Leonard Fournette injures a hamstring, and suddenly Ronald Jones is looking like the one of the players who’ll help to flip some fantasy playoff games. He’s got a great line in front of him, and the Bucs are closing the season with three games against lesser run defenses.
Jones ran well enough last night. He doesn’t catch the ball like Fournette (Jones is pretty lousy in that regard) but he might be just as good as a runner. He’s also, of course, running with free legs. Also a contract-year guy, for whatever that’s worth.
With the Bucs also having lost Chris Godwin and Mike Evans, I would think they’ll get more conservative in their closing games, with Jones getting a nice number of carries. And with all three of their remaining games against lesser teams (Carolina twice and the Jets once), I would think they’ll probably consider holding out Evans and Fournette until the playoffs, making sure they’re fully healed for the money games.
Carolina allowed fewer than 50 rushing yards in each of its first three games, but that defense has since declined dramatically. And the Jets have allowed the most rushing touchdowns in the league. These are bottom-10 run defenses, with the Jets right there at the very bottom.
Looking at the last 10 games played for each team, these are both lesser run defenses. Below see how they stack up using standard scoring (1 for every 10 rushing yards, plus 6 points for each rushing touchdown).
I would think that for Weeks 16-18, Jones will be one of the league’s top-10 rushers.
|RUN DEFENSES / LAST 10 GAMES|