It's highly unlikely Jacquizz Rodgers regains his role as the Buccaneers' top running back. He couldn't hang last season when given the chance. Such is the case, Fantasy owners shouldn't add him with any kind of expectations.
Rodgers is part of a Tampa Bay backfield that added Ronald Jones with the 38th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, NFL.com's Herbie Teope reports. The Bucs released Doug Martin in February, but they re-signed pass-catching specialist Charles Sims last week, shortly before adding an element of explosiveness with Jones. The team also brings back Peyton Barber, who closed out the 2017 season with five straight performances featuring at least 12 carries, 51 rushing yards and 3.9 yards per carry. Rodgers had only six touches on offense in that same stretch, getting most of his snaps on special teams. He may need to compete for a spot during training camp and probably won't have a major role on offense even if he cracks the 53-man roster again.
Rodgers is considered an internal option to replace the since-released Doug Martin as the Buccaneers' lead back in 2018, Jenna Laine of ESPN.com reports. Rodgers finished the 2017 campaign with just 73 total touches from scrimmage, a modest workload considering he had been the de facto lead back for the first three games of the season while Martin finished serving a suspension. Given his ability to contribute on offense and special teams along with his reasonable $1.6 million cap hit for 2018, Rodgers seems likely to return to Tampa Bay during the upcoming season and could get the opportunity to compete with Peyton Barber for the top spot on the depth chart. It's quite likely, however, that the Buccaneers bring in multiple reinforcements at running back through free agency and/or the draft.
Rodgers did not log any rushing touches but brought in both of his targets for 20 yards in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Saints. He also returned one kickoff for 17 yards. The veteran back's 20 yards from scrimmage represented his highest figure since Week 13, but as was the norm in the final month of the campaign, he was a complete non-factor in the running game. After playing the role of de facto lead back over the first three games of the season while Doug Martin finished serving a PED suspension, Rodgers was a virtual afterthought on most weeks. The 27-year-old is on the books for $1.6 million next season in what will be the final year of a two-year pact, but he could be conceivably be jettisoned in the offseason if the team opts to re-stock the position in free agency and/or the draft.
Rodgers rushed once for two yards in Sunday's 22-19 loss to the Panthers. The veteran back's playing time on offense was limited to just two snaps, but he did log his first carry since Week 13. However, given his meager production and lack of playing time, Rodgers' fantasy value is virtually non-existent heading into the regular-season finale versus the Saints.
Rodgers did not log any rushing touches and returned two kickoffs for 62 yards in Monday night's 24-21 loss to the Falcons. Rodgers played only two snaps on offense despite Doug Martin being declared inactive due to a coach's decision. It marked the second straight week that Rodgers was left out of the ground attack altogether, as Peyton Barber was the only running back to log any rushing touches. Head coach Dirk Koetter appears content with having Rodgers limit his participation to special teams for the time being, restricting his modest fantasy value to formats that factor in return yards.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|1||09/09||@New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
|11||11/18||@New York Giants||21||17.88|
|12||11/25||San Francisco 49ers||19||17.75|
|14||12/09||New Orleans Saints||12||17.22|
Red Zone Trends
|3 Year Avg||69||282||1||8||61||0||40|