Finding Value: Monday, June 29th, 2021

(Photo credit: Jack Kurzenknabe)

Malcolm McMillan (@McLateralFF)
The Lateral Editor

Finding Value: Monday, June 29th, 2021 

I had a mental breakdown the other day. A full-blown, hyperventilating, uncontrollable sobbing, needed to smoke something afterward, mental breakdown.

It was a bummer.

I will not bore you with the details, but it boiled down to life feeling like a Sisyphean effort and I just really needed a win. Luckily, I have an incredible support system and a wonderful girlfriend who was able to help me through it and did not complain when I went outside to smoke a pre-roll to calm my nerves.

And then I got my win.

For a while now I have been hoping to fix my golf swing so that I could get back out and golf on the weekends. Golfing is a really relaxing experience for me, and I had missed it during the pandemic. Apparently, my skills with a golf club had missed it a lot too, because lately, I had sucked at the driving range. Seriously, it was so bad I would not even get to my driver because I could not get past hitting the ball straight with my seven iron.

Sorry. Too much golf talk?

I will sum it up then. I get out to the driving range the morning after this incredible low point, and just start crushing everything. It felt so good to get a win, and it was definitely a win after hitting as low a point as I have hit in a while. Sometimes that little win is really all you need to get going again. Just like sometimes you need to draft an underrated running back to get a win in your fantasy leagues.

See what I did there?

RB Ronald Jones II (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

(ECR: RB33, ADP: RB31, My Current Rank: RB24)

People sleep on Ronald Jones constantly. And by people, I mean me. To be fair, Bruce Arians has a history of being unreliable with his "coach speak" when it comes to running backs, and just last week he declared Jones a "co-starter" with teammate Leonard Fournette. As we all know, being the co-starter is not as good as being the outright starter, so obviously, people are concerned.

Here is the thing though... should we be?

Jones has basically improved each year of his three-year career, seeing an increase in workload and in rushing efficiency. His yards per reception dipped a bit last year, but 5.9 yards per reception is still respectable, especially when you get 40+ targets per season. He led the Buccanneers in rushing attempts last year by a clear margin, with 192 attempts versus Fournette's 97, and was significantly more efficient than Fournette was carrying the rock.

Tampa Bay, fresh from winning the Super Bowl is famously bringing back all 22 of their starters from last year's big game, and that means this offense should not change drastically from last year's offense. Until he was on the COVID-19 list and out for two weeks, Ronald Jones was the starter every week for the Bucs. Even after coming back from that, he still saw 10+ rushing attempts per game despite Fournette being the nominal starter. That leads me to believe that Jones will revert to being the starter in Week 1, and maintain the healthy workload that saw him finish RB21 last year in PPR. With an ADP currently seven spots below my rank for him, Jones should definitely return value to those that draft him in 2021.

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