The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will prove to be a fantasy football powerhouse in 2018. Despite his suspension, Jameis Winston has QB1 upside. Add Mike Evans, DeSean Jackson, OJ Howard, and Cam Brate into the mix (with at least one guy below) and there is plenty of fantasy football goodness to go around.
Ronald Jones, Running Back, Round Two
Jones is already the best back the Buccaneers have had in a half-decade, and that’s including Doug Martin in that evaluation. Martin was a bowling ball back (hence his hated moniker, Muscle Hamster), and the Buccos replaced him with Ronald Jones, a back who is quick, elusive, and slippery. Once he’s in space, he can do beautiful things with the football. The problem comes when he isn’t in space. If he has to create through a wall or push a pile, he’s dead meat. He’s visibly bouncy and spry, as he expends enough nervous excess energy pre-snap to make Michelle Jenneke blush. Jones can’t seem to expend enough pre-snap energy, however. He runs with such frenetic pace and foot speed that it’s hard not to love watching him.
The more that I think about Jones’ situation the more I like him in 2018. The offense is going to move up and down the field at will, hopefully allowing Jones to tote a significant amount of the load to keep defenses honest against the multitude of weapons at their disposal. There are concerns about a crowded backfield, but I am literally laughing out loud at you if you’re afraid of Peyton Barber, Jacquizz Rodgers and Chaz Sims in the Year of Our Lord 2018. If anything, the crowded backfield is a huge benefit, as it offsets his biggest question mark. Jones is on the small side, so his durability at the next level is questionable. It’s no matter, though; he’s in for a huge 2018.
His current fantasy football ADP is in the fourth or fifth round, which is a great bet on upside. Don’t worry about a shared backfield, most of them are that way in 2018.
Justin Watson, Wide Receiver, Round Five
Watson is an extremely talented wideout who carries a big, muscular frame. Therefore, he is the type of guy whom you could turn around in five years and try to figure out how he slipped to the fifth round. Unfortunately for those trying to squeeze blood from the sixth option on a Tampa Bay offense, it’s unlikely he supplants any of Mike Evans, Ronald Jones, DeSean Jackson, O.J. Howard, or Cam Brate to have enough targets to make for any sort of useful production in 2018. Look for him to make some waves as a fantasy football sleeper in 2019 if Chris Godwin can’t return on investment this year.
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