2022 Leonard Fournette Fantasy Football Player Profile

leonard fournette tampa bay buccaneers

It’s that time of year once again! Football Absurdity will bring you a breakdown of every notable fantasy football-relevant player throughout June, July, and August. We continue with the running backs. Leonard Fournette has been pushed down in drafts for different reasons ever since he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Now, he’s pushed down for facing competition from rookie running back Rachaad White. What should we expect from Fournette going into 2022?

Leonard Fournette ADP and AAV:

Average Draft Position: RB13, Pick 27
Average Auction Value: $42

Leonard Fournette Statistics:
Year G GS Rush Ru Yds Ru TD Tgt Rec Yards TD Touches Opp Total Yards
2021 14 13 180 812 8 84 69 454 2 249 264 1266
2020 13 3 97 367 6 47 36 233 0 133 144 600
2019 15 15 265 1152 3 100 76 522 0 341 365 1674
Year YPC Rush/G Ru Yd/G Tgt/G Rec/G Catch% Yds/Tgt Yds/Rec Touches/G Opp/G Yds/G
2021 4.51 12.9 58.0 6.00 4.93 82.1% 5.40 6.58 17.79 18.86 90.4
2020 3.78 7.5 28.2 3.62 2.77 76.6% 4.96 6.47 10.23 11.08 46.15
2019 4.35 17.7 76.8 6.67 5.07 76.0% 5.22 6.87 22.73 24.33 111.60
Year Std Pts HPPR Pts PPR Pts Pts/G HPPR Pts/G PPR Pts/G Pts/Tch HPPR Pts/Tch PPR Pts/Tch
2021 186.6 221.1 255.6 13.33 15.79 18.3 0.75 0.89 1.03
2020 96 114 132 7.38 8.77 10.2 0.72 0.86 0.99
2019 183.4 221.4 259.4 12.23 14.76 17.29 0.54 0.65 0.76
2022 Leonard Fournette Fantasy Football Overview:

First, let’s look at who is out and who is in for Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers won’t have Ronald Jones II to kick around anymore, as he moves on to underperform in Kansas City. Ke’Shawn Vaughn stays the RB3, and Giovani Bernard stays as the two-minute drill back. So, I won’t get into Rachaad White (that’s for another player profile) but suffice it to say that he’s better than Ronald Jones. But, is he so much better than Ronald Jones that we should fear a step back for Leonard Fournette? I would say so, but your personal determination of how far of a step back Fournette takes will determine whether or not you want to draft him. But before we get to that, let’s look back at Fournette’s 2021.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t want to run the football, which explains why their leading rusher (Fournette) had fewer than 13 attempts per game. But that’s fine, we don’t a lot of rushing attempts from our running backs. Well, we do, but we also want a lot of targets, and Fournette had plenty of those. Fournette averaged 6 targets per game, which ranked first in the NFL among running backs. He was near the top in raw targets, but not the king of the hill because he missed three games in 2021. Fournette also had 54 red zone touches, and 9 goal-line carries, which ranked third and tenth, respectively. So, we are starting at 13 rush attempts and 6 targets per game from 2021.

And I say start because let’s look again at his 2022 situation. While Rachaad White might take some touches, those were more likely going to be Ronald Jones’ touches and Ke’Shawn Vaughn’s touches. There’s also the little matter of Rob Gronkowski’s retirement (and Chris Godwin missing part of the season). There’s no reason to believe that Leonard Fournette would get fewer touches per game in 2022, at least not to start the season. So, given that he was the RB3 in points per game last season, why are we scared?

I can answer that: residual fear from entering 2021. We weren’t sure which guy (Ronald Jones or Leonard Fournette) would be The Man in Tampa Bay last year, so we are taking that concern and replacing the name Ronald Jones with Rachaad White. While White is better than RoJo, I also believe that one of two viable returning weapons for Tom Brady will get a ton of run and opportunity to start the year.

2022 Leonard Fournette Fantasy Football Draft Strategy:

Leonard Fournette Salary Cap Value: $40
Draft Ranking: Find out for your league settings in a Beersheet! (coming in early July)

It’s because of a latent fear that we can get Leonard Fournette at a steep discount. He’s the RB15 by ADP, going as pick #29 in snake drafts. This is intense value for a guy who was a top-three running back last season, and who has a rookie to contend with for touches outside of the two-minute drills, and right now he’s going behind Antonio Gibson. That’s unconscionable; he’s the undisputed RB1 in one of the league’s best offenses, and not a guy in a muddied and muddled situation with Carson Wentz and one of the league’s dumbest offensive setups right now.

The only thing giving me pause on slamming Leonard Fournette at 29 is that I love Keenan Allen (pick 30) too much. But, that’s not a problem in salary cap drafts. Right now, Fournette is RB11 in salary cap drafts, costing $42 on average. That’s a pretty good price, and only a couple of bucks more than Alvin Kamara, who is facing a suspension. While I prefer Aaron Jones ($35) at his price, you can’t go wrong getting both for basically the price of Jonathan Taylor ($75) in your salary cap drafts. That’s an incredible start, especially in PPR. Fournette sits among the backend RB1 that I want on my roster thanks to their target upside, alongside Jones, Saquon Barkley, and D’Andre Swift.

Best Case Scenario:

Tom Brady decides to throw the ball 700 times again, but he wants to see if he can get both Mike Evans and Leonard Fournette 30% target shares. On his 100th target of the season, Leonard Fournette scores his 12th touchdown, and he goes on to finish as the RB1.

Worst Case Scenario:

Leonard Fournette takes a cue from Rob Gronkowski and Tom Brady circa February and suddenly retires. Unlike Tom Brady circa March, he does not unretire.

Check out all our 2022 player profiles, here.

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[Statistics are sourced from pro-football-reference.com, airyards.com, and ftnfantasy.com]

[Header Image Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leonard_Fournette_WFT-Buccaneers_NOV2021.jpg, cropped under CC BY SA 2.0]

About Jeff Krisko

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