Team Preview: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
We wrap up the NFL South on our 32-Team Preview with the Superbowl-Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay scored the 3rd most points in 2020 while throwing for the 2nd most passing yards. They were 27th in rushing yards on their way to an 11-5 record. Vegas has them winning 11.5 games.
Tom Brady: Was it Brady or was it Belichick? I think it's safe to say Tom is leading that argument. After leaving the team he had led for 19 seasons, he joined Tampa Bay at 43 years old, having to learn a completely new system and play with new teammates, and goes ahead and wins a Superbowl. Pretty crazy. What's even crazier, is that the QB8 from 2020 might actually be better in his age 44 season. Understandably, it took Tom and this offense a little while to get going. From weeks 1-9, Tom only had two 300-yard passing games. Three times he had 1 or fewer TD passes. However, over the final 7 games of the season, he caught fire, throwing for 20 TDs, including two 4-touchdown games in weeks 16 and 17. He didn't have a single game with less than 2 TD passes over that stretch, and he averaged 2.5 TD passes per game during the playoffs. With the Bucs returning every starter from the Superbowl, this team is set to continue where they left off and light up scoreboards. Forget about his age, aren't we over that already? He should be looked at as mid-range QB1.
Leonard Fournette / Ronald Jones: Both backs had their moments in 2020. Jones was the better back during the regular season averaging 5.1 yards per carry and rushing for just under 1,000 yards. He averaged 13.3 points per game. During the playoffs however, it was Fournette who shined, averaging 112 total yards and a TD per game, good for 21.7 points per game. I like Fournette the best of the two and could still see him taking over a larger portion of the RB touches in this backfield, but given how much the team passes as well as the addition of Gio Bernard, it's hard to get too excited about any of them. I have Fournette as a back-end RB2 and Jones as a back-end RB3.
Mike Evans: Only Adam Thielen had a higher % of his fantasy points come from TDs, so Evans is likely to regress in 2021. However, with this offense expected to be one of the highest-scoring in the league, those TDs will likely still be there. I see Evans doing similar things in 2021 and finishing the year as a high-mid range WR2.
Chris Godwin: Godwin was just slightly better than his teammate Evans on a points per game basis, but he suffered multiple injuries throughout the year that likely hurt his performance. Hopefully, that's not the case in 2021 and he can continue his chemistry with Tom. Let's not forget he was the WR2 in 2019. I also see Godwin doing similar things in 2021 and ending the year as a mid-range WR2.
Antonio Brown: The third WR of the bunch, Brown was nearly as good as his two teammates in the 8 games he played. He averaged 14.3 points per game, good for the WR22 during that timeframe, and actually out-targeted his teammates over that span. And let's not forget he did that after not playing football for a year and signing with the team during the middle of the season. Right now he is currently being drafted as the WR44 on Underdog Fantasy which is incredible value for a player who can easily give you WR3 numbers.
Rob Gronkowski: How is the TE8 from 2020 being drafted as the TE18 currently? Similar to Brown, Gronk sat out of football for an entire year and had to learn a new offense. I get it he is a bit broken down by age and injury, but he is still playing with Tom Brady on one of the highest-scoring teams in the NFL, and we saw him put up a 2-TD performance in the Superbowl. I like him as a high-end TE2 for 2021.