What to expect from Ronald Jones in 2022

In the Yahoo Fantasy Fearless Forecast, analysts Dalton Del Don and Matt Harmon look at what when wrong when ranking Ronald Jones last season and how he might fare in Kansas City.

Video Transcript

MATT HARMON: Let’s stay on running backs here and talk about another one of our favorites here, Ronald Jones over Leonard Fournette. You had these guys flipped last year. What went wrong, Dalton?

DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, I was happy to get Ronald Jones often ahead of Fournette. I believe his ADP was ahead of Fournette. Even though it’s so obvious in hindsight, we saw Leonard in the playoffs, the most important time. He dominated the playing time, Brady loves him. Fournette– not only did I get it wrong, it was just laughably wrong, Ronald Jones I believe fumbled immediately in that Thursday night game. I even texted you. Yeah. And Fournette proceeded to lead the league in high value touches.

I mean, it’s just comically wrong. I mean, a league winning– passing over a league winning pick for just a guy who was immediately benched after yet another fumble. So yeah, I mean, I just continuously follow for Ronald Jones’ upside with the ball in his hands. Yes, he’s a really good runner. You look at the rush yards over expectations. But all the little parts of his game are so bad. And he’s just useless as a receiver.

And Fournette, former early draft pick, maybe doesn’t look like great in shape right now. But he certainly got it done and was absolutely quote unquote, “league winner pick” last year, I mean, where he was going in drafts and he finished with the fourth most fantasy points per game in PPR.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, I felt pretty good going back to look at my rankings for this exercise. I had Leonard Fournette at 30, running back 31, obviously should have been higher of course. But felt good that I had him at 31 and Ronald Jones buried at 43. Two separate tiers completely. So I felt good about that. How do you feel about Ronald Jones this year? Any interest? Or now that Jerick– we didn’t talk about this. It’s sort of relevant-ish news. Jerick McKinnon resigns with the Chiefs. Does that move the needle at all for like Clyde Edwards-Helaire?

I did have this horrible vision, Dalton, the last couple of days, where I can just see Ronald Jones scoring seven touchdowns for the Chiefs while CEH scores two. Just very possible.

DALTON DEL DON: Yeah, yeah. Daryl Williams I think approached 10 touchdowns last year. And he’s going to replace the big back role. Jerick McKinnon signing absolutely hurt CEH. McKinnon, speaking of trusted backs in the playoffs, that’s who they trusted last year was Jet. So I think it absolutely hurt CEH. And I think Ronald Jones will be the big back role who could easily run into eight to 10 touchdowns. But fantasy wise, I mean, it would have to come at a discount. There are three guys there. And he’s just so useless in PPR.

But obviously, a Chiefs big back with Mahomes there, it’s not the worst situation for Ronald Jones to revitalize his career. I mean, if he became the featured back there, sure. He could be a monster. But I fall for it every year. I’ll attempt not to again.

MATT HARMON: Going to attempt to.

DALTON DEL DON: But if there was a situation to lure me back in, yes. It’s the Patrick Mahomes’ big back. I mean, it’s– yeah. There’s certainly upside.

MATT HARMON: Yeah, it’s not quite the same as when James Conner went to Arizona. It was like, oh, he was going to be the goal line back. I wish I had been higher on James Tanner going into drafts. Last year, I did think he was a good trade target early in the season. I remember talking about that. But I wish I’d been higher on him going into drafts because he was going to score touchdowns for this team. They were never going to trust Chase Edmonds in that role.

And I kind of feel– I kind of felt the same way as I was thinking about this the other day of like, well, they’re never going to trust CEH around the goal line. He’s just never been a goal line back. What if they trust Ronald Jones around the goal line and he scores seven touchdowns? But the difference there is even in a scenario where CEH gets hurt, they’re never going to use Ronald Jones as a full field running– a full workhorse running back because he is useless as a receiver, whereas James Conner had that in his profile previously.

DALTON DEL DON: Yup. 100%.

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