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Fantasy Buccaneers: Jameis Winston

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Previewing the Tampa Bay quarterback and evaluating his fantasy football value heading into draft season.

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When fans of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers draft for their fantasy football teams we all look to our own players, even if only for a moment.

Unfortunately, we can’t just draft a team of Bucs and hope to be successful. It’s just not how this works. So, it’s important to understand what you’re getting when you draft one of your favorite team’s players.

We here at Bucs Nation have done some of this work for you and will break down potential targets in fantasy football to gauge whether or not you should target them for your roster.

Starting with Jameis Winston, lets get right to it.

*Statistics provided by Pro Football Focus

Player: Quarterback, Jameis Winston (QB19 in 2017)

2017 Fantasy Football Statistics:

- 3,504 passing yards

- 19 touchdown passes

- 11 interceptions

- 135 rushing yards

- 1 rushing touchdown

- 225 points (.45 points per dropback)

In 2017, there was only one other quarterback who played 13 games and scored higher than Winston in fantasy scoring. Carson Wentz.

All things considered, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback put himself statistically on track to have a Top-15 quarterback fantasy season. Which sounds good at first glance, until you remember most fantasy leagues cap out at twelve teams if they go even that high.

Turnovers and lack of touchdowns are the two killers of Winston’s fantasy football value. Not only did his eleven interceptions drive his overall score down, the fumbles surrendered by the third-year quarterback were just as damaging and perhaps more frustrating if he was on your roster in 2017.

Looking at what Winston has to do to crack the Top-12 and enter QB1 conversations, no Top-12 quarterback threw for fewer than 3,200-yards, 22 touchdowns and none had more than sixteen interceptions.

2018 Fantasy Football Projections:

- 3,500 passing yards

- 22 touchdown passes

- 12 interceptions

- 140 rushing yards

- 226.2 points

Take a look at the numbers and you’ll see there’s an expectation for Winston to have a worse fantasy football year in 2018 than he did in 2017.

With only the touchdown and rushing yards categories improving in projections, there has to be a reason. Yes, he’s missing three games in 2018, but he missed three in 2017 as well so it isn’t that.

These stats compared to the other projected performances of his peers would make him QB28 behind Cleveland’s Tyrod Taylor and just ahead of Baltimore’s Joe Flacco.

While some have certainly had their faith in Winston shaken, it’s the schedule he’ll face upon his return which is driving his value so low.

The three games he’s missing against the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles and Pittsburgh Steelers look tough enough, but it doesn’t get better past Week 3.

In the thirteen games Winston is expected to appear in, only four are against passing defenses expected to be in the friendlier half of the league for fantasy quarterbacks.

However, six of them are against teams expected to finish in the top third of the NFL against the pass.

The schedule doesn’t look friendly, but Winston is a talented quarterback who has a solid stable of receivers to throw to.

If the running game and offensive line can improve then his fourth season should see him have a better equipped team to lead than he has in years past.

These are positives to contrast the negative. What does it mean though?

2018 Fantasy Football Outlook: QB, Jameis Winston

Best Match-Up: Week 11 vs San Francisco 49ers

Worst Match-Up: Week 16 @ Dallas Cowboys

Where to Draft: Don’t. Watch him in the free-agent pool.

Fantasy Playoff Potential: Two divisional match-ups and two road trips (three games against NFL Playoff contenders) in the fantasy football playoff window all but kills his late season value.