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Ronald Jones Backfield Takeover Nears Completion

The arrival of Ronald Jones signals a seismic fantasy football shift in the Bucs backfield. After struggling through a rocky rookie season and subsequent offseason in which his work ethic and talent were put into question, Jones looks ready to become Tampa Bay’s workhorse back. He showed why in Sunday’s epic victory over the Rams.

Jones out-touched incumbent Peyton Barber 20-9 while averaging 3.7 YPA to 2.1 compared to Barber. Jones also several chunk gains negated by penalties. He leads the Bucs in rush yards (234) despite seeing three fewer attempts than Barber (53-50) and adds a level of explosiveness his backfield mate can’t: Jones notched two runs of longer than 20 yards this season.

Throw out the Week 2 outlier game where he had just nine carries and Jones averages 15 carries per game. An uptick in receiving work would cement his bell-cow status, but so far Jones garnered only three targets. However, he turned those into three catches for 71 yards so the potential is there.

Rostered in less than half of ESPN and Yahoo leagues, Jones makes for a priority waiver wire add ahead of Week 5.

Go Get Jameis Winston

Jameis Winston ranks No. 1 among QBs in fantasy scoring over the past two weeks, but his ownership percentages don’t reflect that. Post Week 4 action, Winston remained available in 45-percent of ESPN leagues and 68-percent of Yahoo leagues. He threw for 385 yards and four TDs against the Rams.

Run Down

• Christian McCaffrey accounted for 179 of 232 total yards for the Panthers while catching all 10 of his targets for 86 yards. He added 93 yards and a score on the ground.

• Nick Chubb exploded for 165 yards on 20 carries (8.3 YPA) and three TDs. His 39.3 PPR points fell just short of Chris Godwin (41.2) for the overall fantasy top spot.

• Zeke Elliot averaged 1.9 YPA on 19 attempts for 35 yards against New Orleans. He saved his fantasy day with a rush TD.

• Devonta Freeman’s tenure in a workhorse role for the Falcons faces extinction. In 2019 he’s rushed 47 times for 157 yards (3.3 YPA) and no TDs. His modest receiving numbers keep him afloat for now, but Atlanta’s offensive line ranked No. 24 in run blocking through Week 3.

• Ito Smith waits in the wings for Atlanta, averaging 5.7 YPA on 13 attempts. He punched in a 1-yard score against the Titans. He’s an under-the-radar waiver wire add this week.

• The Texans traded a third-round pick for Duke Johnson but appear to be happy with perennial plodder Carlos Hyde. Houston’s usage of Johnson is baffling, but he did show why he deserves more work than Hyde by averaging 9.3 YPA on six carries for 56 yards.

Air Raid

• Patrick Mahomes failed to throw a TD pass for the first time since 2018 Week 5. He still eclipsed 300 passing yards and added 54 rush yards to prop up his fantasy points.

• Lamar Jackson boasts fantasy’s overall No. 1 ranking through four weeks with 112.3 points, an average of 28.1 FPPG.

• The Saints eked out a win despite another subpar performance from Teddy Bridgewater. He completed 23-of-30 passes for 193 yards, no TDs and one INT for a 17.8 QBR. The offense did not score a TD and Michael Thomas is the only trustworthy pass-catcher under Teddy B, who can’t be trusted for fantasy purposes.

• Calvin Ridley continues to operate as the Falcons No. 3 WR and ranks fourth on the team with 23 targets. He’s averaging 12.9 YPR compared to the aging Mohamed Sanu (10.0) and has two more TDs than the latter, but the Falcons seem content to feed Sanu (31 targets).

• Dak Prescott failed to throw a TD after throwing at least two in each of his first three games.

• Deandre Hopkins hasn’t notched a 100-yard receiving game or scored a TD since Week 1. The Texans rank No. 27 with 82 pass attempts. Nuk attempted one pass against Carolina, which was intercepted.

• Kirk Cousins has three TD passes on the season. Seven QBs met or exceeded that total in Week 4 including Joe Flacco.

• After watching teammate Adam Thielen make the most of limited targets the first three weeks, Stefon Diggs regressed toward the mean with a 7-108-0 line on seven targets. His buy low window just closed.

• Jared Goff and Josh Allen each threw three INTs in Week 4.

• Mitchell Trubisky suffered a shoulder injury in the first quarter and did not return. He was relieved by journeyman Chase Daniel, who threw for 195 yards and a TD.

• The Bears don’t consider Trubisky’s injury to be season-ending, but he’s expected to miss time. Daniels makes for a decent streaming option with a favorable upcoming schedule.

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