The Bucs were in a groove there for a while with Ronald Jones, who had a monster game in PPR leagues two weeks ago against the Cardinals, scoring a touchdown and racking up eight catches for 77 yards. But last week, Jones laid an egg, getting just four carries and totaling 13 yards while catching two passes for a yard. While scouring the rankings, there are a lot of experts out there that have Jones ranked somewhere between 18 and 25, but I don’t have in my top 30 this week. This is a game that could ugly for the Bucs. Their offense sputtered for the most part a week ago and are facing a Falcons offense and passing game that could score at will on the Bucs secondary. Getting behind on the road will force the Bucs to go to the air almost every play. The Falcons have also shut down the Saints and Panthers offense in recent weeks, despite Christian McCaffrey racking up some good yardage on them. But Jones is no McCaffrey. If you have better options on your bench, go with them over Jones. The air is being let out of the tires in Tampa Bay and you may see it deflate by Sunday night.
This is a gamble play, in my opinion. Listen, I think Scarborough could have a big game this weekend against an awful Redskins run defense, and most experts are ranking him anywhere between 10 and 20. He is on everyone’s “Start ‘Em” and “Sleeper” Boards. However, I would rather put him on the “Proceed with Caution” Board. If you have followed the Lions since Kerryon Johnson‘s injury, you don’t know what the heck they are going to do at running back. First it was Ty Johnson and he got shelved for…Tra Carson??? Then Carson gets hurt, and everyone either goes back to Ty Johnson, but they jump to J.D. McKissic. When owners start playing McKissic, Paul Perkins gets carries. Now Bo Scarborough is getting all the work and had a very solid game against the Cowboys, and everyone is convinced that he’s the guy until Kerryon comes back. He could be, but if I’ve got some other solid options over him, like a Devin Singletary or a David Montgomery, I’d rather play the safe card and go with them. I’m just cautious with Bo and want to see another week of him in the lineup to see if the Lions stick with him or once again pull a fast one on fantasy owners like they’ve done since Kerryon has gone on IR. It’s almost as if Matt Patricia is in the corner laughing at fantasy owners as he continues to trick them up.
Todd Gurley (non-PPR leagues)
Finally, we saw Todd Gurley get fed a week ago against the Bears. Hey…it only took 11 weeks. However, I’m a little nervous with Gurley this week against the Ravens run defense which ranks no. 8 in the NFL, giving up under 95 yards per game. A week ago, the Rams were able to control the game and own possession. They didn’t face a very scary offense, so they got the ball back pretty often. It’s going to be a little more challenging this Monday night. The Ravens are a ball-controlling team that will milk the clock down and could control the game with their running game, much like they did a week ago when the Texans only saw the ball a handful of times through three quarters. The Rams are going to have to throw the ball more this Monday against a Ravens defense that is a little bit more vulnerable through the air, ranking No. 15 in pass defense. In PPR or Half-PPR leagues, I’d still feel confident going with Gurley as he should get some receptions and yards in the passing game, but in non-PPR leagues, I’m a little more hesitant. This feels like a 12 carry, 50-yard performance much like we saw in the first half of the season with Sean McVay ditching the running game if he gets behind. While Gurley did score last week, he also got passed up for Malcolm Brown the second time the Rams got near the goal line. I’d still expect around a 10-point performance from Gurley in non-PPR leagues, but I don’t see it going much higher than that. I hate to say sit him…but at the same time, don’t expect the same results that you got a week ago for him. I think you’ll see more of the Gurley from the first eight weeks than from last Sunday.