Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|By Shawn Childs, Monday, August 19, 2019|
(Editor's note: This is the free preview of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers team outlook. If you already are a premium subscriber to FullTime Fantasy, click here for our premium expanded Tampa Bay Buccaneers Team Outlook. The expanded team outlook also includes sections covering the coaching staff, offensive line, schedule, free agency, 2019 draft picks, defense & more.)
Buccaneers Offense Outlook
Tampa would love to run the ball better to take the pressure off their young, restructured defense. Unfortunately, game score will lead to a ton of passing attempts. In 2018, the Bucs ran the ball 38.4 percent of the time while ranking fourth in the NFL in passing attempts (625).
QB Jameis Winston - Quality Backup
Update 12/29/19With a downgrade at WR in Week 16, Winston still passed for 335 yards with one TD while tossing four balls to the other team. This season he threw for over 300 yards in eight games plus three other outings with over 400 yards. Over his previous ten games, Wintson delivered 20 TDs and 23 Ints with 354 passing yards per contest. In Week 12, he passed for 313 yards with three TDs against the Falcons. Atlanta worked its way to 26th in QB defense (23.88 FPPG) after holding QB to short Fantasy points in the last two games (14.60 and 16.65). Three teams scored over 30.0 Fantasy points (46.00, 32.20, and 31.70) vs. the Falcons. They allow 7.7 yards per pass attempt with QBs tossing 26 TDs. I get the attraction, but his questionable depth at WR with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin injured does limit his ceiling in TDs.
RB Peyton Barber - Bye Week Fill-in
RB Ronald Jones - Gamble (high risk)
Update 12/29/19Jones played well last week (109 combined yards with a TD and three catches on 17 touches). His only other game of value came in Week 10 (23.60 Fantasy points). After 15 games, he gained 917 combined yards with six TDs and 29 catches while averaging 12.7 touches per game. In Week 12, Jones had 67 yards with a TD and three catches vs. the Falcons. Atlanta moved up to 12th in RB defense (22.73 FPPG) with three teams scoring over 30.0 Fantasy points (31.70, 42.90, and 32.90). A rotational player with some scoring ability and occasional chances in the passing game.
WR Mike Evans - Stud (low risk)
Update 12/06/19Evans hasn’t helped Fantasy owners in any of their previous four games (4/82. 4/69, 4/50, and 4/53) while receiving 33 combined targets. His best value came over three explosive games (8/190/3, 11/198/2, and 12/180/1), which accounted 31 catches for 568 yards and six TDs or 123.8 Fantasy points in PPR leagues. In essence, Evans scored 56.4 percent of his Fantasy points in three of his 12 games. CB Pierre Desir has a ton of downside risk based on his previous four starts (@KC, HOU, @HOU, and TEN). Over this span, Desir struggled in all areas while allowing plenty of big plays and TDs. Evans’ regression and matchup point to a huge correction game. Possible 100-plus receiving yards with multiple TDs.
WR Chris Godwin - Solid/Safe Pick
Update 12/14/19With Mike Evans out for the season, Godwin can’t help but have double-digit targets in most games going forward. Over his last seven games, he only has one game of value (7/184/2) with weakness in six showings (4/43, 7/61, 6/74, 3/47/1, 4/50, and 7/91). Starting in Week 2, he dominated in four of his next five games (8/121/1, 12/172/2, 7/125/2, and 10/151). Heading into Week 15, Godwin is the second-highest scoring WR in PPR leagues (19.92 FPPG). The Lions rank 24th defending WRs (38.29 FPPG – 174/2373/13 on 295 targets). Twice over the past month, the Lions allowed big yardage to WRs (16/301/1 and 22/282/1). Five WRs (Larry Fitzgerald – 8/113/1, Stefon Diggs – 7/142, Michael Gallop – 9/148, Randall Cobb – 4/115/1, and Anthony Miller – 9/140) have over 100 yards receiving vs. Detroit. CB Darius Slay remains one of the better CBs, but he will allow some big plays while shadowing WRs on most plays over the previous four weeks. Torn based on his expected opportunity, but Detroit will do their best to make the other WRs on Tampa beat them in Week 15.
WR Justin Watson - Super Sleeper (high risk/potential)
Fair Evaluation: Player to follow this summer as he may emerge as the WR3 option for Tampa in 2019.
Watson had an impressive career at Penn where Watson improved in every season. He brings size (6'3" and 225 lbs.) to the wide receiver position while flashing better than expected speed (4.40) on his pro day. His game played well in college due to his TE type frame, but his initial quickness may lead to a tighter passing window in the pros. His route running and hands project well, but Justin needs to add more to his base foundation skill set. He works hard with the smarts to address his weakness. His next step is proving he can beat better players in the NFL. In his rookie season, Justin only had one catch for five yards on three targets.
WR Breshad Perriman - Low Potential
Update 12/29/19Fantasy owners have no complaints about the value of Perriman as injury replacement since moving into the starting lineup after a couple of injuries at WR in Tampa. He has over 100 yards receiving in back-to-back games (5/113/3 and 7/102) while picking up 20 catches for 372 yards and four TDs on 29 targets over his last four starts. In Week 16, his higher stats were driven by a career-high in targets (12). On the year, the Bucs’ WRs have 215 catches for 3,402 yards with 25 TDs on 354 targets leading to two high ranking WRs (Chris Godwin – 86/1333/9 and Mike Evans – 67/1157/8). The Falcons pushed their way to 17th in WR defense (34.63 FPPG – 183/2489/16 on 265 targets) after holding WRs to no TDs in six of their previous ten games. Six WRs (Nelson Agholor – 8/107/1, Will Fuller – 14/217/3, Tyler Lockett – 6/100, Michael Thomas – 13/152, and Chris Godwin – 7/184/2) have over 100 yards receiving vs. Atlanta. The Falcons doesn’t have any elite CBs, plus Perriman can overcome tight coverage by volume of chances. Playing well, but his salary requires 27-plus Fantasy points. Bet on the system here.
TE O.J. Howard - Stud (low risk)
Update 12/29/19Over the last month, Howard has 16 catches for 226 yards on 25 targets. In his first six games, Howard caught only 13 passes for 176 yards on 18 targets. After missing a couple of games, he played better in a favorable matchup vs. Arizona (4/47/1). Tampa left him out of their game plan in Week 11 (0/0) and Week 12 (1/10). The Falcons is about league average defending TEs (12.60 FPPG – 73/840/4 on 115 targets). Their biggest struggles came in Week 3 (9/118), Week 14 (6/68/1), and Week 15 (13/134). Only a bottom-feeding option with underlying talent.
TE Cameron Brate - Bye Week Fill-in
Update 11/23/19After misfortunate play by O.J. Howard resulting in a turnover, Brate saw a huge bump in playing time (75 percent) along with a massive opportunity (10/73 on 14 targets) against the Saints. Over the previous two games, he didn’t have a target or catch while battling a rin injury. Brate could be a sneaky play or a bust option. His previous NFL resume does offer some scoring ability.
PK Matt Gay - Low Potential
Over two seasons at Utah, Gay made all 95 of his extra points with 56 of his 65 field goals (86.2 percent) crossing the uprights. His leg offers length and accuracy for a team that needs someone to stabilize the position. In 2018, Tampa scored 49 TDs while creating 27 field goal chances. I don't expect the Bucs to run the ball well in the red zone, which helps the overall field goal chances in 2019. Matt should win the job, but a rookie kicker is tough to trust in the Fantasy market. May surprise with playable value at times if he has success early in the year from long range.
Tampa Bay - Low Potential
Fair Evaluation: Avoid for me in all games in the Fantasy games.
The Buccaneers ranked 24rd in the NFL defending the run (1,983 yards) while allowing 19 TDs and 74 runs over 20 yards. Ball carriers gained 4.7 yards per rush with 26.6 attempts per game.
Tampa climbed to 26th in passing yards allowed (4,151) yards with only 34 TDs and nine Ints. QBs gained 8.2 yards per pass attempt with 56 catches over 20 yards. Their defense had 38 sacks.
DT Ndamukong Suh has been a top run defender over the last five seasons. Suh chips in with about five sacks per year while adding some value in defended passes (four in 2018). At age 32, he's still a productive player at his position, but his best days are behind him.
DT Vita Vea was a neutral player vs. the run in his rookie season while delivering only three sacks. Vea is a mountain of a man (6'4" and 347 lbs.) with insane strength. He projects to be a foundation run stopper. His hands will offer an edge while showing the power to drive in the pass rush. His footwork and overall technique need to improve to help his balance. Vita has some quickness, but his range is limited due to his overall speed.
DE Anthony Nelson should start due to minimal talent on the current roster in Tampa. His best value will come in the pass rush helped by his quickness. Strength is a problem while lacking the combination moves in the pass rush.
DE Williams Gholston offers no upside based on his failure over the last two seasons. At best, he'll be a rotational run defender with minimal production in sacks.
Lavonte David has over 100 tackles in six of his seven years in the NFL with sliding value in pass coverage. Last year he played about league average vs. the run after showing strength in this area in 2017. Over the previous five years, David has four combined sacks.
Devin White adds speed to the linebacking position after Tampa added him in the first round in 2019. If the Bucs had space eater up front, White could be a missile attacking the line of scrimmage vs. the run and in the pass rush.
Shaquil Barrett will help vs. the run with risk in coverage. He projects as a rotation player on early downs. Noah Spence should rotate with him off the bench with Tampa hoping for production in the pass rush.
Carl Nassib had a career in sacks (6.5) in his first year with the Bucs while being a neutral run defender.
CB Carlton Davis made 12 starts in his rookie season. He failed to intercept a ball while picking up 40 tackles and four defended passes. Davis is a CB that excels in press coverage, which will be an asset in the red zone. His overall skills in coverage need improvement in his technique. Carlton will get beat for long plays when quickness beats him off the line. His vision in off coverage is a tick below the needed success to win against top NFL WRs. Davis will struggle when asked to cover a full pass route tree. If he didn't allow four TDs last year, Davis would have ranked closer to the league average at his position.
CB Vernon Hargreaves only played one game in 2018 due to a torn labrum in his shoulder. Tampa drafted him in the first round in 2016, but he's yet to deliver a successful season. In his rookie season, he allowed a ton of yards with tremendous catch rate. His best skill set comes in coverage while coming up short when asked to defend the run due to too many missed tackles.
S Justin Evans played well over ten games before suffering a toe injury in Week 10 in 2018 ending his season. Tampa selected Evans in the second round in 2017. His best value comes attacking the line of scrimmage against the run and in pass coverage. Justin is a playmaker with big hitting ability. Evans needs to improve his reads in the deep position. His speed grades as an edge while needing to add more bulk. He finished with 59 tackles, two defended passes, and one Int while helping in run support.
S Jordan Whitehead made 11 starts in his rookie season after the Bucs selected him in the fourth round in 2018. Whitehead has the reverse skill set of the cornerbacks chosen earlier in the draft. He lacks the size (5'10" and 198 lbs.) to be a physical press player, but Jordan makes up for it with his strength and willingness to attack the run game. Whitehead can handle slot WRs and TEs in coverage while needing to improve his vision and cover skills off the ball. Jordan is more of a hitter than a playmaker. Tampa converted him to safety where he struggled vs. run while holding WRs to short yards per catch.
Buccaneers Fantasy Defense Outlook
This defense is loaded with risk. Tampa tried to beef up the interior of their defensive line vs. the run, but they lack pass rushers on the outside with a ton of youth on the roster. Their young talent will improve as the season moves on, but too many of their options lack pedigree.
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