There was a story over the weekend that Bruce Arians plans to have Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones split time. The Bucs also have Giovani Bernard, and maybe still have hopes for last year's 3rd-rounder Keshawn Vaughn. Is there value to be squeezed out of this backfield?

If Arians sticks to what he's saying now, certainly, it doesn't look good. Bernard seems likely to play in at least some passing situations, so in PPR scoring, he will be the most valuable back in some games. It could be a hot-hand type of approach with Fournette and Jones, which was aggravating late last year; burned people who started Jones in a couple of games when he may or may not have been healthy.

The question is whether Arians is a true committee backfield coach, and the history is debatable. I pulled out the numbers for his two Tampa Bay backfields, five Arizona backfields, the year in Indianapolis when he was the offensive coordinator and interim head coach, and his five years as offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh.

In those 13 seasons (minus 2018, which he sat out of for health reasons), Arians has had 7 top-2o PPR backs, and five top-30 players at the position (so also starters in most leagues). His last year in Arizona, 2017, was an injury-marred disaster for the backfield, and 2012 in Indianapolis wasn't good either. But in every other season, he's had a viable -- at worst -- starting running back.

Table shows Arians' top 2 running backs the last 13 years, with top-20 in bold and top-30 finishes in italics.

2020Ronald Jones14192978281658190.319
2020Leonard Fournette139736736233613235
2019Ronald Jones16172724313096170.325
2019Peyton Barber16154470161157118.543
2017Kerwynn Williams161204261093167.971
2017D.J. Foster761917133032.289
2017Elijhaa Penny1631124438232.290
2017Chris Johnson445114543020.799
2017David Johnson11123667015.0110
2016David Johnson1629312398087920413.81
2016Andre Ellington1634961285030.192
2015David Johnson161255813645713217.87
2015Chris Johnson111968146583111.248
2014Andre Ellington12201660463955181.519
2014Stepfan Taylor14632081179465.771
2013Andre Ellington15118652393714165.326
2013Rashard Mendenhall15217687181348150.129
2012Vick Ballard16211814171523131.633
2012Donald Brown10108417993168.060
2011Rashard Mendenhall15228928181549180.222
2011Isaac Redman161104791878391.748
2010Rashard Mendenhall1632412732316713245.011
2010Mewelde Moore15339926205060.466
2009Rashard Mendenhall162421108252618209.917
2009Mewelde Moore163511821153264.468
2008Mewelde Moore16140588403206166.829
2008Willie Parker112107913135113.446
2007Willie Parker153211316231642183.020
2007Najeh Davenport15107499181847128.338

In some years, of course, he had much more than viable. David Johnson had two top-7 finishes, and Rashard Mendenhall was 11th one year.

Neither Jones nor Fournette is going to be the workhorse that Johnson was. Adding Bernard just clouds things further.

But I don't think it'd be accurate to say that Arians is against the idea of using one, featured running back. Might need an injury for that to be the case in Tampa Bay, but these players can't just be dismissed. Possibly one emerges as the clear No. 1 early in the season, and goes on to be a quality starter in one of the league's best offenses.

--Andy Richardson