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Ronald Jones II (RB, TB) - Week 8 Waiver Wire Pickups

BALLER MOVE: Add in 12-Team Leagues

OWNED IN: 16% of Leagues

ANALYSIS: Former USC Trojan Ronald Jones II didn't play in his first NFL game for Tampa Bay until week four, and he hasn't exactly set the football world on fire since his debut. Through his first three professional games, he has accumulated a mere 45 rushing yards on 17 carries (just 2.6 Y/C) and an additionally meager 30 receiving yards from five catches out of six targets. Those 45 rushing yards are only good for fourth-best on the roster (behind both Jameis Winston and Ryan Fitzpatrick), while his Y/C of 2.6 is worst on the team among those with 15+ attempts. Despite all of these indications of rookie-mediocrity, things could well be looking up for Jones II in the coming weeks for a couple of reasons.

First off is his lack of competition for carries among the Buccaneers. The only running back on the team with more carries than Jones II is of course Peyton Barber, while Jacquizz Rodgers has produced only 1.8 Y/C on 12 attempts and is mostly utilized out of the passing game. With Barber currently nursing a mysterious injury and his status for the Bucs upcoming game against the Bengals in doubt, this means that Jones II would be slated to receive the bulk of the work out of the backfield for Tampa Bay in week eight.

Speaking of Barber...while he has received 57 more carries and rushed for 215 more yards than Jones II over his six games of 2018, he has yet to accrue a single rushing TD. In fact, across six games Barber has only seen ten carries for an abysmal five total yards when inside the red-zone. However, Jones II has already received an encouraging five red-zone carries for 13 yards in just three games played, and found his way into the end-zone for his first career score this past week.

If Peyton Barber is out this week, plan on a huge uptick in work from the ground for Ronald Jones II against Cincinnati. Even if Barber plays, his own lack of success in the red-zone paired with Jones II's greater tendency to find work close to the end-zone could mean he remains a sneaky goal-line option for the immediate future.

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