By now you’ve heard how the saga of Lynyrd Jagyr’d came to an end in a fiery plane crash. Very sad. But out of the flames a new hope is born. I can now stop feverishly refreshing my Twitter feed for Leonard Fournette news like an addict searching for one last crack rock under the couch. Fournette has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, agreeing to a one-year 2 million dollar contract with another 1.5 million in possible incentives. That’s not Bitcoin Cash, it’s real money. You can bet your crypto that Fournette will have a serious role in this exciting Tampa offense.
In Jacksonville Fournette faced a stacked box (8+ defenders loaded in the box) over 30% of the time each of the last three seasons. Derrick Henry is the only other back to garner such defensive attention since Fournette’s rookie season. Leo will now benefit from a balanced offense with a high powered passing game to keep defenses in check while yielding tons more red zone opportunities. And in 2019 Fournette showed off his impressive hands catching 76 passes; if we learned anything from Brady’s two decades in New England it’s 1) he isn’t above “bending” the rules and 2) he targets his running backs more than anyone.
All this adds up to Fournette shooting back up my 2020 fantasy football rankings, all the way to #27 overall (in PPR). I’ve aggressively projected him for 200 carries, 800 rushing yards, 50 receptions, 350 receiving yards and 8 total touchdowns in 13 games. While I am crazy bullish on Fournette, make no mistake, there’s some risk that I’m over estimating his workload and this ends up more of an even split committee. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy football:
Ronald Jones – What’s that sobbing noise you hear coming from the ladies room? That’s several of my fellow Razzball writers who have been sitting in a circle rubbing each other all preseason while passing around shirtless pictures of Ronald Jones. It’s a tough break as Bruce Arians has been
lying talking for weeks about how great of a season Ronald Jones will have. I’m not taking a victory lap here on my RoJo fade because a) who could have predicted Fournette would end up in Tampa, b) I’m modest (and handsome), c) there is no c, and d) no games have even been played yet, Ronald Jones could still end up having a better season than Fournette. Regardless, this is a major hit to Jonesy’s fantasy stock and I’ve downgraded him down to #113 overall in my 2020 fantasy football rankings.
Ke’Shawn Vaughn – The rookie RB out of Vanderbilt is now buried deeper than Aaron Hernandez on the Bucco’s depth chart. I was excited about Vaughn after he was selected in the 3rd round of the 2020 draft, but really pumped the brakes after Tampa brought in veteran LeSean McCoy back in July. Speaking of McCoy, he’s getting cut now, right? As for Vaughn, feel free to drop him too in all but the deepest (or dynasty) leagues.
Alvin Kamara – The only player in the news as much as Leo this week was Alvin Kamara. First, we hear the Saints are open to trading Kamara, presumably due to a contract dispute. Then Kamara’s camp comes in and says they aren’t requesting a trade, still open to negotiating and Alvin will be back at practice ASAP. Later we find out that Kamara received an epidural injection in his spine—bad news according to my sketchy chiropractor. Later later we find out that the injection he received was actually a sacroiliac joint injection—this is beyond my area of medical expertise which is based solely on tidbits from my chiropractor who may or may not be a quack, but it sounds like a sacroiliac joint injection is much less concerning than an epidural. Anyway, if I have the fourth pick in a PPR league today I’m still grabbing Kamara, but I’d be lying like Arians if I told you I feel good about it.
Deebo Samuel – Word on the streets of San Fran is he could be back for week one. But Jones fractures are notorious for their high re-injury rate. I’m a big Deebo fan long term but not interested in taking on any added injury risk in this COVID season, so I’m passing on him this year. Fine being wrong on this one, there’s lots of good wide receivers.
Mohamed Sanu – The Prophet was cut by the Patriots; wonder if he saw that one coming? You weren’t drafting Mo anyway except in very deep leagues, but the real news here might be below the surface: is this a vote of confidence in second year WR N’Keal Harry? I want it to be, so I’ll say yes. I’m drafting The Big Harry all over the place in the 13th-15th round, there’s huge upside with the 2019 first rounder. Also, add Gunner Olszewski to your deep league radar; Bellichick’s dog really seems to like him.
Kerryon Johnson – The news and notes wouldn’t be complete without a Kerryon mention. Due to a leg injury, rookie D’Andre Swift has missed very valuable training camp reps in a year with no preseason and an already watered down training camp. He finally returned to practice Monday, but has still been limited all week. The odds of him making any sort of early season impact decrease by the day. But good news, there’s still space on the Kerryon Johnson bandwagon; we have a pool in the back and the water’s plenty warm!