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Tampa Bay Buccaneers Fantasy Football Preview

Tom Brady
Buccaneers have a new quarterback in Tom Brady and he is changing the atmosphere in Tampa. Can he led the Bucs to the playoffs?

By Craig Forrestal

Bruce Arians is a QB whisperer. He has developed great relationships with his former QBs. And he has done this before. Take a QB who many thought was on his last legs and squeeze a little something out of him. Now Tom Brady isn’t Carson Palmer but their stories do have a little similarity. Heading to retirement destinations at the end of their career and trying to bring winning football to a city that hasn’t had it in more than a handful of seasons. However, for TB12 he gets to bring his buddy Gronk along for the ride. Expectations are high for the Buccaneers as they try and become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their stadium. Oh, and the defense is on the rise as well.

Schedule

  • Week 1: @ Saints
  • Week 2: Panthers
  • Week 3: @ Broncos
  • Week 4: Chargers
  • Week 5: @ Bears
  • Week 6: Packers
  • Week 7: @ Raiders
  • Week 8: @ Giants
  • Week 9: Saints
  • Week 10: @ Panthers
  • Week 11: Rams
  • Week 12: Chiefs
  • Week 13: Bye
  • Week 14: Vikings
  • Week 15: @ Falcons
  • Week 16: @ Lions
  • Week 17: Falcons

Players To Know:

  • Tom Brady-QB: Brady has a handful of tough matchups on paper to start the season, but he has received an upgrade in weapons. However, it doesn’t change the fact that Brady hasn’t finished as a Top 10 QB in a few of the most recent fantasy seasons. Now, this isn’t to say avoid Tom Brady but rather to maybe identify a few other QB targets as well. Let us pretend that all things come together for Brady and the Buccaneers offense, he should be around 4500 yards and 30 TDs.
  • Mike Evans-WR: Mike Evans is going to a downfield threat that Brady will need to learn to trust early on. Evans’ ability to make plays on the ball downfield are some of the best in the game. While he stands to take a slight hit in his production a season where he finishes as WR15 overall and is a solid, high-end WR2 is not out of the question. Evans should register 75 catches for 1125 yards and 8 TDs.
  • Chris Godwin-WR: He crushed it with Jameis Winston last season and was the steal of the draft for many propelling them to championship type seasons. If I were to bet on which WR becomes the favorite of Brady I would bet on Godwin. I would expect his targets to stay in the 120 range with Brady. There is no reason to believe he is at risk of any drop-off. He is a Top 10 fantasy WR maybe even Top 5. My estimate for Godwin is 85 receptions for 1175 yards and 8 TDs.
  • Rob Gronkowski-TE: What do we get from Gronk? Do we get a tremendous season or is it just going to be painful to watch? The last Gronk played he was becoming more of a blocker as he had lost some of his athleticism in the passing game. While Gronk was still serviceable his body has taken an absolute pounding and is one year off enough to rejuvenate him? People expect a ton of targets but unless Bruce Arians changes his offense I don’t see it. Go back and look at Bruce Arians from about the last 10 years or so as an OC or HC and look where his TEs have finished in fantasy. I’m not saying Gronk can’t be Top 10 all I’m saying is history says it is an uphill battle. 55 catches, 700 yards and 5 TDs in an ideal world.
  • OJ Howard-TE: OJ Howard is one of the more naturally talented TEs in the NFL but he will now be buried behind Rob Gronkowski. The Buccaneers have said they will utilize more 2 TE sets but the Bruce Arians offense has shown over time that it can barely make one TE fantasy-relevant let alone two. Gronk has battled injuries and that would paint Howard as a TE1 because even though the TE hasn’t been a big part of the Bruce Arians offense Tom Brady throws to the TE. Howard is best left off the fantasy radar until further notice.
  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn-RB: A Tom Brady offense has shown the ability to support 2 RBs in the past. And guess who Matt Miller compared Vaughn to in his scouting report? James White. He comes into a place where the supporting cast is strong around him with Brady, Evans, Godwin and possibly Gronk. While Vaughn has a path to becoming the lead back I think it is more likely that he forms a 1-2 punch with Ronald Jones. Both will have value in my opinion. Jones and Vaughn could be very similar to Sony Michel and James White. Also, another RB that Arians picked in the 3rd Round was David Johnson and he was very extremely effective as a rookie. Consider Vaughn to have a finish somewhere around RB30 overall. I estimate Vaughn to have about 825 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving and 7 TDs.
  • Ronald Jones-RB: Ronald Jones had over 1000 scrimmage yards (724 rushing) last season but the Tampa Bay staff seems to be very much determined to get Ke’Shawn Vaughn on the field. I expect this backfield to operate as a true 50-50 timeshare initially and Vaughn will take control sooner than later. It will be frustrating at times but both backs will be of value. So in the spirit of a 50-50 timeshare expect Jones to notch 600 yards rushing, 200 yards receiving and 5 total TDs.

Defense

The defense last season was on different ends of the spectrum when it comes to defense against the pass and run. Against the pass they were one of the worst in the league and against the run they were the best in the league. The defesne is an opportunistic one as they had the 5th most turnovers in 2019. This is a defense to keep an eye on as the game script shouldn’t be so wonky this season and allowing for a little more natural game flow. The additions of Rakeem Nunez-Roches and Ndamukong Suh will pair nicely with Vita Vea in the middle. The OLB combo of Jason Pierre-Paul and Shaq Barrett will bring plenty of heat. Lavonte David and Devin White are a solid duo at ILB and the secondary is full of young talent ready to cement their place in the league. All signs are pointing up in Tampa.

Potential Breakout Player:

  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn-RB

Rookie To Know:

  • Ke’Shawn Vaughn-RB
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