Bruce Arians "Building Around" Peyton Barber; Massive Fantasy Bargain - Roto Street Journal
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Bruce Arians “Building Around” Peyton Barber; Massive Fantasy Bargain

Though he may lack “sizzle,” Bucs RB Peyton Barber offers plenty of fantasy steak in 2019. This is especially true after Tampa Bay avoided adding a single RB in the NFL Draft or Free Agency, opening the door to immense volume within Bruce Arians’ explosive offense. In fact, at the NFL Combine, Arians labeled Barber a “punishing runner” who’s “the kind I like to build around.” Though this initially felt like pure “Coachspeak,” Arians’ Draft Day and Free Agency actions match his spoken words. As David Johnson and Rashard Mendenhall illustrate, Arians’ offenses are at their peak with bruising, versatile runners operating in a workhorse role. Even if an apparent plodding talent, Barber now appears set for this invaluable workload inside a  (likely) high-octane attack.

Though many fantasy “experts” are touting Ronald Jones as the guy to own here, Barber’s power, chain-moving style fits Arians’ mold far better. The coach said as much himself, gushing: “I love him [Barber]. When you watch him on tape you don’t see his 230 (lbs), you would think he’s a 205-pound running back because he’s got great feet. Not every back’s going to be a homerun hitter, but if he gets those 10-15 yard runs, breaking tackles, power runner, punishing runner, that’s kind of how I like to start when we’re building something.” Though adept as a pass-catcher, Barber is likely to cede this work to Jones or Andre Ellington. Still, the Bucs boast serious passing game firepower, which should create light boxes and serious TD-upside for Barber. At +79 the ECR on The Wolf’s latest 2019 Fantasy Big Board, Barber is arguably fantasy’s top offseason winner and best bargain right now.

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