You love your Tampa Bay Buccaneers. But if you want to win your fantasy football draft, you can’t load up on your favorites. You have to put your allegiances aside.
Don’t think you can help yourself? This guide tells you who is worth drafting and when.
1. WR Mike Evans: Don’t mind the drop in touchdowns from 12 in 2016 to five last season. His red-zone targets increased, so expect a bounce-back campaign. He’s worth taking late in the second round or early in the third.
2. TE O.J. Howard: There’s potential for a breakout season here. Yes, he’ll compete with Cameron Brate for targets, but he played more offensive snaps last season despite missing the final two games. In the three games before his injury (Weeks 12-14), he was averaging about 55 snaps to Brate’s 25 to 35. At the least, he should be able to repeat his 2017 performance (26 catches, 432 yards, six touchdowns) rather easily.
3. RB Peyton Barber: Until recently, fantasy players had been drafting Bucs 2018 second-round draft pick Ronald Jones well ahead of Barber. But the Bucs’ incumbent starting running back has closed the gap. Tampa Bay likes to try to establish the run game, so Barber should get volume early. He’s not much of a pass catcher, though, so his value in point-per-reception leagues is limited. Don’t reach for him, but start watching if he falls to the middle rounds.
4. RB Ronald Jones: Don’t place too much stock in his lackluster preseason (18 yards on 18 carries). He’s going to get a shot, but he’ll have to earn more snaps. Unless you’re in a keeper league, he’s a late-round depth pick. Stash him and monitor his usage.
5. WR DeSean Jackson: If you draft the boom-or-bust receiver, good luck figuring out when to plug him into your lineup. Plus, he’s not much of a factor in the red zone (five targets last season). He’s still the Bucs’ best deep threat, but as the season progresses, keep an eye on whether Chris Godwin eats into his share of targets.
Do not draft: QB Jameis Winston. Winston will be worth a roster spot at some point, but you’ll want to wait until he returns from his three-game suspension to start the season, especially if you play in a league where you can start only one quarterback. There’s enough depth at the position that you should be able to wait and still land Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, Alex Smith or Philip Rivers. All but Luck scored more fantasy points than Winston last season.
Contact Thomas Bassinger at [email protected] Follow @tometrics.