Fantasy Alert: Leonard Fournette Bucs' Starting RB, Rachaad White to Compete for Role

Erin WalshMay 13, 2022

TAMPA, FL - JANUARY 23: Tampa Bay Buccaneers Running Back Leonard Fournette (7) runs into the end zone for the score during the NFC Divisional game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on January 23, 2022 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Cliff Welch/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Leonard Fournette will continue to serve as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' starting running back in 2022, head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Friday. 

Rookie Rachaad White will compete with Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovani Bernard to "carve out a role," Bowles added.

Concerns about Fournette's status as the team's starting running back arose after the Bucs selected White in the third round of the 2022 draft. After being drafted, the 23-year-old said on The Jim Rome Show that he wanted to be the team's starting RB and would work hard to make that happen.

White had a tremendous 2021 season with the Arizona State Sun Devils, rushing for 1,006 yards and 15 touchdowns, in addition to catching 43 passes for 456 yards and one score. Considering Bowles said that he is a "talented player," it's reasonable to believe in the future he could be atop the team's depth chart. 

That said, adding Fournette as a top running back in fantasy football is a no-brainer. The 27-year-old has been a go-to player for Tom Brady over the last two seasons and that's not going to change in 2022. 

During the 2021 season, Fournette rushed for 812 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 69 passes for 454 yards and two scores. 

The 2017 fourth overall pick certainly won't be one of the top running backs taken by fantasy managers this year, but he would be a tremendous addition in a later round.

Vaughn and Bernard should also be options for fantasy managers this year. However, managers would be better off using either player as an injury replacement. Vaughn rushed for just 180 yards and two touchdowns last season, while Bernard had eight carries for 58 yards and 23 catches for 123 yards and three scores.