The anticipation has ended for the Leonard Fournette landing spot. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue their hype-filled offseason by adding the 25-year-old running back from LSU. Leonard Fournette is going to be signing a 1-year $3.5 million deal with a base salary of $2 million. The rest of the deal is incentive-based correlating with playing time and yards. Unfortunate news for Ronald Jones owners and Ke’Shawn Vaughn truthers, Fournette landing here disrupts the entire backfield and leaves a lot of questions soon to be answered.
The Jaguars did Fournette a disservice by releasing him so close to the season’s beginning, and after clearing waivers the future for dynasty teams with Fournette on the roster was bleak at best. @DFF_Karp gave us a rapid reaction after his release and explained why he thought Fournette would be a player to fade in all formats due to a crowded backfield. Number 27 finds himself in a crowded situation with Ronald Jones, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, Dare Ogunbowale, and LeSean McCoy in the backfield already. It is assumed that McCoy, who recently signed earlier this offseason, will be let go. It will be hard for Fournette to succeed early on this season, but given his talent and abilities, it’ll only be so long before he pushes RoJo out of the way. Vaughn is simply a rookie, and with a shortened offseason where preseason action was limited this only makes sense for the Bucs’ running back room.
The long term outlook for Fournette is still murky at best simply because he signed a one-year prove-it deal going into an offseason where there are plenty of free-agent running backs. He saved some of his value for this season at best and hopefully opened up a trade window for dynasty owners to take advantage of. My best advice would be to capitalize on the buzz surrounding the Bucs taking a chance on a back that seemingly everyone was disinterested in when he was falling through NFL waivers.
Ronald Jones finds himself competing with a veteran all of a sudden instead of the incoming rookie from Vanderbilt. Many fantasy football players have thrown shade at RoJo, and just when he was going to seemingly find his time on the field the Jaguars’ tanking mission has also tanked Ronald Jones’ season. His draft position was value for people drafting later running backs that still had a chance at owning the starting role for their teams. Jones’ best situation is a 1B role to Fournette down the stretch after starting a few games giving Leonard time to acclimate to the new team and offense. As for Ke’Shawn Vaughn, I would place him in a taxi position and hope he finds his way onto the field next year.
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