What a wild season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They went 6-9 last year, but Jameis Winston threw 33 touchdowns! That’s good! Also, he threw 30 interceptions. That’s bad! There were a lot of fantasy football ups-and-downs from the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers season, but what should we remember for our 2020 fantasy football drafts?
What to Remember from the 2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Season
- There was much hullabaloo about the Chris Godwin & Mike Evans going into 2019. Godwin was the consensus breakout WR, but Mike Evans had the pedigree. He started the season turning 13 targets into six catches for 89 yards… across his first two games. We forget that he almost didn’t play week one (flu) and played on Thursday. He followed that up by scoring four touchdowns and hauling in 279 yards in his next two games and had zero catches against New Orleans. Then, he had 45 targets in three games, averaging 158 yards and a touchdown. What an inconsistent season! Ultimately, he left week fourteen with an injury and never returned. But, his post-stomach virus, pre-injury pace: 96 receptions, 1,611 yards, 11 touchdowns. Those 17.2 fantasy points per game would put him as the WR2 in half-PPR, behind Michael Thomas and ahead of…
- Chris Godwin had himself a heck of a season in 2019. 1,333 yards, 9 scores, and 86 receptions. Unlike Evans, however, Godwin did it through consistent fantasy football production. He ended the year with the second-highest WR fantasy points per game average, and he was the opposite of Mike Evans’ production: he finished as a WR3 or better in 80% of his games. Evans let five games carry him, finishing as WR11 or better five times (PPR), and WR30 or worse eight times in 2019. Godwin is your consistent pick, and Evans your boom-bust pick for 2020.
- Headed into 2019, there were very few players I was further down on than Ronald Jones II. Then, in 2019, he overcame a terrible offensive line and the insistence by Bruce Arians that Peyton Barber remains a thing to become… good? At least fantasy useful? He finished the year as RB25 overall in half-PPR, which is a huge step up from finishing as RB99 in 2018. He did this without getting a single goal-line carry. So that means Ronald Jones II didn’t get any of the cheapie fantasy points that come from running forward a yard. He did it the hard way, and if he had gotten more than his six rushing touchdowns, he would have been an RB2 on the year. He’s primed to break out in 2020, and I want him on my squads.
- I’m not 100% certain how I’m going to find something to feel good about for Jameis Winston in 2019. Sure, he ended the season as the QB8. Then, everything falls apart from there. He ranked #1 in the league in interceptions, interceptable passes, last in true completion percentage, #30 in red zone completion percentage, and #31 in clean pocket completion percentage (thank you to PlayerProfiler.com for those stats). It’s a wild ride looking at his statistics, and all I can think about is that his #1 fantasy football trait is that he just keeps throwing. What if Ronald Jones emerges? Why do we assume that his interception rate will go down significantly when it’s nearly league-average? Jameis produced some truly terrible below the hood numbers, but chucking downfield saved his fantasy bacon.
- There’s a common conception with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Head Coach Bruce Arians that Arians does not use the tight end. I used that argument as a reason against O.J. Howard going into the season. Well, that wasn’t how reality played out. Luckily, however, for my sanity, I was still correct. The Buccaneers’ tight ends had the tenth-most targets in the league last year, and they received targets at the sixteenth-highest rate in the league. Howard had the same problem he’s always had: Cameron Brate. Brate and Howard both had between 50 and 55 targets last year. After scoring eleven touchdowns in his first two seasons, Howard had just one last season. You can attack his down 2019 campaign from a lot of angles, but “Bruce Arians doesn’t use tight ends” isn’t one of them.