For the 2017 season, Winston finished as a mid-range QB2, but
on a per game basis, he just was one spot outside of the QB1 range
at QB13. Winston has improved his scoring consistency each year
of his three-year career. He finished as a top 12 quarterback
31.25% of the time in 2015, 37.5% in 2016, and 46% of the time
in 2017. If he can continue to improve his consistency, then heíll
likely be considered a surefire QB1 entering 2019.
The overwhelming reason why Winston is a late-round to undrafted
QB option is because heís suspended for the first three games
of the 2018 season. And thatís a good reason to leave Winston
for the waiver wire during your draft, but fantasy owners should
be quick to consider Winston following Week 3 as a solid streaming
option. Paired with a streaming option in the first few weeks,
drafters could find themselves with a top 12 QB at an inexpensive
price. At first glance, the Buccaneers schedule appears difficult
for Winston upon his return, but apparent strength of schedule
is difficult to accurately project. Heís likely a spot play, but
if Winston continues his improvement, he could have plenty of
value in 2018.
Fitzpatrick played in six games for Tampa Bay last season and
finished as a top 12 QB in two of them. Heíll have the opportunity
to start the season in place of the suspended Winston. In deeper
leagues, heíll be a potential streaming option against the
Saints and Eagles who each allowed over 20 fantasy points per
game to quarterbacks last season.
As a rookie, thereís no proven NFL track record for Jones, but
as a prospect, Jones draws an interesting comparison. Jones admits
that he models his game after Jamaal Charles and his college production
is somewhat similar.
Jones vs. Charles
Avg Yds per
2015 - 2017
2005 - 2007
The noticeable difference in their careers is the usage in the
passing game. Charles was a much more established receiver coming
out of school, but neither was used a significant amount and both
averaged just over 1 reception per game during their final season.
The biggest disappointment, if it can even be considered one,
is Jonesís slight drop in rushing efficiency under 6.0 yards per
carry when his rushing attempts finally eclipsed 200 attempts.
Jones currently has an ADP of RB27 in the 5th round and it appears
that heís in line for 15 to 20 touches per game, according
to camp reports. Tampa Bay had an average offensive line for run
blocking, according to Football Outsiders. They had a 20% stuffed
rate which ranked in the middle of the pack. Luckily, it appears
Jones wonít be stuck behind a poor offensive line, but heís
not jumping into a situation similar to Ezekiel Elliott either.
At his current draft price, heís among the safest bets to
have consistent volume which makes him a good bet to exceed his
After Doug Martin left in the offseason, the door was opened
for Barber who ended the season with five straight games with
more than 12 carries. During that stretch, he scored double digit
fantasy points twice and he added one other double digit game
because of two scores.
However, his fantasy value immediately dropped after the team
used an early second round pick in the NFL draft on Ronald Jones.
With the early reports that Jones is expected to become a workhorse
back, this likely limits Barber to a pure handcuff option with
limited upside even if he starts. Unless Jones is injured in the
preseason, Barber is a player that can safely be ignored during
Of the backup running backs in Tampa Bay, Sims is the most likely
to earn some standalone value regardless of injury. Sims had the
sixth most targets for the team in 2017 and more than doubled
the closest running back. Coming off of a 21-carry season, Sims
is unlikely to receive enough work in the rushing game to become
a consistent option without multiple injuries, but if he continues
to be a part of the passing offense, he could be a spot play in
Rodgers has shown to be a capable fill-in when injury strikes,
but 2017 likely demonstrated that Peyton Barber has overtaken
him as the primary handcuff . As it stands, Rodgers can be mostly
forgotten during draft season, but if things break in his favor,
thereís some potential for success. His production in 2016
when given a big workload cannot be entirely ignored.
After finishing 2016 as the WR2 overall, a WR22 finish can only
be described as a major disappointment for Evans. Even when you
factor in his one missed game, he only rises up to WR20 on a per
game basis. The drop off for Evans was most noteworthy when it
comes to TDs. After scoring 12 in 2016, he dropped all the way
down to 5 scores and of his six double digit fantasy weeks, five
were due to a TD. Because heís never been a consistent yardage
receiver, he relies heavily on scoring and this is most noticeable
in seasons like 2017.
Because of his size and placement as the teamís WR1, there will
be opportunities for Evans to rebound his TD total. Particularly
with the potential emergence of O.J. Howard and Chris Godwin,
these scores could be more critical than in years past. Evans
is currently being as the WR9 at the back of the 2nd round which
is probably a bit expensive for player who will boom on TD weeks
and mostly disappoint during the other weeks. With the absence
of Winston through the first three weeks, his season may start
off slow, opening up a trade window. If he can be acquired for
a reasonable price in the mid-WR2 range, he could return fantasy
The days of DeSean Jackson being a top tier boom-bust option
seem to be in the past. Coming off a 3 TD season, this is third
straight season in which he finished with fewer than 5 TDs. Additionally,
Jacksonís fantasy points per game peaked in 2013 and have become
progressively worse each year since.
The positive spin for Jackson is that heís also no longer being
drafted as a meaningful asset. At WR62, Jacksonís value doesnít
need to be that of a consistent starter to exceed his draft value,
but in the 14th round, there are likely better lottery ticket
options for drafters to consider.
With back-to-back 83 target, 600-yard seasons, Humphries has
secured his position with the team. But with only 1 TD for the
season, he lacks the upside to be an option as a WR2 or even consistent
flex option. What Humphries represents is a desperation flex play
who is a safe bet to receive multiple targets.
Godwin was a trendy prospect prior to the NFL draft after some
analysts ranked him inside their top 5 among wide receiver prospects,
but on draft day, he slipped to the 11th WR selected. During his
rookie campaign, he made a slight impact, but was only the 4th
most targeted wide receiver. Early reports out of camp are that
Godwin could earn a starting role on the outside because heís
impressed the coaching staff. Heís currently going undrafted
in 12 team mock drafts so heíll be an interesting player
to track during the remainder of the camp. If he can secure a
consistent role, there could be late-round value in usage alone.
Watson isnít a name to consider in your draft unless youíre
in a super deep league. But if youíre looking for 2018ís
Keelan Cole, Watson is your guy. With an injury or two, the WR
prospect out of Penn could be a game changer. Watson scored in
the 91st percentile in the SPARQ-x as an athlete and posted an
elite, 61%, college dominator rating which measures a playerís
total share of the teamís offense.
Howard was a highly coveted TE prospect in the NFL draft and
he received enough of an opportunity during his rookie season
to be a mid-TE2. Howard converted 39 targets into 26 receptions
and 6 TDs.
Of his 6 TDs, only three came from targets within the redzone.
If Howard can increase his target share or his redzone usage,
his scoring potential will significantly improve and he could
have TE1 upside. At his current draft position of TE15, thereís
room to outperform his ADP, but heíll need things to break
properly for him to see a significant bump in fantasy value.
For those hoping for an O.J. Howard breakout, the Cameron Brate
contract was a serious blow to his 2018 hopes. Brate’s yearly
salary is only $1 million, but his yearly cash, when factoring
his $6 million signing bonus, would rank third among tight ends,
behind only Jordan Reed and Rob Gronkowski. And coming off of
a TE8 season, there’s reason to believe that Brate could
be a strong fantasy option again in 2018.
Brate is currently undrafted in mock drafts while his teammate,
Howard, is being drafted despite Brate outperforming him in 2017
and receiving a significant contract in the off-season. Brate
received 13 redzone targets in 2017 and is a valuable streaming
option particularly if he maintains this role.