Fantasy Football 2020: Don’t Get Too Excited About The Tampa Bay Backfield

Who Wants To Be A Checkdown: Tampa Bay

 

Between Ronald Jones II, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Dare Ogunbowale, and Raymond Calais it’s hard to say whether this Bucs team even has a valid starter at the running back position. While Jones did flash some three-down potential last season en route to a RB25 finish in PPR, his career to this point has been disappointing to say the least. The former USC star averaged only 3.9 YPC on 195 rushing attempts through two seasons in Tampa. While he did display a nose for the endzone last season, scoring six rushing TDs, he still struggled to break away from plodding veteran Peyton Barber, seeing a 50.58% share of the backfield compared to Barber’s 45.3% share. Considering Barber’s career YPC is hovering just over 3.1, the fact that Bruce Arians and the rest of the Bucs coaching staff saw him as being worthy of a 50/50 split with Jones is worrisome. 

 

As for Vaughn, the rookie out of Vanderbilt is a very trustworthy, dependable back who could easily usurp the role vacated by Barber. While he’s no Alvin Kamara, Vaughn can certainly be the three-down back that many expected Jones to become when the team selected him in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft. There is a reason why Vaughn fell to the third round of this year’s draft, as he lacks the upside of guys like D’Andre Swift, J.K Dobbins, and Jonathan Taylor. Vaughn is fairly average athletically and won’t wow you with his speed. What he will do is pound the ball and consistently find holes to run through, something that Arians seems to value tremendously in a back. 

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Behind Jones and Vaughn, there is a need for a third back in the team’s rotation, particularly one with some pass-catching prowess. This is a role that both Calais and Ogunbowale could fill based on their skill sets. While Ogunbowale served as the team’s primary receiving back last season, catching 35/46 targets for 286 yards, it’s possible that the team may choose to deploy the younger, speedier Calais in this role. With the addition of Tom Brady to the Bucs offense, it’s quite possible that the role of third-down back may be the most viable avenue to fantasy relevance for any of these backs. 

 

Ke’Shawn Vaughn

 

  • 689 rushing yards
  • 182 ATT
  • 5 rushing TDs
  • 22 receptions
  • 185 receiving yards
  • 0 receiving TD
  • 139.4 fantasy points (RB30-40)

 

Ronald Jones

 

  • 715 rushing yards
  • 178 ATT
  • 3 rushing TDs
  • 27 receptions
  • 244 receiving yards
  • 2 receiving TDs
  • 152.9 fantasy points (RB25-33)

 

Dare Ogunbowale

 

  • 78 rushing yards
  • 26 ATT
  • 0 rushing TDs
  • 37 receptions
  • 285 receiving yards
  • 2 receiving TDs
  • 85.3 (RB50-60)

 

Raymond Calais 

 

  • 115 rushing yards
  • 31 ATT
  • 1 rushing TD 
  • 15 receptions
  • 171 receiving yards
  • 1 receiving TD
  • 55.6 fantasy points (RB65-73)

 

I see none of these guys separating from the pack, as evidenced by Jones having the best finish with a RB25+ projection. I think everyone will get a piece of the pie, however that pie may not be enough to satiate most fantasy managers hoping to get a RB1 or RB2 out of this backfield. 

Agree or Disagree? Let us know!

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