We’re still about three months out from seeing any real football action, so you know what that means: time to arbitrarily guess things to occupy the boredom.
This time around, we’re honing in on the best (and worst) fantasy pickups you can find on the Buccaneers, so that you can plan out your eventual fantasy demise well in advance to your Week 4 meltdown.
We’re not going to focus on the obvious picks (though, when it comes to the Bucs, Mike Evans might very well be the only obvious pick) but instead, identify sleepers to sneak into your lineup and busts to avoid like the plague.
My mom always said lead off with the bad news, so let’s start with the busts first.
Buccaneers defense: If you were staking fantasy football hopes on a defense in the first place, well, I admire your optimism. If you were staking them on Tampa’s, then I might suggest you take things to Madden Ultimate Team instead.
After finishing dead last in yards allowed last season, things should improve for the Buccaneers in 2018, but the difference isn’t going to be enough to make up for the detriment that the defense could have on your starting lineup.
Charles Sims: You might be tempted to take a risk on the fifth-year speedster from West Virginia, but with the rise of Peyton Barber last season, the drafting of Ronald Jones and the consistency of Jacquizz Rodgers, it’s going to be hard for Sims to find his place and get things going.
DeSean Jackson: The 11-year vet only totaled 668 yards and three touchdowns last year, but it was during a season in which Jackson was consistently underutilized and misused, alongside Jameis Winston deep ball struggles. Chris Godwin emerging as a third option should help free up Jackson, and a new approach to using the receiver should go a long way in amping up his production.
O.J. Howard: In his rookie year, the Alabama product caught six touchdowns and produced over 400 yards. You could very well throw Cameron Brate in this spot as well, as Winston loves his tight ends, but Brate has already become somewhat of a household name in terms of production. Howard should be available in later rounds, and should be a big boost to your squad with his numbers set to jump in his second year.
Ronald Jones II: Going with a rookie is risky, but with how often you need to change out running backs in a fantasy football season, picking up the USC draftee shouldn’t be a bad move. Jones is said to be slated for around 15-20 touches a game, and with fresh legs and an enthusiastic, determined rookie approach, he could serve as a valuable pick-me-up during weeks where your main backs are on byes.