Day 1 For Projecting The Bucs’ RB1

June 7th, 2021

Tom Brady gives a daddy hug to Ke’Shawn Vaughn

It’s extremely rare for Joe to type anything fantasy-football related on these pages because Joe fantasizes primarily about Bucs wins and cheerleaders.

But Joe has had lots of fantasy success (football) in recent years and frequently wagers on the over/under, single-game rushing totals for Bucs running backs.

That’s a big reason Joe is so fired up to see Day 1 — tomorrow — of the burgeoning competition between Ronald Jones, Leonard “Playoff Lenny” Fournette, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and newcomer veteran Giovani Bernard.

For those who love honest competition on a roster, Joe believes this will be as clean it could ever get. Joe highly doubts team politics, egos, draft status and salaries will play any significant role in this year’s RBs competition, which is such a rare occurrence in the NFL.

The Bucs are coming off a Super Bowl win, and no running back can claim they’re owed a fixed role.

RoJo and Playoff Lenny are in contract years, and Bucco Bruce Arians has stated publicly that “I don’t overpay for that position.” Vaughn, last year’s third-round pick, has gotten a lotta love from Arians and GM Jason Licht. And Bernard is the only big-name free agent brought in from the outside this season.

With the first wave of fantasy football drafts just two months away, Joe sees the Bucs’ pecking order at running back to be quite a looming wild card —  in addition to being a lot of fun for football-only fans to scrutinize.

There are just so many ways this can go, and Fournette and RoJo having their share of attitude/confidence issues through past seasons makes it that much more intriguing.

Joe hopes Bernard and Vaughn have stellar minicamps, to really stoke the fire of what’s coming next month in training camp.

Regardless, it all starts tomorrow at One Buc Palace.

May the best men win!

If not, may whoever Tom Brady chooses play well. 😉

15 Responses to “Day 1 For Projecting The Bucs’ RB1”

  1. Mitch Says:

    Team #Rojo on 1st down and 2nd and less than 5 except for the goal line or 4th down.

  2. Rod Munch Says:

    For fantasy purposes, none of the Bucs are going to be valuable unless someone gets hurt. If I was choosing someone, I’d choose Rojo, I still think he’s the best RB on the team, but his stone hands makes him not all that valuable for fantasy. Obviously Fournette had a good playoff run, so there’s no reason to think he isn’t going to get carries. Bernard might have value as a pass catcher, but doing the math, I just don’t see how he can catch enough passes with all the other pass catchers on the team — I can’t see Brady just checking down to him constantly when he’s got Evans, Goodwin, AB, Gronk, OJ, Brate, Miller, Darden, even Johnson.

    I predicted the passing offense previously, so just for fun, I’ll give an early take on the rushing game…

    Rojo…. 880 yards, 5 TDs
    Fournette…. 660 yards, 7 TDs
    Bernard… 110 yards (rushing)
    Vaughn…. 190 yards
    Darden…. 50 yards
    Brady… 1 yard

    That’s 1891 yards total, up from 1519 in 2020, keeping in mind the additional game. Still, that’s a moderate improvement per game.

    I could be underselling those numbers if the Bucs defense plays like they did in the playoffs, in which case the Bucs would be playing with the lead a lot. But having done the passing stats, I don’t know where all the yards are to come from unless the Bucs break all the offensive records out there, which I don’t anticipate — however I’d love to be proven wrong.

  3. m0j0 Says:

    I believe Vaughn is going to have a breakout year. His hands will be much improved and he already is a good runner with vision and burst. The only question is whether he will get enough reps to show what he’s got. We know what Gio can do and that is everything. He will be our 3rd down back. So, really, the question is 1st and 2nd down, who’s going to pass protect, who’s going to get chunk plays, etc.

  4. Casual Observer Says:

    Great depth. Injuries happen. Hope not, but surely some will happen and we’ll be glad to have all these guys. All pretty talented.

  5. BucEmUp Says:

    Gio will be yhe bucs top rb overall in ppr hands down. Rojo and fournette will be a pretty even split in yards and tds but I thing Gio steals the show. Vaughn is forgotten just like snoop dogs nephew

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    We are so stacked at RB, WR & TE……even if we have an injury or two….we should be fine.

  7. Medicated Pete Says:

    Lenny in the NFC Championship saved TB12 from being decapitated twice after Donovan Smith completed whiffed on blocks

  8. JimmyJack Says:

    Joe good call on the wagering for fantasy. Without owning a team there are lots of nice bets out there. I did pretty well betting on TDs.

    You can make a nice bit of coin if you can guess correctly who can score a TD. Remember getting great odds betting on Auclair to score a TD last time I played. I didnt hit before he got hurt but was getting great odds…..better then 10to1.

    Owning a team is fun and I was really into it for a bit. But then one year I decided to take a break and all of the sudden Bucs game became so much more intense for me as a fan because my focus was 100% on the game and I was never distracted with the scores being flashed on the bottom of the screen……….For me owning a fantasy team takes away from the actual game and sport. I choose to never own a famtasy team again. I really do miss the draft party though.

  9. JimmyJack Says:

    For Buc fans that do draft fantasy teams I will share a few tips that always did me well.

    -Dont never underestimate defense. You can do well streaming but you can also hit paydirt if you draft the right one(which can be a crapshoot). I rarely did a draft without picking up 2 defenses. The years I hit on a really good D were typically the years where i had one of the best teams.

    -Consider non ppr leagues. These are unpopular but it changes the valye of the players. You will typically gain an advantage if you are aware of the vallue difference between ppr and non. Most of the value charts are ppr and your competition will be overdrafting players that arent worth what they think.

    -Coaching changes matter. Lots of players are gonna lose tons of value…..or gain value simply because of system changes. They might still be a great reciever but if the new coach is cramming their RB in from the redzone most of the time you arent getting the points you thought you was drafting.

  10. Duane Says:

    Excited to see who comes out in the mix, but also tempered by the fact that we feature so little of the run. Rojo better learn to catch, because the guys that can are likely to see a regular role on the field. I also will not be surprised at all if they elect to proxy the screen game as their rushing attack. I can only imagine how opposing coordinators have to evaluate this paradox of an offense.

  11. REDZONE BA Says:

    Brady will exceed 6K passing yards in 2021. RB’s will have 1K of those yards.

    BRING IT! Gio will be game-changer for Bucs. Love the pick-up, JL!

  12. Jason Says:

    10 starts for ROJO, and 10 starts for Lenny would make me happy.

  13. Cobraboy Says:

    In today’s cat-and-mouse situational NFL, there are no “starters” at some positions, RB being one example.

  14. Buczilla Says:

    I’m hoping that Vaughn runs away in the competition for first string running back, so that we can let Rojo and Fournette go be overpaid elsewhere. Neither are special backs and expendable until proven otherwise.

  15. PSL Bob Says:

    I pretty much see a RB by committee approach again this year. Arians has been emphatic that he goes with the hot hand, and that changes from week to week. Rojo typically got the nod, but Arians inserted Fournette and McCoy when he thought a change up was needed. So in terms of total yardage, I doubt any of our RB will break 1K yards rushing. If your going for TD, Giovani probably has the upper hand.