As we gear up to the start of the NFL season, Football Absurdity is going to bring you a comprehensive breakdown of every notable player that will be available in fantasy football drafts. Ronald Jones II silenced the haters (it’s me, I’m The Haters) in 2019. What can we expect from his follow up season in 2020?
Ronald Jones II ADP and AAV:
Standard Scoring ADP: RB28, 74 overall
PPR Scoring ADP: RB30, 80 overall
Average Auction Value: $4
Ronald Jones II Statistics:
Ronald Jones II Overview:
Ronald Jones had a massive breakout campaign in 2019 when you consider his disastrous 2018 rookie season. How much of a breakout did he have in 2019? Well, he had seven games in 2019 with more yards from scrimmage than he had in all of his 2018 games, combined. But, the Buccaneers kept the albatross of a Peyton Barber timeshare around his neck. Ronald Jones repeatedly failed to break out fully not because of his own doings, but because the Buccaneers inexplicably gave Barber 180 touches to RoJo’s 203 touches. With Peyton Barber absconding off to Washington, everything is set up for RoJo to be a top-flight back, right? Wrong.
The Bucs refused to turn everything over to Ronald Jones last season because he struggled with one very big part of being a running back that doesn’t show up in the stat sheets: pass blocking. In fact, after RoJo’s had 66 yards and a score, he rode the pine after missing a blitz pickup against Jacksonville. This wouldn’t be such a huge deal if it weren’t for Tampa Bay getting former superstar and a current decrepit bag of bones, Tom Brady, and drafting college pass blocking extraordinaire Ke’Shawn Vaughn. At best, Vaughn will be extremely annoying for Ronald Jones in 2020, and he might keep Ronald Jones on the bench at worst. There are a lot more question marks than settled questions for the third-year back.
Ronald Jones II Draft Strategy:
But all those bad vibes and question marks I laid out for Ronald Jones in the section above are extremely priced into his cost on draft day. He was a #2 running back at season’s end last year, and he’s barely going as a person’s third running back, due to the Vaughn and Brady questions. That could present with extreme value as a flier pick for a guy who should ideally be your fourth running back.
Let’s not forget the craziest part with regards to his value: he’s going behind Ke’Shawn Vaughn in PPR. In standard scoring, Vaughn goes twenty-three picks later, so you could snatch them both up if you wanted. In an auction, snatching both guys is made easier by the fact that you could have them both for $5 or $6 combined—if you overpay a little bit—by average auction values.
All-in-all, I feel pretty good about taking a dart throw on Ronald Jones in the middling rounds of your draft. He’s going around guys I would probably rather have, but if they all fly off the board, you could do worse than tossing RoJo on your bench and seeing what happens. After all, he was still an RB2 with Peyton Barber getting about 11 touches per game last year.
Best Case Scenario:
The Buccaneers turn to Ronald Jones to lead the way for their backfield. He turns in an as-efficient performance as 2019, but does so on more touches, and ends as a middling RB2.
Worst Case Scenario:
The Buccaneers turn to Ke’Shawn Vaughn to lead the way for their backfield. He turns in an as-efficient performance as Ronald Jones’ 2019, but does so on more touches, and ends as a middling RB2.
[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com and airyards.com]