Buccaneers RB Leonard Fournette made headlines recently when he arrived at training camp over what the team has deemed a good weight for him. Reports have estimated he is as heavy as 260 pounds, which is 30 pounds heavier than what he played at last season.
It’s safe to assume he will shed weight as Week 1 approaches and he gears up to improve on his 2021 campaign. Last season, Fournette re-signed with the Buccaneers on a one-year deal worth $3.25 million and changed his jersey number to 7 after the NFL changed the rules regarding which players can wear what numbers.
As number 7, Fournette got off to a slow start before gathering his footing in Week 3. He earned the starting RB role in Week 4 and finished the year with a respectable 812 yards and eight touchdowns on 180 attempts. It was his best fantasy season yet, as he averaged 13.3 fantasy points per game (#9 among RBs in the NFL). His ground production was supplemented by another 454 receiving yards (#4 among RBs), 69 receptions (#3), and two touchdowns.
He re-signed with Tampa Bay shortly after Brady announced his un-retirement, which means he will be a keystone piece of what will likely be a Top 10 offense. Last season, the Buccaneers ranked #2 behind the Cowboys in total touchdowns scored. As part of that offense, Fournette saw a 67% opportunity share (#11) and 54 red zone touches (#3), while picking up 187 fantasy points, which ranked #11 among running backs.
Health & Draft Analysis – Provided Fournette gets his weight under control, there is no reason to think he will see any less opportunities this year. He’s a strong, pass-catching back that possesses breakaway speed once he gets into the second level. Last year he battled a late season ankle sprain and hamstring strain, which forced him to miss four games. By now, those shouldn’t be much concern. His Injury Risk is Low (10%) and his Health Performance Factor is Peak (96%). Depending on how you structure your team, he could be a solid RB1, but I think he generally fits an RB2 role better.