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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fantasy Preview

2018 Projections

Note: all points are calculated with PPR scoring
Team Reception Breakdown

Jameis Winston: 232.1 total, 17.9 ppg (290/445 passing, 3610 yards, 24 TD, 9 INT; 157 yards rushing, 1 TD, 6 fumbles lost)
It’s a shame Winston got himself suspended for the first 3 games this year. Tampa is really trying to give him weapons to work with. Ronald Jones isn’t quite living up to the hype yet, but Chris Godwin is emerging as a great option outside to complement Mike Evans, not to mention the tight end duo Howard and Brate. Winston will be a back end QB1 once he returns, but given his suspension and the sheer number of QBs capable of putting up back end QB1 numbers any given week, he’s probably best left on waivers to start the season.

Ronald Jones: 135.0 total, 8.4 ppg (200 carries, 860 yards, 4 TD, 1 fumble lost; 15 Rec, 120 yards, 0 TD)
Peyton Barber: 92.2 total, 5.8 ppg (125 carries, 475 yards, 5 TD, 1 fumble lost; 10 Rec, 67 yards, 0 TD)
Peyton Barber may be the starter for now, but it’s hard to imagine Jones being stuck behind him for long. That being said, I would expect Barber to retain short yardage work regardless of who is named the lead back. Unfortunately, splitting work will lower the ceiling for both runners, and neither is particularly effective in the passing game. Jones has some upside as a stash and Barber might be worth something in the early season for Mark Ingram owners, but ultimately neither is anything more than a late round flyer. Charles Sims is in line to be the lead receiving back, but expect his volume to be low enough to make him irrelevant for fantasy purposes.
Update: After a disappointing camp for Rojo and a spectacular one for Barber, it would appear that Barber has secured lead back duties while Rojo will be fighting for time as the change of pace back. Additionally, with Charles Sims now out for the year both should see an uptick in receptions. With these considerations, Barber should now be viewed as an RB3 while Jones will be more of an RB5 until he cane step up his game.

Mike Evans: 231.8 total, 14.5 ppg (75 Rec, 1088 yards, 8 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
DeSean Jackson: 122.3 total, 7.6 ppg (45 Rec, 653 yards, 2 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Chris Godwin: 116.0 total, 7.3 ppg (40 Rec, 580 yards, 3 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
Adam Humphries: 87.6 total, 5.5 ppg (40 Rec, 436 yards, 1 TD, 1 fumble lost)
The only surefire truth in this receiving corps is that Mike Evans is their top receiver and should be drafted as a WR1/2 with mid-to-upper WR1 upside. After him is a jumbled mess. Jackson is coming off a down year, but is still an effective field-stretching threat. However, Godwin is breathing down his neck for playing time after impressing last year. Of course, Humphries has had an effective lock on slot receiver duties for a few years now. Tampa is likely to shuffle these three around to get them all playing time, but that likely just means that none of them will be particularly fantasy relevant. Godwin has the greatest potential of the three, but is only worth a late round flyer.

O.J. Howard: 138.0 total, 8.6 ppg (40 Rec, 600 yards, 7 TD, 2 fumbles lost)
Cameron Brate: 129.5 total, 8.1 ppg (45 Rec, 545 yards, 5 TD, 0 fumbles lost)
After Howard lived up to expectations as a rookie, it seemed that Brate would be out the door. Then he gets a massive extension. It would appear that Tampa is adamant about having – and, more importantly, using – two tight ends. Winston has frequently targeted his tight ends when on the field, and Ryan Fitzpatrick has been no different in his spot starts. The main downside here is that the two tight ends will steal from each other, relegating both to TE2 status. Keep an eye out for injuries though, as one of them getting hurt will instantly catapult the other to TE1 status.

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