Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber offer a puzzling dilemma for fantasy owners with how the Tampa Bay Buccaneers distribute carries. Let’s breakdown Jones and Barber’s fantasy value and whether you should start or sit the running backs in Week 2 against the Panthers.
It was Dare Ogunbowale that led all backs with 27 percent of the snap count, but he was also used some in a blocking role in Week 1. Barber just barely beat out Jones with 25 percent of snaps, while Jones had 22 percent of the snap count, per Lineups.com. While that may be true, it was Jones that looked like the more effective back and did the most with his opportunities in Week 1.
Jones received more touches than Barber against the Dolphins with 13 carries for 75 yards along with a nice reception that went for 18 yards. Barber had eight carries for 33 yards along with two catches for 12 yards. Jones also was the more efficient back averaging 5.8 yards per carry compared to Barber’s 4.1 yards per rush.
Heading into the season, Barber was listed as the starter, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes Jones to overtake the role. Bucs head coach Bruce Arians pinned one of Jameis Winston’s interceptions on Barber which is not a good sign for a player fighting for playing time.
“The turnovers, after looking at the film, the biggest problem with the touchdown for the interception was Peyton was three yards too deep on his route,” Arians explained to the Tampa Bay Times. “Last night, I thought he was fine. But he was too deep. That ball was thrown perfectly.’’
Barber Is a Sit vs. Panthers, While Jones Is a Low-End RB2
Ideally, you do not have to start either Bucs running back, but the state of the position is thin. If you are in a bind, Jones should be in the low-end RB2 territory or used as a potential flex. It depends on your lineup, and you can always reach out on Twitter @JonDAdams with your specific fantasy football questions.
Barber is a player to show even more skepticism with and should be kept on your bench. It is still too early to drop him from your roster, as it is far from a sure thing that Jones will win the job.
Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians Noted That Barber Is Still the Starter & the Team Plans to Use a “Hot Hand” Approach
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians shot down the idea that Jones was now the starter after his solid Week 1 performance. Arians noted that Barber still has the starting job, but the team plans to use a “hot hand” approach.
“Arians said Bucs’ RB situation won’t change Thursday, with Peyton Barber starting and Ronald Jones ready to step in, then going with the hot hand from there,” The Athletic’s Greg Auman tweeted.
Overall, both backs are best left on your bench, but Jones can be used as an RB2 in certain situations. Hopefully, Week 2 provides more clarity on how the team plans to use each back moving forward.