Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Jacquizz Rodgers began the season at the bottom of the depth chart, looking up at back-to-superstar-status Doug Martin and excellent third down back Charles Sims. Then Martin got hurt and Sims became the starter. Then Sims got hurt and Rodgers became the starter. Now Rodgers is hurt, suffering a sprained foot, so what the hell is going on in the Tampa Bay backfield?
The Bucs have deep-dynasty-league darling Peyton Barber ready to take some snaps, but Week 8 usage combined with a little bit of coach speak point to Antone Smith actually getting most of the work on Thursday Night Football. Smith played in five games last season and was a free agent, presumably hanging out at home, until the Bucs signed him in mid-October. Barber has way more upside, but is also a raw rookie that could make more mistakes. Tampa Bay also signed Mike James, who they had released in mid-September with an injury settlement.
This has all the looks of an unstartable fantasy backfield. With several teams on bye weeks, however, if one of the Bucs guys just has to be in a fantasy lineup for Week 9, it should be Antone Smith. Don’t expect many points from Smith, but he does have the highest floor among the three-headed, not-frightening-at-all monster that will be the Tampa Bay backfield on a Thursday night against a good Atlanta Falcons team.