones will become the starting running back for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has the capability of finishing in the top 24.
Last season Jones in his 9 games only had 23 attempts. 23 attempts is not enough to write someone off in the NFL. On his 23 attempts he only managed to gain 44 yards and 1 touchdown. He caught 7 of 9 targets for 33 yards. He averaged 1.9 yards per carry. This number is going to go up with more attempts. The other two running backs ahead of Jones are not special. Peyton Barber in 16 games had 871 yards on 234 attempts with 5 touchdowns and caught 20 of 29 targets and 1 touchdown. Jacquizz Rodgers the pass catching back in his 16 games had 106 yards on 33 attempts with 1 touchdown and caught 38 of 45 targets for 304 yards receiving. The Buccaneers last season had a bad offensive line and was overall a bad team you cannot blame last season on Jones.
The team did not invest high draft capital into a running back, and they did not go out in free agency and sign anyone special. They signed Andre Ellington who didn’t play football in 2019. Jacquizz Rodgers isn’t on the roster anymore that pass catching work is going to have to go to someone else. Even though Jones didn’t get much work receiving he did catch 7 of 9 if he gets more volume, he could be pretty good catching the football and can transform into a 3 down back for this team. Jones only had 8% of the snaps last year that isn’t enough to write him off. If you give him Barber’s 55.25% of the snaps, he will become a great fantasy running back. Barber finished as the 27th running back in .5PPR last season I think that is Jones gets the work he will finish ahead of this. Jones can become a player like David Johnson in Bruce Arians offense, and you are getting an incredible deal on him in drafts.
Ronald Jones ADP has climbed over the last month from the 11.10 to the 8th round people are starting to believe in him. The 27th running back according to fantasy football calculator is Tarik Cohen and he is being selected at the 5.09. If you take Jones in the 8th round you are getting a steal. In your home leagues he could even slip further because people will remember how bad he was in 2018. When this happens refer back to this article and believe that Jones will have a great year in 2019 and he will be a solid flex play for your team.
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