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5 Buccaneers in the Initial 2010 NFL.com Fantasy Football Player Rankings

We might be 32 days away from the start of training camp, but the buzz of football is just beginning.  At least, it is where it concerns fantasy football.

NFL.com has released its Top 200 player ranking, so without further ado, it's time to take a look at where some of our Buccaneers ranked on that list......

#70 - Cadillac Williams

Why this ranking is too high:

Even the most cockeyed-optimist of Buccaneer fans will recognize the peril of relying on Caddy as a starting option this season....at least he should be.  Although Caddy impressed over the last few games of the season, we still don't know what we're going to get out of the Buccaneer offense this fall.  There are too many questions to be answered.  Can a second-year QB and a rookie-driven crop of WRs penetrate the red zone and give Caddy enough goalline touches to keep up with other RBs? Will Derrick Ward vulture some of those goalline carries and a chunk of regular playing time?  Not the type to rip off a 200+ yard monster of a game to make up for an off week.  Although he's hit the hole pretty quickly when healthy, he's never been a house-call kind of guy and, moreover, the Buccaneer offensive line just hasn't created those big-play opportunities lately. 

Why this ranking should be higher:

He will be the starting running back on a young, but potentially big-play oriented offense if several big ifs go in favor of the Buccaneers.  Became active in the passing game when the Buccaneers finally realized it was acceptable to not try to throw the ball deep and into coverage.  Performed well after returning to the spotlight in the ground game late in the season, so the Buccaneer coaching staff should continue to feed him the ball early and often.  Schedule sets up for a pretty solid start and finish to the fantasy season. 

Bottom line: I'd draft him as a solid #3, but expect little more than flex value out of him right now.  If Williams/Benn flourish, the offensive line plays like they did in the last 3rd of the season and Freeman's offseason film work has paid off, Caddy could be a big beneficiary and have #2 value.

#91 - Kellen Winslow, Jr.

Why this ranking is too high:

Will he play? Gotta be concerned about his knee causing him pain on a regular basis...even in the offseason.  Tough to rack up points if you're not on the field or if you're limited.  Will get his catches/targets, but the success the Buccaneers found in the running game late in the season and the better balance shown by the offense could be a factor.  Winslow feasted as Josh Freeman's go-to guy and in second-half blowout garbage time.  That might not necessarily be the case this season. Also, Freeman has some new big, physical targets to choose from, so KW's targets might change things to the chagrin of KW owners.

Why this ranking is not high enough:

If the Buccaneer offense is returning to a West Coast type of offense, he could flourish in PPR leagues.  He still is a nasty mismatch against safeties and linebackers, so he'll have his opportunities.  The emergence of a playmaker out wide could actually make things easier on Winslow in the seam.

Bottom line: a clear #1 option and one of the more active TE's in the passing game in all of fantasy football who should continue to receive the attention of his quarterback despite the possible emergence of alternatives.  Get him.

 

#158 Derrick Ward

Why this ranking is too high:

Simply put, he didn't produce diddly last year.  He offered no explosiveness or dynamic playmaking ability of any kind when he got to the hole.  Doesn't seem to have the confidence of his coaching staff and was clearly relegated to a secondary role in the Buccaneer offense, tallying single-digit touches on many occasions.  If last season's performance and lineup utilization repeats, he'd be worth little more than #3/#4 RB consideration. 

Why this ranking is not high enough:

What limited opportunities Ward might have could be fruitful ones.  Ward could be called upon as the Buccaneers' power back to try to hammer the ball home and vulture TDs from Caddy.  If the Buccaneer running game hits in high gear and/or the coaching staff continues to show some patience and commitment to sticking with the running game, Ward's touches should spike to some degree. 

Bottom line: Right now, Ward is not worth your time.  If you've got the roster space, then, eh, whatever.  I wouldn't roll the dice. 

 

#184 - Josh Freeman

Why this ranking is too high:

The turnovers and simple mistakes from last season cannot be easily forgotten.  22 interceptions were mind-numbing and the triple and quadruple coverages he threw into were inexplicable.  In leagues that penalize heavily on INTs and incompletions/pass efficiency, Freeman's big and relatively inaccurate arm, coupled with the tendency to go deep and vertical in the passing game, could make him a little bit too risky.  However, the dedicated offseason work hopefully.......

Why this ranking is not high enough:

......will lead to a vastly improved and more disciplined QB.  He's also got a pair of guys who might be able to go up and help out their quarterback, which the Bucs clearly lacked a season ago.  Those are two big steps in the right direction. 

Bottom line: a #2 QB option with an atmosphere of potential who could have a sensational sophomore season with a less-QB-strenuous offensive system, 2 new toys, and a full offseason as an experienced player to prepare and learn from his mistakes.  Worth a flier on the bench if you have the roster space.

 

#189 - Arrelious Benn

Why this ranking is too high:

Is this the right Buccaneer wideout on the list?  Fellow rookie Mike Williams has been the flashier and seemingly more accomplished wideout in minicamp/OTAs.  It's beginning to shape up as a legitimate competition from multiple talented receiving targets for balls from QB Josh Freeman.  As such, someone could get left out.  Is Benn that guy?  Or will he emerge as the surprise stud? 

Why this ranking is not high enough:

Just because Williams is making one-handed highlight reel catches doesn't mean Benn isn't as well.  Benn has made house calls this offseason and has just as much a chance to shine right now as Williams. I like Benn a heckuva lot more than Devin Thomas, Laurent Robinson, and Jacoby Jones.

Bottom line: flip a coin, take either Williams or Benn.  Either one or both could become great.  However, make sure you grab whichever one you feel will be better and stash him on your bench, ESPECIALLY in keeper leagues!