2019 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Head Coach- Bruce Arians
Offensive Coaching Philosophy- Aggressive
What to Expect- Coach Arians motto is “no risk it no biscuit”. He wants his QBs to put pressure on the defense by throwing it deep. The tighter officiating favors this line of thinking. If a defender breathes on a WR it’s a pass interference penalty. The risks with this approach- long passes are lower percentage plays to complete and it subjects your QB to a lot of hits- any of which can knock him out.
Quarterback- I say the magic words, “Abracadabra” and Ryan “Fitzmagic” disappears. Fitzpatrick is now in Miami which means this is Jameis Winston’s show- at least for 2019. And as the saying goes the show must go on. Winston can make some boneheaded throws which leads to a lot of interceptions. I don’t know if he’ll ever be accurate enough to cut those down. The good news is Tampa’s defense is not good. The by-product of a shaky defense means Tampa will be passing a lot. There are garbage yards and touchdowns there for the taking. God bless the prevent defense. They also play half their games in balmy Florida which usually has ideal conditions. Winston has a legit shot to post very good fantasy numbers this year. 30 TDs and 4500 yards seems very possible, albeit with 20 interceptions.
Running Back- As of this writing in mid-May it’s Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones, but things could change. It wouldn’t be shocking to see Tampa pick up another RB after preseason cuts or via a trade. Peyton Barber was used more as a 1st and 2nd down back under former coach Dirk Koetter. Ronald Jones struggled last year as a rookie. Hopefully he’ll do better under a new coach. Former Cardinals RB Andre Ellington is there in case Jones struggles, however he’s had a history of injuries.
Wide Receiver/Tight Ends- This is the group to keep an eye on. There should be a lot of garbage yards and catches in Tampa’s games. Mike Evans is the #1 WR. His size is a matchup nightmare in the red zone. WR Chris Godwin returns. Arians has mentioned he thinks Godwin could benefit from moving into the slot WR role vacated by Adam Humphries who left for Tennessee. Tampa also lost Desean Jackson who went back to his old team Philadelphia. Jackson’s loss could hurt. Arians was hoping he’d stay as D-Jax can take the top off the defense. Tampa will try and fill his void with Breshad Perriman. Perriman, a former 1st round pick by Baltimore, was a bust mainly due to injuries. At TE Tampa has OJ Howard and Cameron Brate. Howard is one of the best young tight ends in the game. He’s more talented than Brate who is no slouch at catching the ball either.
Offensive Line- Good. They’re better at pass blocking than run blocking, but even that will be tested with Arians, who likes his QB’s to throw deep, forcing the line to maintain their pass protection longer.
Schedule- Excellent The only game where things could get ugly is week 13 @Jacksonville. Every other game sets up as a high scoring video game contest.
Bye- Week 7
Playoff Schedule- weeks 14-17 vs Indy, @Detroit, vs Houston, vs Atlanta. All of those games look like potential shootouts. Two of them are in domes- no threat of wind or rain is a good thing.
Sleeper- Peyton Barber (Fantasy Pro’s 47th ranked RB) this could change in a hurry, but as of May he’s a starter in a RBBC for a potent offense. This team can move the chains. When they get to the other team’s one yard line someone has to carry it in for six. It very well might be Peyton.
Undervalued- Mike Evans (Fantasy Pro’s 8th ranked WR has the potential to be a top 5 WR when all is said and done) Jameis Winston (Fantasy Pro’s 10th ranked QB). He should be ahead of Russell Wilson, Cam Newton, and possibly even Drew Brees due to more passing volume.
Bottom Line- Tampa should have one of the higher scoring offenses in the league. Despite the recent addition of Ndamukong Suh, their defense is shaky which will force them to pass a lot. Losing Gerald McCoy doesn’t help. While most teams are running the clock out in the 4th Qtr the Buccaneers will likely be trailing, forcing them to keep throwing the ball. Those catches and yards add up in garbage time. Winston makes some throws that just make a head coach pull out his hair, but in fantasy he can rack up a lot of points. His Fantasy Pros ranking is higher than expected, and yet he still could outperform it and be a top 6 QB when all is said and done. Mike Evans should have another good year and he has potential to be a top 5 WR. If Tampa sticks with Barber, which is a big if, he should easily outperform his 47th ranked RB ranking.