FBG says: Great matchup. Tampa Bay's medium-volume rushing attack typically splits work between Ronald Jones and Peyton Barber in a seemingly random fashion. In recent weeks, Bruce Arians has listed Ronald Jones as the team's starter, only to pull him from the game very early on due to a missed blitz pick-up. This extremely short leash for Jones, whose uninspiring 3.8 yards per carry somehow blows Peyton Barber's mark of 3.2 yards per carry out of the water, makes projecting the workload in the Buccaneers' backfield exceptionally difficult. Barber tallied the only 20-carry game of the season for either back in Week 2 against the Panthers, which also is the only game in which either running back played more than 60-percent of Tampa Bay's offensive snaps. Running behind the 30th-ranked offensive line in the NFL, according to Matt Bitonti, adds increased volatility to this running back situation. Neither Ronald Jones nor Peyton Barber can be relied upon for consistent fantasy production down the home stretch this season, as they will likely continue to split action in one of the league's least-efficient run offenses.
Detroit's run defense has faced the sixth-most rush attempts of any defense in the NFL this season, and their efficiency metrics are unimpressive to go along with the volume. In turn, the Lions have allowed the third-most fantasy points of any defense in the NFL to opposing running backs this season. Along the defensive line, Damon Harrison is dealing with an injury that may keep him out of this weekend's game. If he is unable to go, although he has not been the elite run-stopper he once was, it would be a significant loss for the unit as a whole, as A'Shawn Robinson has also regressed this season and he has not proven to be ready to be the number-one guy along the interior just yet. At linebacker, the Lions are plagued by tackling issues, as Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones, and Jahlani Tavai all grade as well-below-average tacklers this season. Lastly, in the secondary, the Lions traded away one of their top run-stopping defensive backs, Quandre Diggs earlier this season. The Lions have been unable to replace his production, and their run defense as a whole has suffered as a product of this loss. While the volume in Tampa Bay's backfield is extremely difficult to project, this weekend, whoever carries the rock for the Buccaneers is likely to see a significant uptick in efficiency, as the Lions' defensive front has proven incapable of shutting down opposing rushing attacks.