If you want to talk about a frustrating running back situation, look no further than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team looked set to give rookie Ronald Jones some extended work in Week 6 and proceeded to give Peyton Barber 17 total touches against the Atlanta Falcons. Now, the script has flipped and we’re looking at the opposite side.
But for fantasy football owners who have either Barber or Jones on their roster, the only thing to do is apologize for the frustration. The Buccaneers enter a Week 7 matchup with the Cleveland Browns which certainly has an appeal to running backs, but now we just have to figure out which one.
It’s a daunting task trying to figure out what the Buccaneers will do, but let’s attempt to figure out whether Barber is a start or sit in Week 7.
Key Stats and Peyton Barber’s Fantasy Outlook
I’ll break down the matchup, recent production and a few other key numbers that jump off the page for Barber in Week 7. All information on fantasy points and statistics for defense vs. position are from ESPN.
- Cleveland Browns vs. running backs in 2018: 157 attempts, 733 yards, 31 receptions, 280 receiving yards, seven total touchdowns (No. 8 most fantasy points per game)
- Barber out-snapped Jones 31-20 in Week 4, followed by 41-12 in Week 6, per Football Outsiders
- Barber is coming off his best game, most receptions and only touchdown of the season
- Jones dropped from 10 carries in Week 4 to just one in Week 6
Should You Start or Sit Peyton Barber?
It’s safe to say that this situation is going to be brutal all season long. Fortunately, neither of these backs has looked exceptional, but with bye weeks rolling along, fantasy football players may be hoping to use Barber as a potential filler.
The good news is that Barber was active in the passing game last week, catching four passes for 24 yards and one touchdown. He also averaged an impressive 6.3 yards per carry while tallying 82 yards on the season. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem he’ll get the 16-19 carries he drew over the first two weeks of the season.
If Barber can see 13-plus touches a game, even while losing some work to Jones and Jacquizz Rodgers, he’s a fine filler in Week 7. His matchup with the Browns is appealing, he has a strong chance to find the end zone on the ground and is trending in the right direction.
I’d start Barber in 14-team leagues as a RB2 or flex. Ideally, I wouldn’t want to use him in 10 or 12-team leagues since I don’t trust the workload. With that said, the furthest I’d dip down for him is using him in the flex in 12-teamers while hoping this situation doesn’t turn into a huge mess.