Tampa Bay Buccaneers 2017 Fantasy Football Preview

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers loaded their offense up this season to give Jameis Winston no excuses, but something not being given hasn’t stopped him from taking things in the past. The Bucs added DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin to an already stacked arsenal of weapons. There’s plenty to like here for the Bucs in 2017, but the hard part is getting the right pieces onto your fantasy football squad.


Sleeper – Jacquizz Rodgers, Running Back
With Doug Martin shelved due to suspension and the siren song of Charles Sims finally being snuffed out, Jacquizz Rodgers is set to start the first quarter of the fantasy football regular season and is in a position to run away with the job entirely. The incumbent, Doug Martin, was one of the worst backs in football on a per-opportunity basis, doing almost nothing with his targets and rushes. Rodgers, on the other hand, averaged 9.99 fantasy points per game in games that Doug Martin missed last season. Rodgers is set to get the opportunity to swipe the starting role from Muscle Hamster this year. He’s currently going as back #46 off the board, 132 overall. He’s essentially free, and he could be an RB2 when all is said and done.


Breakout – Jameis Winston, Quarterback
Jameis is going as the #9 quarterback off the board, which means he is a back-end starter for those who draft him this year. Winston is going in the class of breakout QBs going near the #10 slot, alongside Marcus Mariota, Matthew Stafford and Philip Rivers. Winston & Mariota continue to be tied to the hip, as they both received major upgrades to the weaponry around them. Winston’s weaponry boom is due to the additions of both a massive tight end target to compliment Cameron Brate (O.J. Howard) and the best deep threat of the last decade (DeSean Jackson). Winston can sling it deep, and he and Jackson will be one of the best duos alongside… Winston and Mike Evans. Ball placement continues to be a huge bugaboo for Winston, who was consistently bailed out on bad catches by Evans last year. There’s so much around Winston, however, that he should be in your roster construction plans this season.


Bust – Mike Evans, Wide Receiver
So far in Jameis Winston’s young career, he’s had Mike Evans as his first, second and third option. Only four receivers average more targets per game since Jameis came into the league, as the only viable #2 has been a later-career Vincent Jackson. Now the Bucs have DeSean Jackson to spread the field and O.J. Howard & Cam Brate to catch passes underneath. The offense has more weapons at its disposal. Over the last two years, Evans is WR9 in standard scoring, WR8 in PPR and 0.5PPR. The issue is that among WRs with at least eight targets per game since 2015, only Allen Robinson has a worse catch rate than Evans’ 53%. Regress his targets down and regress his red zone opportunities down and his efficiency pulls him outside the top seven, and maybe even outside the top ten.

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